Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fun Summer Ahead: Check Out Our Ed Programs

Primary Source Seminar, our archives-based educational program, has been steadily growing since 2008. We began as a two component program consisting of high school seminars and teacher workshops and have expanded our offerings to include a digital resources blog, Traveling Archives series, Teacher Reference Shelf, and Archival Ambassadors, a summer stewardship program. Primary Source Seminar was developed to utilize the diverse Lloyd W. Smith Archival Collection and bring historical documents out of archival storage and into the hands of young learners. We have successfully hosted ten student seminars and three teacher workshops, and we are moving forward with our Archival Ambassadors initiative.

We have an exciting summer ahead as we kick off our first session of Archival Ambassadors. Starting in June, a team of graduate-level history students and education majors will begin work on an extensive research project. Interns will develop a Traveling Archives curriculum unit, instruct high school Ambassadors, and create a temporary exhibit based on their studies. During the fourth week of the project, a group of high school Ambassadors will join the team for an enrichment program focused on artifact preservation, scholarly research, and primary document analysis. As part of this program, students will assist interns in assembling the exhibit and preparing activities for Community Day (Saturday, July 16). Archival Ambassadors was made possible, in part, by a one-time stewardship grant by the National Park Foundation. Preparation for this new initiative began in 2010 with the development of the prototype Traveling Archives unit by teaching fellow Laurie Schmid of Phillipsburg High School. Internship curriculum planning was completed by Archives Technician and Museum Educator, Sarah Minegar.

Follow coverage of this program HERE starting in June!

Primary Source Seminar's teacher resources are taking off as well. Schmid's summer 2010 contribution helped us get our Traveling Archives component rolling, and our first unit, "The Trials of the New Nation: 1789-1815," is now available for classroom loan. Teachers interested in learning more about integrating primary documents into their lesson plans may attend our annual fall teacher workshop (last year we focused on teaching Document-Based Questions or DBQs) or stop in and use our in-house Teacher Reference Shelf. For those who can't make a visit to the library and archives, our digital resources blog is updated bi-weekly with Mini Lessons and online primary source resources.

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