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November 12, 2012

CCNY Launches “Mission US” Educational Tool

The City College of New York History Department will host a multimedia presentation November 13 to introduce “Flight to Freedom: The Mission Behind Mission US,” a new and innovative educational tool for teaching history to students in grades 5-9. Pennee Bender, associate director of the American Social History Project (ASHP) at CUNY will be the speaker, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., in CCNY’s NAC building room 5/144.

The presentation is free and open to the public. City College is located at 138th Street and Convent Avenue, Manhattan.

Ms. Bender served as content advisor for “Mission US,” an interactive web experience developed by WNET-13. Essentially a game, it allows the young players to learn about critical periods in American history by assuming the role of historical characters.  

As they navigate through different stages of American historical development, players complete various tasks and objectives that determine their character’s progress. The project is composed of four individual missions, two of which have already been created.  

In the first, “For Crown or Colony,” students play Nat Wheeler, a print apprentice in revolutionary Boston. The second installment, “Flight to Freedom,” details the life of Lucy King, a teenage slave girl on a plantation just outside Lexington, Kentucky. Mission 3, tentatively titled “The Changing Life on the Plains: A Cheyenne Story,” tackles the issue of Native American displacement during the latter portion of the 19th century and is scheduled for release in 2013. Mission 4, “The Streets of New York City,” concerns the life of a muckraking journalist during the Progressive Era, and is slated for release in 2014.  

Ms. Bender will explain how the game is played, its educational value inside the classroom, and the limitations of gaming in the American school system. She will also speak briefly about forthcoming missions.

Her talk will be followed by a question and answer session for faculty, parents and students.

Co-sponsoring the event with CCNY’s History Department are the CCNY Women’s Studies Program, the CCNY History Society, the CCNY Teachers of Tomorrow Club, the CCNY Fellowship Program, the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, WNET-13, and ASHP.  

For more information, please visit the Mission US website at www.mission-us.org, or contact Adam Dikker at adam91@optonline.net .  


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