Station Break January 2017

News from ArkansasIDEAS

New Arkansas History Course in the making!

Old Timer playing the fiddle
1941 Ozark Folkways Festival

Music in Arkansas: Origins, a new documentary from ArkansasIDEAS, tracks the development of Arkansas's rich musical heritage, beginning with the discovery of a 200 BC Hopewell panpipe (pictured top right) and concluding as King Biscuit Time hits the airwaves in 1941 Helena. Origins explores the role of Arkansas musicians and movements during the development of hymns, spirituals, ragtime, folk, blues, country, and rock and roll.

The importance of music in Arkansas is evident from many sources throughout this time period, from the Native American ceremonies described in the journals of 16th and 17th century Spanish and French explorers to the 18th and 19th century records depicting the American westward movement and the settlement of the Delta, Ozark, and River Valley regions. Additionally, archeologists and researchers have found evidence of panpipes, rasps, rattles, flutes, whistles, drums, and other soundmakers being used by prehistoric cultures throughout all six of Arkansas's distinct geographical regions - depicting an even more diverse soundscape and historical timeline.

In addition to the documentary (stay tuned for broadcast date), a professional development course for Arkansas educators is being developed, as well as an educator's guide containing classroom resources and activities, and writing prompts that are aligned with the Arkansas State Standards and the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework. Stay tuned for the ArkansasIDEAS online professional development course at

Arkansas Gems

February is African-American History Month

Joyce Elise Warren (1949- ) was the first black law clerk for the Arkansas Supreme Court and the first black female judge in Arkansas. Judge Warren's work concerns juvenile and domestic relations law and related issues.

Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville

William Grant Still (1895-1978) achieved international acclaim as a composer. He broke race barriers in symphonic and popular music.

Photo by Ken Hubbell, courtesy of the Arkansas State Archives

George William Stanley Ish (1883-1970) was a black physician in Little Rock who was instrumental in founding the United Friends Hospital, the J. E. Bush Memorial Hospital, and the McRae Memorial Tuberculosis Sanatorium for the medical care of black patients. He was held in high regard by members of the medical community and served on the staff of predominantly white hospitals, also.

History is the Future

According to the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development:

"In the 2016-2017 school year and every fourth school year thereafter, each educator who provides instruction in Arkansas history shall obtain two (2) hours of professional development in Arkansas history."

AETN and ArkansasIDEAS can help you fill that requirement. ArkansasIDEAS has nearly 40 Arkansas history courses, and AETN is consistently producing programs about the history and culture of The Natural State.

Call for Entries

Calling all student filmmakers! AETN announces the 2017 Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase.

This annual event invites K-12 students across Arkansas to create videos - on their own or as part of a class - and enter them for a chance at broadcast, film festival screenings, THEA Foundation's Young Filmmaker Scholarships, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program's Arkansas Historic Places Film Prize and new this year, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site's Reel Civil Rights Student Film Prize: Make a documentary about the social justice change you want to make in the world.

Workshop opportunities to help students gain inspiration, insight and skills to create videos for the upcoming competitions will be announced in early 2017. Entries must be submitted electronically or postmarked by March 31. Click here to learn more.

AETN/PBS Kids Writers Contest 2017

Through Friday, April 7, AETN will be accepting entries from kindergarten through third grade students for the PBS KIDS Writers Contest, and we want students in your class to participate! Fact or fiction, prose or poetry, hand-drawn illustrations or original photography, we encourage the creative young minds in your school to submit whatever tale they choose. Stay tuned for submission details.

Are You a Digital Innovator?

PBS Digital Innovators set the bar for thoughtful tech integration in the classroom. These pre-K-12 educators are not defined by the gadgets they use, but by the unique way they approach education. Their bold and enthusiastic perspective sets them apart as changemakers and unlocks new worlds for their students. Click here to apply.

Why become a digital innovator? Mary Beth Hatch, winner of the 2016 award for Arkansas answers that question.

On the Road

Arkansas Week of Code

In early December, some Arkansas students were introduced to computer science through Arkansas Week of Code, a way to show kids how fun programming and technology can be. They learned about the fantastic career opportunities for coders!

Arkansas Week of Code was presented by the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in partnership with AETN, Barnes & Noble and the Arkansas Department of Education.

Upcoming Education Events

Educational Resources for Home and the Classroom

AETN Programs

Exploring Arkansas

This month on Exploring Arkansas host Chuck Dovish joins in the Ozark Folklife Festival at Tyler Bend along the Buffalo National River, checks out a backyard steam railroad built along the shores of Greers Ferry Lake, drives along the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway north of Clarksville, and takes a ride with a mule team wagon train excursion near Cozahome along Big Creek.

Agri Arkansas

A look at agriculture in Arkansas, featuring experts, innovators and challenges all present in the state's largest industry. It is designed to celebrate agriculture in Arkansas and develop conversations on complex issues.

Command and Control

Childers Damascus Crew of Missileers in control room

A chilling nightmare plays out at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September 1980. A worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal, an incident that ignites a series of feverish efforts to avoid a deadly disaster.

Titan II Missle Silo

Directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on the critically acclaimed book by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Command and Control is a minute-by-minute account of this long-hidden story. Putting a camera where there was no camera that night, Kenner brings this nonfiction thriller to life with stunning original footage shot in a decommissioned Titan II missile silo. Eyewitness accounts - from the man who dropped the socket, to the man who designed the warhead, to the Secretary of Defense - chronicle nine hours of terror that prevented an explosion 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

Barnes and… A Conversation with Eric Schlosser

Host Steve Barnes speaks with investigative journalist Eric Schlosser about his book, "Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety." They discuss the actual events of the missile explosion that occurred in Damascus, Arkansas, in September 1980. Schlosser is also author of the New York Times bestselling book "Fast Food Nation."

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