This morning started out with breakfast delivered to our rooms, which is a lovely way to start the day. We then headed into the Metro to go to the Newseum, which is a new museum that looks at major news stories and how the media covers them. When we first arrived in the museum, we met with Tyrone Turner, who is a disaster photographer. He talked with the group about how he photographs major disasters and the issues that surround this kind of work. Then the kids asked him some great questions about his experiences.
Then we broke up into 3 smaller groups and headed into the museum. My group went to the Hurricane Katrina, 911 and Pulitzer Prize winning photography exhibits. Each exhibit was small, but filled with headline and images, including video. The Katrina exhibit detailed the event every step of the way, including issues such as looting and the slow response from the government. The 911 exhibit looked at the headlines, the timeline of events, and then followed a few journalists who were covering the event from near the World Trade Center on that day. Finally, the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph exhibit had a video where the photographers told the stories of how they created the famous photographs. The whole experience was very emotional for many of us. The images were so powerful and the emotions so intense that we debriefed with the kids later about an image that they saw that affected them the most.
During the second half of the day, we went back to National Geographic to work with Layout and Blogging. Elaine Bradley, the layout editor of National Geographic Magazine, gave the students the pitch for an article about current scientists that were working with evolutionary theory. Then she showed them all of the photos from the piece, and the kids had to create a headline, pick a beginning photo, and then decide how they would organize the story. The kids were so engaged, and they actually picked a very similar title and lead photo for the piece to what National Geographic used in their story.
Then we were off to hear about blogging with Ford Cochran. He talked about the fact that the kids can tell their story easily by using a point and shot camera and a blog. He also shared an inspirational story about how he got his start. The message was to have fun! He is also interested in coming to Japan, so the kids shared with him some Japanese words and places to visit in Japan.
As a culminating assignment, we asked each student to write a blog post with three of their favorite/best photos from the trip. This assignment meant to bring together the main focuses of the trip: storytelling and photography. Each student could write about whatever they wanted and include whichever photos they wanted. The purpose was to tell their story of the trip. I’ll put putting up their posts over the next few days.
Here are a few photos from today, and I’ve added some photos from the Ghost Tour from yesterday.