|Celebrating 400 Years of Exploration||
Astronauts aren't the only ones to explore new worlds. Nearly 400 years ago, 104 entrepreneurs and adventurers landed at Jamestown, Va., and started the first permanent English settlement in what is now called the United States. Throughout 2006 and 2007, Jamestown will commemorate its 400th anniversary, and NASA is joining in to salute the heritage of exploration.|
Image to left: This replica of the Godspeed will visit several U.S. ports. Credit: Jamestown Settlement Living History Museum
In a special partnership, NASA's Langley Research Center joins forces with Jamestown 2007 to emphasize the spirit of exploration that led to the formation of our nation and continues with the Vision for Space Exploration. A wide array of educational and cultural events is planned, with the commemoration culminating May 11-13, 2007, with a downlink with the crew of the International Space Station.
A number of special observations lead up to the anniversary weekend. NASA will be participating in several events, including:
-- The 2006 Godspeed Sail: A replica of one of the ships that landed in Jamestown in 1607 will visit six major East Coast ports from May through July, 2006. Accompanied by a unique Landing Party Festival of educational exhibits, interactive displays and entertaining performances. NASA will present exhibits and speakers at each port.
-- Jamestown Live! A nationwide webcast will reach more than 50 million K-12 students in more than 90,000 schools across the country. Educational projects focusing on Jamestown will be presented online by celebrities, educational leaders and recognized experts -- including NASA engineers and scientists.
Image to right: Re-enactors at Jamestown Settlement portray life in the early 1600s. Credit: Jamestown Settlement Living History Museum
-- African-American Imprint on America: A series of African-American heritage events and programs will recognize the contributions of African-Americans to America's culture and history. These events include a national symposium, a Cultural and Commerce Exposition, a Trailblazers Awards Gala, and the opening of a new Gallery featuring the African and African-American culture and history at Jamestown Settlement.
-- Virginia Native American Cultural Activities and Events: The eight Native American tribes in Virginia will be highlighted in events focusing on heritage, history, contributions and accomplishments.
-- America's Anniversary Weekend: This event will mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding. During the weekend of May 13, 2007, throngs of guests will watch and take part in commemorative festivities, cultural events, pageantry and musical performances. Family entertainment, children's performances and celebrity appearances are being planned especially for the anniversary. President Bush and the British royal family are expected to participate in the anniversary weekend.
"The NASA/Jamestown relationship is an opportunity to compare past and future exploration," said Ivelisse Gilman, the NASA/Jamestown team leader. "In this respect, the Vision for Space Exploration is a continuation of the discoveries made at Jamestown. This event provides a great opportunity for a nation of future explorers to reflect on the changes in technology, the challenges of human settlement in hostile environments and the human spirit at the heart of all exploration."
Image to left: NASA carries on the tradition of exploration in space. Credit: NASA /Jamestown 2007 Team
The NASA education and public outreach events planned for Jamestown's 400th anniversary revolve around four themes. The exploration themes link challenges faced by Jamestown explorers with the adventures that lie ahead for space pioneers. Theme topics are "The Settlement," "Transportation through the Ages," "Engineering for Human Needs," and "The Role of Water in Exploration."
NASA Langley educators have developed educational modules on the four exploration themes. NASA will offer these modules to teachers, parents and students throughout the commemoration's education Jamestown Journey Web site. To date, more than 2,500 educators across the country are registered users.
The four educational modules will also be shared with teachers and students through the Jamestown Journey Web site and delivered to NASA Explorer Schools and NASA's informal education partners through NASA's Digital Learning Network™. A NASA educator and a history teacher will engage students nationwide in discussions on the four exploration themes. The hands-on, interdisciplinary lessons will focus on appropriate content within each of the themes, and will provide students an opportunity to understand exploration through the ages in social and historical contexts.
If you aren't in the Jamestown, Va., area, or won't be at any of the cities visited by the traveling exhibits, you can still participate in the commemoration of Jamestown's 400-year anniversary. Visit the anniversary Web site for educational projects, suggestions on how to learn more and ideas for commemorating our nation's spirit of exploration.
Maggie Griffin/NASA Educational Technology Services