Spend a Week Behind the Scenes at The National WWII Museum
During the summer of 2014 college and high school students can experience New Orleans and become immersed in the Collections of The National WWII Museum as they study the leadership lessons of World War II. The 2014 Summer Residential Program will bring together 30 students from across the country for a week of tours, debates, field trips and leadership lessons. In partnership with Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, both high school and college students can earn three hours of college credit.
At the Museum, students will be immersed in the decision-making process of Dwight D. Eisenhower as he must compile and analyze information about supplies, logistics, weather, military-readiness and intelligence reports to plan the largest amphibious invasion in history. When will the landing craft be ready? Should the invasion happen at low tide or high tide? What are the Germans expecting?
Students will also examine the Home Front and America’s racial issues. Students will probe the issues surrounding A. Phillip Randolph and his proposed March on Washington to protest racial discrimination in defense industries. Would students issue the call when it seemed like the nation’s attention was turned elsewhere? Would they call for the march when faced with warnings from the White House of a potential backlash toward the cause of equality while the nation is sending young men to fight? How far would they push the issue? Could they organize enough followers through on the call? How would they determine success?
These are just two of the scenarios students will investigate. To form their arguments, they will dive deep into the Collections of The National WWII Museum. They will hear the oral histories from those who were there such as Mr. Daniel Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient and captain with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Following the War, Inouye was a leader in obtaining statehood for Hawaii and served in the US Senate from 1963 to 2012.
To drive home the experience of the men on the front lines, students will take the place of crewman inside an actual Sherman Tank within the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. The cramped conditions will aid students in understanding the perspectives of the men they read and hear about throughout the program.
Outside of the Museum, students will study how leaders adapted to changing times and technology at the Chalmette Battlefield, the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. They will embark on a swamp tour to view the terrain that gave rise to the LCVP, commonly known as the Higgins Boats that delivered our troops to shore during WWII. Finally, they will visit the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility that sits on the site of an assembly plant for Higgins Industries. Lessons on evolving technology and pushing boundaries will be readily apparent during the visit.
Registration for the 2014 Summer Residential Program is now open. Students will arrive in New Orleans on July 13, 2014 and depart for home on July 19, 2014. The program is open to students in grades 10-12 and to college students. A transcript from Nicholls State University will be provided at the conclusion of the Fall Semester.