Arizona PBS Hosts Educators’ Professional Development with Interactive Game “Mission US”

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Join Arizona PBS on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a professional development workshop introducing “Mission US,” an interactive online program that engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history.

PHOENIX – (Oct. 5, 2015)

As part of its “American Graduate” initiative, Arizona PBS will train educators in a new educational game designed by PBS LearningMedia to help teach U.S. history to seventh- through eleventh-graders.

Join Arizona PBS on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alhambra Elementary School District office (4510 N. 37th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85019) for a professional development workshop introducing “Mission US,” an interactive online program that engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history.

The event is designed to equip educators and home schoolers with educational tools and resources to employ “Mission US” in their supplemental curriculum to help make studying history easier and more engaging for students. Attendees will receive an overview and background information about “Mission US” programs, along with access to supplemental materials and a test-drive of the game. Professional educators will also have the opportunity to receive professional development credit for participating.

“We at Arizona PBS are thrilled to bring this cutting-edge and innovative educational tool to local educators, classrooms and home school families,” said Kim Flack, associate director of Educational Outreach at Arizona PBS. “This event is designed to show educators how ‘Mission US’ programs and games bring history to life in a way that makes learning fully immersive and entertaining. Our hope is that through this event, we will inspire more people to use 'Mission US' as a way to enrich and enhance the educational experience.”

“Mission US” programs consist of interactive games that are divided into separate missions. Each mission takes students on a journey through a compelling moment in history, while covering a set of curriculum materials that are aligned to national standards. The games position players at the heart of critical historical events, allowing them to understand the challenges everyday individuals experienced during that point in time.

In September 2010, “Mission US” was reviewed by the “Children's Technology Review,” receiving a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars, making it the highest-rated software in that issue of the newsletter. Research indicates that 89 percent of teachers who used the software said that students were more intellectually and emotionally engaged during the “Mission US” unit than in the typical U.S. history unit they teach. In addition, 83 percent of teachers said they reached a greater variety of learning objectives with the “Mission US” unit than they do in the traditional U.S. history units. Ninety-four percent of teachers surveyed said that “Mission US” helped their students see the events leading to the American Revolution “in more human, everyday terms that they could understand.”

For more information about “Mission US,” or to register for the professional development workshop, click here.

All participants at the event will receive a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch, as well as professional development certificates once the training has concluded.

About American Graduate                                                                                            

“American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen” is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school and life.  Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,400 partners across 40 states to elevate the stories of our youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through “American Graduate,” public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important part of local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, both on-air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with the dropout crisis.  Public forums, town halls, and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators and more.

As part of its commitment to the American Graduate initiative, Arizona PBS is working to raise awareness of the high school dropout crisis in America, which is particularly serious in Arizona, and to facilitate community-based partnerships to help focus on solutions in key areas including early education, college and career readiness, caring consistent adults and student engagement /re-engagement. Additionally, Arizona PBS seeks to help to improve and innovate educational practices with the ultimate goal of increasing the graduation rate in Arizona.

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