Friday, October 29, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: Final Round (Home School)

Hello everyone!  Today was the last and final day for our October visits from school students.  The students today weren't your ordinary students either.  This group was made up of students who all get educated from their home by their parents.  This isn't the traditional form of education, but not everything comes is "one size fits all" in the real world.

This day also was a lot different in how the program was formatted.  Instead of a group of students all the same age and grade level, we had a mix from Pre-K through high school.  So, we split them up into three groups (pre-k to 2nd, 3rd to 5th, 6th and above) to make our lives at the JCHC a lot easier.  Carole, our curator, was in charge of the oldest group, and she did a hands-on type lesson with them.  As she did this, I was in charge of the middle group that started off doing our museum scavenger hunt.  Mark, one of the JCHC employees, took charge of the smallest group who got to see a train show first.  As we moved along in the day, my group also got to see the train show as well as the gift shop, and Mark's group got to see everything as well.  After the museum activities were finished, each group was lead by the group leaders on a walking tour of Main Street.  This was my favorite part because I got to take the reigns in an instructional role for the first time since the end of my student teaching experience last spring.  The kids really seemed to enjoy all the places we went to, and they got the chance to see some pretty neat places that they didn't even know existed.  I was particularly impressed with the knowledge that some of these students possessed about topics like the Civil War, and I was also pleased with the quality of questions and input they provided.

Overall, today was a very successful and fulfilling day at the Jefferson County History Center.  We always enjoy educating students, and in this case their parents too, about all things history.  I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: Home School Preparation

Today has been such a busy day getting ready for our LARGE group of home school students and parents.  Most of my time has been spent making a "cheat-sheet" to help me out while guiding a walking tour of Main Street.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow, and the students and parents will have the opportunity to see and hear about some of the important historical places and landmarks of Brookville.  Tomorrow should be a fun day.  That's all I have right now.  Check back tomorrow for a follow up of the visit.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: #3

Hello.  Today marked the third of the field trips to the JCHC.  Once again, we got extremely lucky with great weather for the walking tour.  The students went through the same routine as usual with the tour, the lesson on artifacts, lunch, then they came back to do the scavenger hunt, watch a train show, and shop in the gift shop.

Today, I had to pay extra attention on the walking tour.  I just found out this morning that our group of home-school students that are coming to the JCHC on Friday will be taking a walking tour as well.  And guess what... I get to be a tour guide.  Looks like I'm going to have to brush up on my Brookville and Jefferson County history over the next couple of days.  This should be fun though.  Well, that about does it for now.  Feel free to contact me for anything as usual.


Friday, October 22, 2010

JCHC Updates: Virtual Gift Shop

Today, I've been spending some time getting our gift shop portion of the JCHC website up and running.  I started out yesterday picking out a list of important books that we have helped publish and that we sell in our gift shop.  These books will be featured for purchase on our website in the near future.  I had to go through, pick out the books off the shelf, take photos of the covers, mark down the price, tax, and shipping cost, and compose a brief description of the product.  Hopefully we will have these online soon.  Right now, it's rather frustrating because things aren't working the way that they are supposed to.  I've been working all morning trying to figure out where the errors lie and get them corrected.  Anyways, I just wanted to keep everyone posted about what we're working on here at the History Center.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We look forward to having two student visits this coming week...more school kids on Wednesday, and on Friday, we are going to be visited by a group of students that are home-schooled.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: Video

This morning, I was up the street in our archives building moving some things around.  I got a pretty good cardio workout lifting boxes up and down the steps.  However, this isn't the only thing that I did today.  Once the work was done in the archives, I took some time to make this video from the cips I took yesterday while the students were here with us at the JCHC.  Enjoy!

As always, I'm on the lookout for questions or comments.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: #2

Hello all!

Today marks the second Kid Day of the year here at the JCHC. It turned out to be a beautiful day in Brookville, which really added to the overall experience.

This time around, I tagged along for the Main Street walking tour and captured some pictures, as well as some video. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Jefferson County, Brookville, and the buildings located on Main Street. For now, I'm going to include some of the pictures that I took along the tour. I will follow up within the next few days with a video that I edit together with all of my clips.

Inside the Opera House

Brookville YMCA

Walking Tour

Main Street

Outside the Court House

After we made our way back to the JCHC, the kids filed into our board meeting room, and were given a short lesson by our local curator, Carole Briggs. The students learned what it means to be a curator and had the chance to examine and identify 19th century artifacts. The kids really enjoyed this hands-on experience. I also took some images of this lesson to share. Again, the video clips that I captured will be available in the near future.

"Please Touch" - Learning Hands-on

Handling Artifacts

Applying Curator Gloves

The next thing that the students did was head over to the Court House Grill for some lunch. I took the opportunity to come back to my computer and upload my videos and pictures. After lunch, the students were given a tour of the Court House before they ventured back to the History Center where they were split up into three groups. These groups rotated between shopping in the gift shop, viewing a Bowdish Model Railroad show, and participating in a scavenger hunt through our exhibits. I also had the opportunity to take some photos and video during this time. Like before, pictures now, video soon.

Gift Shop

Browsing the Shop

Exploring the Exhibits

History: Hands-on

JCHC Scavenger Hunt

Getting Help from Carole

Bowdish Show

Bowdish Model Railroad

These are just some of the photo highlights from the day.

