John Olszowka, Ph.D. assigned his history class an extra credit opportunity where students were able to record the Gettysburg Address and submit it to a website.
People nation-wide participated submitting their videos. Participants of all ages participated individually or in groups.
This was an opportunity for Americans to remember the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and it was a good opportunity for students to recall such an important speech in American history.
Olszowka is part of the WQLN Community Advisory Board and received an email about the opportunity of uploading videos to its website. He thought this would be a great extra credit opportunity for his students in his classes of U.S. History and Civil War.
The PBS website took segments of the videos that were submitted and put together a video, in which four Mercyhurst University students appeared. They were Amanda Moore, Taylor Rollins, Haley Clark and Derek Blanchard.
Other students were also able to submit their videos to documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ website learntheaddress.com. This was not only an opportunity to gain extra credit for a class but also to connect with the roots of this nation.
“For me it was something different and unique,” Olszowka said.
He was not expecting anything at the moment he assigned the extra credit, but he was surprised that many students actually participated.
Not only American students participated in the extra credit, but also international students recorded the Gettysburg Address. Even though they were not Americans, they identified.
“It was a really good experience, since it helped us the students to connect with this significant event of the American history,” junior Ixzel Lagos said.
“It was an interesting activity, because I learned another speech from Abraham Lincoln that I was not aware existed. It was also captivating that such a brief speech could say so much,” freshman Laura Mejia said.