ABMC Announces Education Partnership with National History Day and the GMU's Center for History and New Media

The American Battle Monuments Commission announces a new partnership with National History Day (NHD) and the George Mason University (GMU) Center for History and New Media to create a World War II-focused, education program developed by teachers that will help students better understand the service, experience and sacrifice of American Armed Forces that served and died during the war in Northern Europe.

With the approach of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2015, this partnership creates a teacher-scholar program that helps teachers create and develop lesson plans and teaching ideas, with a specific focus on ABMC’s sites and resources, for fellow teachers. Through ABMC funding and support, the team of education, history and technology experts from NHD and GMU will guide 18 middle and high school teachers in the task of developing curriculum based on solid scholarship, and integration of common core and state standards. These materials can then be adopted by schools, districts or states to create a history lab environment in which educators and students “do history.”

“The mission of National History Day is to help students understand how past events influence how we live today, and this directly aligns with ABMC’s goals  of educating students about WWII and the sacrifices made by service men and  women,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Our goal is that through this work, students’ understanding of WWII  is expanded, and high-quality resources that are useful to teachers are developed.”

As part of this process, NHD will develop best practice models of interactive teaching across disciplines that complement the educational mission and visitor experience at ABMC sites in Northern Europe. These teaching resources will integrate current ABMC initiatives including web-based interactive maps and timelines, mobile applications, virtual tours, and the agency website and burial databases.

Lesson plans and teaching materials created during this teacher-scholar program will be publicly available online and free to download once the project is completed.

The following selected teachers will assist the ABMC in developing best practice models of interactive teaching across disciplines that will complement the educational mission and visitor experience at ABMC sites in Northern Europe. (Original article updated on October 1, 2014 with the confirmed teacher participants.)

  •     Alan Birkemeier - Central Middle School in Columbus, IN
  •     Joseph Boyle - Waite High School in Toledo, OH
  •     Maile Chow - Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, HI
  •     Donald Davis - George Washington High School in Chicago, IL
  •     Matthew Elms - Singapore American School in Singapore
  •     Brendan Gallagher - Carroll County Career & Technology Center in Westminster, MD
  •     Gayla Hammer - Lander Middle School in Lander, WY
  •     Julie K. Heintz - The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus, MS
  •     Melanie Hunt - Morristown-Hamblen High School East in Morristown, TN
  •     Amanda Kordeliski - Irving Middle School in Norman, OK
  •     Katherine Lorio - Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA
  •     Christina O’Connor - Hingham High School in Hingham, MA
  •     Cherie Redelings - Francis Parker School in San Diego, CA
  •     Patrick Slowey - Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, CO
  •     Erica Swenson - Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, ME
  •     Brian Weaver - Central Bucks High School – West in Doylestown, PA
  •     Kamilah Williams - Suitland High School in Forestville, MD
  •     Pren Woods - Alston Middle School in Summerville, SC

About ABMC:
Established by Congress in 1923, the American Battle Monuments Commission commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces. ABMC administers 25 overseas military cemeteries, and 26 memorials, monuments, and markers. For more information visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.

About NHD:
NHD is a non-profit education organization based out of College Park, MD.  Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage  over half a million primary and secondary students around the world in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into local affiliate contests, where the top student  projects have the opportunity to advance to the national competition at the  University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities for educators.

About GMU Center for History and New Media:
Since 1994 under the founding direction of Roy Rosenzweig, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. The center itself is a democratic, collaborative space where over fifty scholars, developers, designers, and researchers work together to advance the state of the art.

CHNM uses digital media and technology to preserve and present history online, transform scholarship across the humanities, and advance historical education and understanding. Each year CHNM’s many project websites receive over 20 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn, and conduct research.