Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

January 2, 2009

CW's Electronic Field Trip "In Pursuit of Science" broadcasts Jan. 15

Colonial Williamsburg continues its 2008 – 2009 season of Electronic Field Trips Jan. 15 with “In Pursuit of Science,” an engaging story of a young colonial boy’s exploration of science in the world around him. Students of the 21st century may be surprised to learn how much was known about science in the 18th century.

The story takes place in May of 1769 when a boy named Daniel Lee visits Williamsburg with his family. As he takes in the sights and sounds of the city, Daniel observes an 18th-century fire engine responding to a fire and learns how the fire engine works. He sees how a shoemaker uses a water glass magnifier and candle to see the shoes better in the dim light of dusk, and at the printing office, he looks at a scientific book about optics, mechanics and astronomy.

Daniel also learns about the transit of Venus, which takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the earth and the sun – a very exciting event to observe for gentlemen of the time who were interested in astronomy. The story continues five years later, when Daniel is 16 years old and a student at the College of William and Mary helping to conduct scientific experiments in a natural philosophy class.

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, Electronic Field Trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating PBS stations and cable channels across the country.

Targeted to grades 4 – 8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from colonial times to the present day.

Each Electronic Field Trip is supported with lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for their students. All materials have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet state standards for history, technology and literacy. Selected programs also correlate to state science and arts education standards.

Students in participating schools may phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the broadcast on live television. Registered users also may view Electronic Field Trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and live interactive television broadcasts to bring American history to life for more than one million students and four million other viewers each year. For more information or to register for the Electronic Field Trip series, visit, call 1-800-761-8331 or e-mail

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280