Thanks to WMMS Students!
As Kennywood opens its gates for another year of fun, thrills, food, and memories on May 7th, visitors will also be welcomed by some local history lesson videos created by Mr. Gougler’s 8th grade American History students from 2014-2015. Kennywood guests are already familiar with the historical markers and the statue of George Washington that have long been the source of information about the local connection to the French and Indian War, the prelude to the American Revolution. Thanks to students from West Mifflin Area Middle School, this local connection to this very important event in our nation’s history has come to life!
So, the next time you visit Kennywood, simply look for signs like the one you see below! There will be signs for 4 different videos posted throughout Kennywood. One video is an introductory video while the other 3 tell different parts of “The War that Made America”, the French and Indian War. All guests need to do to learn some local history is to use their smartphones to scan the QR codes on these signs and enjoy. In just 2 minutes or so, any Kennywood Fanatic can easily become a French and Indian War Fanatic!! The videos were specifically designed to be quick and to the point while being entertaining and to be enjoyed without the need for sound.
Every year Bill Fike (8th Grade American History teacher) and I ask each other whether or not we spend too much time on the French and Indian War and every year the answer is “no”. Students always say how much they enjoyed that part of the year because it helped them to realize that we are truly surrounded by history. They tell us how they see things differently at “The Point”, or as they look at markers in Kennywood, or across the river at Braddock. Our hope is that we can inspire them to carry that excitement about history into other history topics for the rest of their lives. The students put a lot of time and effort into creating a great product and we cannot thank Kennywood and Brian Butko for their enthusiastic support of this idea. Kennywood has been a great partner throughout and we are hoping to expand upon this idea in the future.
Take a sneak peek at the intro video below and then go to Kennywood and check out the other three parts that tell the actual story of George Washington and the French and Indian War in this area.