Baltimore Educator Chosen for Prestigious Overseas World War II Program

October 17, 2016

BALTIMORE – Ryan Kaiser of The Mt. Washington School and Maryland History Day teacher is one of only 18 middle and high school educators selected to participate in Understanding Sacrifice, a partnership between National History Day®, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA).

When the program kicks off in November 2016 every educator will select one American who is buried or memorialized at an ABMC or NCA cemetery in San Francisco, Honolulu, or Manila. Participants will conduct in-depth research on the life of this Fallen Hero using local and national historical resources. The program, which is focused on World War II in the Pacific, will have the group walk in the footsteps of history as they travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, and Manila in July 2017 to gain a better understanding of the American sacrifice in World War II.  During the program Kaiser will use the extensive research from the program to present a eulogy at the grave or memorial of his selected Fallen Hero.

Ryan Kaiser is a social studies teacher who engages his students in active learning through History Day. He has taught in the Baltimore City schools for eleven years and was honored in 2015 as Maryland’s Teacher of the Year. Kaiser is passionate about World War II. He says, “I have literally read everything I could about WWII since I was a little child. My grandparents were good friends with Harry Truman and my father-in-law lost his brother in Luzon, Philippines.  It really is a dream come true to have this happen. I hope to have some awesome lessons for people to use everywhere!”

Throughout the journey, teachers will develop lesson plans designed to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of WWII in classrooms around the world. These resources are made available at ABMCeducation.org. Kaiser will create a lesson plan using his background that will be added to ABMCeducation.org in November 2017. This highly competitive program pays for travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, and Manila, as well as books and other materials. Teachers are responsible for travel to the institute, passport fees, and personal expenses.

“National History Day strives to connect students to the past and one of the best points of contact with any student, is their teacher” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “This program is highly competitive and Mr. Kaiser should be proud to be accepted. I know he will use this once in a lifetime journey to create a superb lesson plan.”

Maryland History Day is a program of Maryland Humanities that reaches more than 27,000 students throughout Maryland. Phoebe Stein, Executive Director of Maryland Humanities says, “We are proud and excited for Mr. Kaiser to bring his knowledge back to Maryland and Maryland History Day. Mr. Kaiser is an asset to our program and community.”

This is the third year of the Understanding Sacrifice program. The first two years took teachers to Northern and Southern Europe. This is the first time the program has focused on the Pacific Theater of operations. All lesson plans are made available to teachers for free through the continued ABMC and NCA sponsorship of this program. The lessons are designed for science, art, history, math, science, and language arts classes. Previous lessons range from “A Blitz Through the Ardennes: Using the Battle of the Bulge to Practice Reading and Analytical Skills” to a lesson on buoyancy titled “The Calculus of War: Tactic, Technology, and the Battle of the Atlantic.”

 

 About National History Day®

NHD is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage over half a million middle- and high-school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About ABMC

Established in 1923 by Congress, ABMC is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces where they have served overseas since 1917. ABMC administers our nation’s commemorative cemeteries and federal memorials overseas. For more information visit www.abmc.gov, or connect with us on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.

About the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
For the past 20 years, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media to advance history education, preserve and present history online, and transform scholarship. RRCHNM is a democratic, collaborative space where over 50 scholars, developers, designers, and researchers work together to advance history education and digital humanities. Each year RRCHNM’s many project websites receive over 24 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn, and conduct research. For more information, visit chnm.gmu.edu.

About the National Cemetery Administration:
Established in 1973, VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) operates 135 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. NCA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve, and maintain 104 Veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. In 2015, VA honored more than 353,000 Veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal and private cemeteries.

 

Press Release
Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
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