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National Outreach

USS Constitution fought for and belongs to the citizens of every state of our nation. All Americans deserve to learn the story of one of our nation’s most cherished and enduring symbols. The USS Constitution Museum strives to provide ways for everyone to learn about Constitution’s history, even if they are unable to visit the ship in Boston.  In 2003, First Lady Laura Bush presented the USS Constitution Museum with a National Award for Museum Service in recognition of its innovation, collaborative national outreach initiatives.

Museum on the Move
Old Ironsides Across the Nation
All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard "Old Ironsides!"
A Sailor's Life for Me!

 

Museum on the Move

Between May 1999 and May 2000, USS Constitution Museum staff and one crewmember from USS Constitution visited eight cities around the country as part of its Museum on the Move program.  One of the key reasons for these trips was to introduce the Museum's All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard "Old Ironsides" curriculum to teachers across the country.  Each trip consisted of a teacher workshop, classroom presentations in schools, and a public presentation.  During this one year initiative, the Museum reached nearly 17,800 people across the country, including 265 teachers through teacher workshops, 8,075 students through classroom presentations, and 1,330 people through public presentations.

 

Old Ironsides Across the Nation

Based on the success of the Museum on the Move program, the USS Constitution Museum expanded the program in partnership with the US Navy in the fall of 2000 as Old Ironsides Across the Nation. Between 2000 and 2009, the Museum and the US Navy collaborated on this national outreach program to provide greater access to the lessons of USS Constitution. This program promoted renewed national support for, and dedication to, USS Constitution and the American ideals of freedom and democracy she exemplifies. In each city visited, the staff of the USS Constitution Museum, the crew of USS Constitution, and the civilian staff of the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston visited classrooms to provide educational programming, conducted teacher workshops, made presentations about "Old Ironsides" for public and civic organizations, and provided family-friendly weekend activities at a host museum or site. All of these activities were offered for free. During the ten years of this program, this program reached over 125,000 people in over 20 cities across the country that might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the Ship in Boston. 

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Eric Brown
USS Constitution Museum photo
U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Eric Brown

 

All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides!”

USS Constitution Museum photo

As the Bicentennial of Constitution’s launching approached, the USS Constitution Museum developed its All Hands on Deck interdisciplinary theme unit to teach about Constitution’s history and the men who served aboard "Old Ironsides." Originally piloted as USS Constitution: America’s Enduring Legacy in 1996, All Hands on Deck is now in its third edition and available online. The printed curriculum has been distributed for free to over 28,000 educators in all 50 states and reaches more then 1,000,000 students annually. The online version of All Hands on Deck is visited by over 20,000 people annually.

All Hands on Deck has received awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the American Association of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, the New England Museum Association, the Association of Visual Communicators International, the US International Film and Video Festival, and the Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

 

A Sailor’s Life for Me!

Original artwork © Stephen Biesty 2010

The USS Constitution Museum’s A Sailor's Life for Me! is an online game and educational resource that introduces virtual visitors to the lives and experiences of sailors who served on board America’s most famous Ship during the War of 1812. Funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the US Navy’s Office of Commemorations, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the site reinvigorates the interpretation of USS Constitution. It fosters personal connections with the past by humanizing the naval experience with game-based learning, interactive illustrations, animations, first person text, artifacts, and quotes. Families can extend the fun and learning beyond the time spent online using downloadable hands-on activities. This project offers kid-friendly interpretation of the Ship in time for the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. The American Association of Museums recognized this site for excellence in technology with a 2011 MUSE Award. The supporting curriculum offers over 120 lesson plans, activities, and primary sources for the classroom that use history, science, math, art and language arts to explore Constitution and life at sea in 1812.