May 28, 2019
The Second World War saw some incredible new technologies applied to war making. American needs spurred wartime research and development like the atomic bomb and radar. Others such as aircraft and armor flourished in combat operation only after decades of confusion about the capabilities and missions for airplanes and tanks in war. How did the military take existing civilian design technologies and adapt them to specific wartime needs? This webinar will examine the unique selections and improvements of two amphibious assault craft by the U.S. Marine Corps: Andrew Jackson Higgins' "Eureka" boat and Daniel Roebling's "Alligator" amphibian tractor. Variations of the two craft still exist in the twenty-first century. They remain fixtures in assault operations, yet they have also been used much more frequently in Marine-supported humanitarian relief operations that benefit civilians in the United States and across the globe, thus coming full circle to the roles for which Higgins and Roebling designed their original craft in the 1930s.
Presenter: David Ulbrich
"To Promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts":
A Historical Journey of Innovation & the U.S. Patent System
May 23, 2019
Innovation and entrepreneurship are hallmarks of leadership in a global economy. To remain competitive, the U.S. must remain at the forefront of new discoveries. A strong U.S. patent system protects investments of time and money and secures the development and availability of new products and services in the marketplace. This webinar will take you on a historical journey of American ingenuity to see the invention process in action through the lens of U.S. patents granted - 10 million patents and counting! Learn how patents, a form of intellectual property, are essential to innovation and accessible to citizens of all ages through the powers bestowed upon them in the United States Constitution.
Presenters: Juan Valentin & Jorge Valdes
United States Patent & Trademark Office
Thursday, May 2, 2019
When was the last time you lived without electric lights? Just 150 years ago, Americans lived their normal lives without electricity as a dependable light source. Then a series of inventors and their patented inventions changed the world forever. In this webinar, you will follow the footsteps of Thomas Edison, Lewis Latimer, Joseph Swan, Nikola Tesla and others as electric light moved from the inventor's workbench to everyday life.
Presenter: Mary Ann Hellrigel
Institutional Historian and Archivist at IEEE
"See Your Spaceport": Tourism at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the Age of Apollo
March 28, 2019
Today we take for granted our ability to tour NASA's launch pads and Mission Control Center, but in the early 1960s, NASA centers operated much like - and were often physically adjacent to - secure military installations. For reasons of national security, the centers restricted access to official visitors only, yet thousands of curious tourists spontaneously appeared at the gates. How and why did the American public come to have a presence at the Kennedy Space Center? How did tourism become a key strategy for selling Project Apollo to a nation ambivalent about the value of the lunar landing program? This webinar will explore these questions and discuss resources to help instructors bring space history into the classroom.
Presenter: Emily Margolis
Johns Hopkins University
How might a single photograph be a starting point for science, engineering, history, and civics learning? How might a set of newspaper articles instigate investigations across disciplines? Educators are invited to participate in this webinar that emphasizes classroom routines and approaches for kicking off extended, cross-disciplinary inquiries with the help of primary sources. Participants will engage with digitized historical primary sources connected to aviation, American history, and NASA that are available for classroom use.
Presenter: Trey Smith
In discussing wars in American history, the focus is often on guns and battles, losing sight of how critical events are shaped by ordinary people such as government officials and soldiers. Equally, we don’t always consider the impact of modern military technology on civilian populations. This webinar will look at how the decision was made to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, how the bombing mission was conducted, and the suffering it inflicted on the Japanese people.
Presenter: Dr. W. Bernard Carlson, University of Virginia
The Library of Congress and the United States Patent and Trademark Office contain vast repositories of digitized primary sources. With the proper introduction these archives can be powerful tools in the hands of students and teachers alike. In this webinar, our teachers will learn how to navigate the digital archives of the Library of Congress and the USPTO in a meaningful way.
Presenters: Cynthia Szwajkowski, TPS Virginia, and Maggie Nunley, University of Virginia
Tesla Versus Edison: Myth and Style in Technological History
Thanks to movies, video games, novels, and Elon Musk, Nikola Tesla has, in the past few years, has become a prominent figure in American pop culture. At the same time, his rival Thomas Edison has come to be seen as a greedy villain. In this talk, we will explore both the myth and facts around the Tesla-Edison rivalry to understand how inventors develop distinct styles and how those different styles are critical to how societies create and manage disruptive innovation.
Presenter: Dr. W. Bernard Carlson, University of Virginia and author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
This webinar showcased content developed by the Historian who led a colloquium at the Kennedy Space Center in January, 2018.
Massive Firepower Meets the Jungle: Fighting the Ground War in Vietnam
This webinar showcased content developed by the Historian who led the Army Heritage and Education Center colloquium in March, 2017.
The U.S. and Space: Tensions and Paradoxes
This NASA & Flight Technology webinar will showcased content developed by the Historian who led the NASA & Flight Technology colloquium at the Kennedy Space Center with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation.