It's part of a service project for E. Russell Hicks Middle School.
It will be lights, camera, action at Antietam Battlefield on Thursday, December 15th. Eighth graders from E. Russell Hicks Middle School in Hagerstown will be shooting a film at the historic site. It's part of a service learning project called "Of the Student, By the Student and For the Student" sponsored by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership and the National Park Service as part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
"This project engages the students, the middle schoolers of today, to really engage in history and find what is compelling in the stories they want to learn about and tell about," says Robin Meyers, the Director of Education for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.
She says the students did their own research, wrote the scripts, designed the costumes, selected the actors and will shoot their "vodcasts" on Thursday.
Meyers says the students will look at several aspects of the 1862 conflict. One of them is the big picture of the battle, including General Robert E. Lee's lost orders that were found by Union soldiers wrapped in cigars. Another one deals with technology, describing the role of photographer Alexander Gardener, who took pictures of the aftermath of the conflict.
With this experience, Meyers says students learned history in a unique way. "They get a sense of leaderships and organization, and life long skills that they'll take on with them," she says.
The "vodcast" will premier at the Weinberg Center in Frederick on May 23rd, 2012 as part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership's annual conference.
Other students have completed similar projects at Balls Bluff National Park, and Manassas National Battlefield Park (1st Battle of Manassas or Bull Run in 1861), Meyer says. Next up are the C&O Canal Historical Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park again for the 2nd Battle of Manassas, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and Appomatox Court House National Park.
Meyers says the Partnership is trying to line up a school in Frederick County to produce a similar project for the Battle of Monocacy.
Anyone who wants to view "vodcasts" that have already been produced can go to www.hallowedground.org.