ESPNs commercial-free SportsFigures, presented weekly throughout the school year on ESPN2, uses sports and professional athletes to demonstrate math and physics concepts to high school students. The program airs Mondays at 5:30 a.m., and is intended as a teaching tool for high school instructors. Each lesson includes background, discussion, step-by-step explanations of equations, activities with answers, and suggestions for extending the lesson in the classroom. The program is an initiative of Cable in the Classroom, a nonprofit service of the cable industry that provides schools with educational resources and commercial-free educational programming. ESPN and Cable in the Classroom also offer a contest that rewards scholarships to high school students demonstrating an understanding of how math and physics are a critical part of all sports. For more information, visit http://sportsfigures.espn.go.com/.
For teachers seeking ways to incorporate the 2000 presidential election into their curricula, the PBS special DISCONNECTED: Politics, the Press and the Public premiers on PBS on June 2 at 9:00 p.m. EST (check local listings). Produced by the Fred Friendly Seminars, the special features a panel of leading figures from the worlds of politics and the media, and examines the ways in which recent changes in the news media have impacted Americas political process. An online companion to the program at www.fredfriendlyseminars.org challenges students to assume the roles of reporters, politicians and spin-doctors in response to a hypothetical political situation. This exercise helps students understand the economic pressures, conflicting agendas, and technological advances that shape candidates images in the media. A complete teacher guide can be downloaded in HTML or PDF format. To order a videocassette of the program, call (800) 257-5126 or visit www.films.com.
Colonial Williamsburg continues its interactive Electronic Field Trips in the 2000-2001 school year. Schools subscribing to the program will receive teachers guides, Web site access, toll-free access to historians and interpreters, a booklet of teaching tips, an introductory video, and a classroom poster. Upcoming episodes include: Missions to America (October 5, 2000); Potions, Ails and Smallpox Tales (November 2, 2000); The Case of the Shuttered Room (December 7, 2000); and Buying Respectability (January 18, 2001). For more information or to register, visit www.history.org/trips.
This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.