Manzanar: Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire

Topic: Teachers College

February 6, 2007

The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, The National Park Foundation and Ball State University have again joined together to connect more than 20 million children and community members from all 50 states in a simultaneous virtual visit to Manzanar National Historic Site. The site, located east of Fresno, California, was established to preserve the stories of the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II and to serve as a reminder to this and future generations of the fragility of American civil liberties.

On Tuesday, February 13th, millions of children from across the country will be virtually connected in an Electronic Field Trip complete with live tours, in-class activities, and an online panel of experts. Electronic Field Trips are a signature program of Ball State University that takes advantage of award-winning technology to give participants a unique learning experience.  The Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire was made possible through funding from the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. 

"The Baseball Hall of Fame is proud to participate in its sixth Electronic Field Trip with Ball State University," said Dale Petroskey, president of the museum. "To be joined by the National Park Foundation in exploring the compelling and little-known story of baseball in the Japanese American internment camps of World War II is both a privilege and a fitting collaboration, featuring three of America's most respected educational institutions."

Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire is an interactive 60-minute broadcast from Manzanar National Historic Site featuring park experts as well as online and in-class activities.  Working alongside experts on the show, students will learn about the Japanese internment camps at Manzanar National Historic Site from experts on the show, including three Manzanar internees and two grandchildren of Manzanar internees; and have an opportunity to ask questions through a live satellite feed, email and phone calls.

"The partnership between the National Park Foundation and Ball State University's Electronic Field Trips program is giving millions of children a unique opportunity to learn about what life was like for many Japanese Americans during their time at Manzanar during WWII," said Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora. "With a focus on internment-era baseball, this innovative use of interactive technology allows viewers to see and hear first hand, some fascinating stories from Manzanar."

This is the fourth Electronic Field Trip this year to take advantage of the rich educational resources in our National Parks through the National Park Foundation.  "Many people don't realize that our National Parks preserve the world's greatest collection of natural, cultural and historic resources," said Vin Cipolla, President of the National Park Foundation.  "We are proud to be a part of connecting so many children to this wonderful American story of patriotism, courage, loyalty, tolerance and community.  It is in experiencing stories like these from our past that our children will learn to successfully shape the future of our country."

Ball State's Electronic Field Trips program received six Telly Awards for last year's programming. The Web site is a key part of the program and 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.

The partnership with Ball State is part of the National Park Foundation's ongoing efforts to connect America's youth to their National Parks. In April 2006, the National Park Foundation and Ball State University hosted the largest ever simultaneous "visit" to a National Park when approximately 36 million viewers participated in an Electronic Field Trip to Carlsbad Caverns during National Park Week.  Since then, the partners have facilitated Electronic Field Trips to Independence Hall National Historical Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 

In addition to participating onsite at Manzanar National Historic Site, there are opportunities for members of the media to participate in local schools across the country or to access the satellite feed of the broadcast airing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (EDT).  The satellite coordinates are Ku-Band: AMC 03 DIG, Transponder 18-Chan 807, Orbital Slot 87° WL, Bandwidth 9 MHz, Downlink Frequency 12064 (V)— (a 30 minute test period precedes the broadcast) and C-Band:  Intelsat A-6, Transponder 17, Orbital Slot 93° WL, Bandwidth 36MHz, Downlink Frequency 4040 (V)— (a 30 minute test period precedes the broadcast).  Information about the field trips can be found at www.bsu.edu/eft.

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About the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Located on Main Street in the heart of picturesque Cooperstown, New York, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the country's most popular destinations and is surely the best-known sports shrine in the world. Opening its doors for the first time on June 12, 1939, the Hall of Fame has stood as the definitive repository of the game's treasures and as a symbol of the most profound individual honor bestowed on an athlete. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of Baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.

About the National Park Foundation

The National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org) is 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to continue a century-long tradition of private philanthropy to help preserve and enhance the legacy of our National Parks.  As the official non-profit partner of America's National Parks, the National Park Foundation strengthens the connection between the American people and their National Parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness.  Support of the National Park Foundation ensures that the evolving history and rich heritage of our Nation remains vital and relevant. 


Remaining Electronic Field Trip Schedule for
2006-07:

  • "Going, Going, Faster: The Science of Speed!" April 17, 2007, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
  • "Listening to our Ancestors," May 8, 2007, North Pacific Coast, Juneau, Alaska
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