Topics: Teachers College, Speakers

February 15, 2007

<b>Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne talks with elementary school children during the Feb. 13 Electronic Field Trip.</b>
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne participated in the Electronic Field Trip to Manzanar National Historic Site conducted Feb. 13 by Ball State, the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, and the National Park Foundation.

Kempthorne was joined by World War II veterans and children attending Murch Elementary School in the District of Columbia for the 60-minute broadcast, "Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire."

The broadcast used interactive activities including live tours, in-class activities and an online panel of experts to tell the stories of Japanese Americans detained in internment camps during World War II. Nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans were detained at Manzanar, located east of Fresno, Calif.

"Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire" included segments that explored the compelling story of baseball in the World War II internment camps, including Manzanar. The broadcast was made possible through funding from the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum.

Electronic Field Trips are a signature program of Ball State's Teachers College that takes advantage of award-winning technology to give participants a unique learning experience. Through the trips, more than 20 million children and community members from all 50 states are connected in simultaneous virtual visits.

The award-wining program is a result of a partnership between Ball State, the Best Buy Children's Foundation and the National Park Service.

Ball State's Electronic Field Trips program received six Telly Awards for last year's programming. The Web site - a key part of the program - was honored by the Center for Digital Education with a Best of the Web award in 2005 and two gold awards at the 2006 World Media Festival.

Remaining Electronic Field Trip Schedule for 2006-07:

  • "Going, Going, Faster: The Science of Speed!" April 17, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
  • "Listening to our Ancestors," May 8, North Pacific Coast, Juneau, Alaska

For more information, visit the Electronic Field Trip Web site at