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December 9, 2011

Electronic Field Trip Explores Expansion “Westward!”

Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip series continues Dec. 15 with the program “Westward!” Before the American Revolution, rugged independent colonists looked beyond the Appalachian Mountains for land and opportunity. “Westward!” explores those early days of expansion, highlighting the lives of Daniel and Rebecca Boone and their children in a gripping look at the harsh realities of life and the collision of cultures on the Kentucky frontier.

Daniel Boone led the way for settlement in present-day Kentucky. The program follows Boone biographer John Filson’s account of the personal physical hardships endured by the Boone family and their fellow settlers and the consequences of westward expansion for American Indians.

“Westward!” was produced in cooperation with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, U.S. National Park Service, located in the Appalachian Mountains where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia meet; and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Wilderness Road State Park, home of Martin’s Station, located in the far western region of Virginia.

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. These distance learning programs, targeted to grades 4–8, are 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.

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, or email or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live 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 have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

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 National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. Additional information on America's almost 400 national park sites can be obtained at

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.

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 Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280