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September 27, 2011

Electronic Field Trip Season Begins Oct. 13 with “A More Perfect Union”

Colonial Williamsburg begins its 16th season of Electronic Field Trips Oct. 13 with a rebroadcast of “A More Perfect Union.” The Emmy-winning program examines what happened when the newly drafted Constitution was sent to the states for ratification.

Through the eyes of young observers tallying the votes, viewers of “A More Perfect Union” learn that the states debated many issues that were essential to the creation of our nation. As the young witnesses discover, although the Constitution was not perfect, it laid the foundation for a strong republic through compromise on important issues – a timely lesson with contemporary relevance.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips are meticulously researched, non-partisan programs that tell the stories of our country’s founding and span a broad range of historical subjects from colonial times to the present day. Broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country, the distance learning programs are targeted to grades 4–8.

Each electronic field trip is supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and address national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, e-mail or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year. Participating schools also have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

Additional electronic field trips scheduled for broadcast in 2011-2012:

  • Harsh World, This World – (premiere) What was slavery really like for enslaved people and their masters? Traditional proverbs guide students through personal stories based on primary sources – showing kindness, betrayal, trust, cruelty and the many emotions that govern complex human relationships. (Nov. 17)
  • Westward! Students explore the story of the early days of American westward expansion. Daniel Boone recounts the exciting experiences and unexpected consequences associated with moving west, including the grueling personal hardships required in creating new settlements. (Dec. 15)
  • The War of 1812 – (premiere) A generation after the Revolution, Americans were once again plunged into war with Great Britain. Why? Students join Henry Clay, Tecumseh, Andrew Jackson, James Madison and others as they struggle to determine what course the United States will take. (Jan. 19)
  • When Freedom Came – (premiere) Everyone knows Abraham Lincoln freed all the slaves – or did he? Freedom came to enslaved people over the course of many months and years – and it arrived in different ways in different places. Students discover how enslaved Americans made everyday choices during the Civil War that helped bring about their freedom. (Feb. 16)
  • Remember the Ladies – In 1776, Abigail Adams requested that her husband, future president John Adams, “remember the ladies” when establishing the government and laws of the new nation. Students examine the roles, responsibilities and daily activities of early American women. (March 15)
  • The Rights of Youth – Imprisonment, whipping, forced transportation and even death were some of the punishments to which courts sentenced children in the 18th century. Students witness how justice was administered at a time when criminal laws and sentencing guidelines made few or no exception for children. (April 19)

    For more information about electronic field trips, visit or call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Barbara Brown
    (757) 220-7280

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