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December 2, 2008

CW's new Electronic Field Trip

Colonial Williamsburg continues its 2008 – 2009 season of Electronic Field Trips Dec. 11 with the premiere of “Making History Live.” The program takes a behind-the-scenes look at using performance to teach history. Through music, stories and dancing, it examines how African American character portrayals and programs are created for Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area.

Students learn that performance presentation involves far more than wearing period clothing and pretending to be a historical character. From in-depth historical research through passionate performances, experienced museum interpreters share their techniques for bringing the past to life. Character portrayals give voice to the individual experiences of real people from the past and teach students to appreciate that people are the very heart of history, whether the details of their lives are well-documented or unknown.

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 for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. 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