If you notice at the top of the page, I added a new section of photos.  If you click on the link, you can see a lot more pictures from the kids' visit to the JCHC.  I will add more to this photo page as time passes and other special events and activities take place at the JCHC.

Remember, look forward to seeing some video in the next few days.  Right now, I'm working on editing the clips together to make a short video documenting the day.

As always, if you have any questions or comments for me, don't hesitate to comment.


Friday, October 15, 2010

JCHC Fun Fact: Behind the Name "Wild Cats"

If you have been following my progress on the 105th PA regiment project, you have probably noticed that this group of soldiers was sometimes known by their nickname, the "Wild Cat Regiment."  Today, I thought I would take some time to explain why these men got their nickname.

Historically, in the Jefferson-Clarion-Clearfield area, there were many operations on the exploration of oil.  Most of these operations were individual operations where drilling was done in an areas where there were no known deposits of oil.  This process of oil exploration and drilling became known as "wildcat" drilling. This type of drilling is very high risk for investors due to the uncertainty of striking the "black gold."  A "wildcat well" would be the result if a driller got lucky.  The definition of a "wildcat well" is one drilled outside of and not in the vicinity of known oil or gas fields.  Because these "wildcat" drilling operations were common in the area in which the 105th regiment was mustered out of, they received the nickname "Wild Cats."


So, there you have it, the history behind the name.

Today, my work at the JCHC has consisted of browsing the internet looking for different listings for our organization.  I am doing this to find any errors in contact information, hours of operation, and any other mistakes.  So far, I have contacted a handful of various sites that had the History Center listed with the necessary changes.  Hopefully things will be fixed and help us connect to more interested people.

Next week, we are having Kid Day #2 here at the JCHC.  I plan on, this time, taking the morning walking tour and documenting more of the experience.  Hopefully I will get to play with my new toy that day, a Flip UltraHD camcorder.  I'll definitely work on sharing some of the videos in order to give everyone an idea of what we offer here at the History Center.  Hopefully, I can put together something similar to a movie trailer that would sum up what a trip to the JCHC entails for a classroom.  Maybe it will allow us to get more interested parties into the building in the future.

As always, don't hesitate to contact me for questions or comments.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

JCHC Updates: New Poster

Today, I decided to take a little time and see what I could do in the field of graphic design to help promote the JCHC.  I figured using our Bowdish Model Railroad exhibit as a test subject would be rather appropriate since we have shows open to the public every month.  Using photoshop, I was able to come up with this:

This is just the beginning.  I really enjoy doing things like this, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with in the future.  

To update you on the status of the 105th project, I started doing a lot of research regarding Colonel Amor A. McKnight.  I figure on having a separate video in the project just based on his life and time spend commanding the 105th.  He was a very interesting man, and I hope to show him in that manner.

That's all for now.  Feel free to contact me for any reason.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

JCHC Updates: 105th Project Updates

Hello.  This is my first post in awhile.  I ended up leaving work early last Thursday and did not make it in on Friday due to a cold that has been going around.  But, now I'm back at it with some updates for everyone.

First of all, on Thursday before I went home early, our website designer came in to give me some walkthroughs on how the site is managed and maintained.  He also gave me a rundown on how our touch screen podiums work throughout the museum.  A lot if it is really technical and will take some time to practice, but with time I believe that I will be able to do a lot more and incorporate some of my own ideas both on the touch screens and the website.

Last week, before my sick hiatus, I continued my work on the 105th video.  Right now, a lot of the work is going into scripting the narration as well as editing the video's timing to match.  This is a lot of time consuming work that is very monotonous and dull at times.  Blogging is a great way to take a break and escape the dull for a little bit.

Today, I finished up the final outline for the "1861" narration as well as the video timing that goes along with it.  Since the office here isn't the best environment to record audio narration, I moved on to doing the same for the "1862" video.  While working on the narration, just like before, the opportunity for supplemental slides presented themselves.  So, along with the scripting and editing, I also designed a few more still slides to better help visualize different thing from the video.  Here is an example slide:

Hopefully, images like this will add to the overall presentation of the project and make the video more accessible to all the viewers.

That's it for now.  Stay tuned for more updates along the way, and as always, feel free to contact me with questions or comments.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

JCHC Kid Days: #1

Another cold, damp, and dreary day in Brookville, PA.  What better way to warm and brighten up the JCHC than with a group of fourth graders on a class trip?  Today kicked off a series of Kid Days here at the museum where school children come in to explore and learn about the past.  They start off early in the morning and go on a walking tour down Main Street, followed by a lunch break, then they come back to the JCHC to end their day.  On this occasion, I did not attend the morning tour, but I did help to supervise in the afternoon.  Once back to the History Center, the students were split into three groups to see all that we have to offer at the JCHC.  The groups saw a Bowdish Model Railroad show, got to shop in our gift shop, and explored our exhibits using the scavenger hunt worksheet that I talked about last week.  It was fun to see the kids enjoying themselves looking at our historical artifacts.  For the next Kid Day, I plan on taking the morning tour with the students to experience and document the full experience.  Hopefully I can get some pictures and videos of the tour that I can share.

Other than that, today has been spent doing more video editing for the 105th project that I have been working on.  I have been trying to time the videos out right to carry along with the narration well, and I have also been editing music clips to fit into the project.  Back to work...