Ford Elementary students got a chance to experience the educational program provided by the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum without leaving their Laurens County classrooms. The program generally takes place on board the historic aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Charleston Harbor, but through a grant from the International Paper Foundation, Ford Elementary 5th graders participated September 12th in a distance-learning experience that enhanced their comprehension of classroom curriculum by virtually visiting six education stations around the USS Yorktown. The program is designed to spark students’ natural curiosity for learning by providing a firsthand look into estuarine environments, land forms, force and motion, and the ultimate walk-through of living history. Students also interacted with the museum’s Collections Curator via Skype to see historic artifacts.
“Patriots Point Institute of History, Science and Technology offers a unique “in residence” educational program for South Carolina students throughout the year,” Mac Burdette, Patriots Point Executive Director, said. “More than 16,000 students visit Patriots Point and the USS Yorktown each year to experience our unique learning laboratory in a one-of-a-kind environment.”
“We know budgets are tight among school districts statewide and not every class can afford to visit Patriots Point; however, we think it’s important that every student in the state experience our unique education program. So, we developed a virtual, distance-learning program to take our educational experience to the schools. We are excited about partnering with Laurens County District 55 in developing a new teaching tool that can be introduced in classrooms throughout South Carolina,” Burdette added.
Classes from Ford Elementary School and Laurens Elementary School are taking part in this pilot program.