Global ventures in learning, creativity featured Nov. 12

2:15:00 PM CDT - Thursday, November 04, 2004

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

A hook-up with a group from Ground Zero in New York City and music from an out-of-state performer are two of the highlights for this year's Global Learning Conference at WSU.

The 3rd Annual Global Learning Conference is being held from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the CAC Theater Friday, Nov. 12.

Along with speakers from academics and business, who will tout the advancement of global applications in classrooms and industry, this year's conference will feature two other ventures in which global learning has fostered awareness and creativity.

Stan Bergkamp, a science teacher at Maize High School, and several of his former and current students participated this spring in a project sponsored by the nonprofit Global Nomads Group.
GNG, based in New York City, tries to improve the global awareness of young people through face-to-face interactions with videoconferencing. It tackles some hard-hitting issues, such as war, HIV/AIDs, and genocide. Bergkamp and his students connected with students in Rwanda.

"The students definitely left with more of a sense that there is a world beyond Kansas and that any hardships they may experience pale in comparison to those who went through the genocide in Rwanda," said Bergkamp, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana in the early 1990s.
As part of a 9:30 a.m. session led by Bergkamp and Sherry Goodvin of Maize High School, conference participants will hook up via satellite with GNG at Ground Zero in New York City.

Immediately following that session, at 10 a.m. participants will hear a joint performance with a member of the traveling music troupe Barrage at the CAC Theater and John Harrison, a WSU violin professor who is on leave studying at MIT. Harrison has been a master's student in Barry Vercoe's Music, Mind and Machine group at MIT's Media Lab since January.

Participants will also get a glimpse of Barrage, an internationally known troupe often described as "Stomp" meets "Riverdance," performing as part of a master class at WSU's String Improvisation Day through a videoconference link between the CAC Theater and WSU's Miller Concert Hall.

Another session during the conference will highlight the JASON Project, an interactive, long-distance science education program offered to students in Kansas through WSU's Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education. WSU faculty involved in other global learning projects stretching from the Middle East, Africa and Australia will also make presentations.

For more on the conference, go to http://www.gl.wichita.edu/conference/?id=35. The conference is free.

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