November 15, 2011

Third Graders Explore the Old Point Loma Lighthouse via HPWREN LIVE

By Kimberly Mann Bruch, HPWREN/ANR

On November 15, 2011, the HPWREN LIVE team worked with National Park Service interpreter Emily Floyd and eight-year-old NPS volunteer Elizabeth Bruch on a pilot LIVE activity between a third grade classroom at Del Mar Hills Elementary School and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is located in San Diego County, on the tip of the Point Loma peninsula.

The students were welcomed to the lighthouse by their classmate Elizabeth, who regularly volunteers for the National Park Service Living History Program. Dressed in period clothing, Elizabeth talked to her classmates via Skype and introduced them to the lighthouse and showed them several items from the lighthouse era, such as this stereoscope, which was a common form of entertainment for children growing up in the 19th century.

For this activity, an Apple iPad2 with an internal microphone and camera was used at the lighthouse end while an Apple MacBookPro was used at the school end; Skype was the software used for this activity. Both sites are equipped with a broadband connection that allows for more than two megabits per second; specifically, the lighthouse is connected to HPWREN while the school is connected to their district's backbone.

Prior to the LIVE activity, students were given several print materials regarding the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, including a photograph of the site, a map depicting their school's location in relation to the lighthouse, and an image showing the various rooms inside the lighthouse.

The use of a moustache cup is explained by Elizabeth in the above video clip.

The elementary school students were surveyed after the activity and the majority of them agreed that the LIVE activity increased their interest in visiting the lighthouse in person. The children were especially intrigued by the fact that children of this time period jumped rope just as they do, but quite surprised that not everyone who needed glasses were able to wear them as spectacles were quite a privilege in this era.

Home page (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)