Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, D.C.

Video Conference - July 1st, 2006

The Grade Four A and B classes were invited by Alberta Education (supported by Galileo Educational Network Association) to be part of the 40th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Every year the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., features folk life throughout the world. “The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a national, even international, family reunion asserting the ability of people to converse with and understand each other.” The festival is held outdoors in the National Mall, where artists, musicans, workers, storytellers, and now, Glendale Grade Four Students explain ways of life in their culture. This year the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has chosen to focus on the province of Alberta. Many aspects of Alberta’s folklife will be featured including: technology, cold weather adaptations, agriculture, paleontology, the RCMP, and ice sports. "As the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital, the Festival receives considerable publicity, typically reaching 40 million readers and viewers through print and electronic media."

On July 1st, 2006, the Grade Four A and B students will be part of a live web conference at the University of Calgary with students from Washington at the Wild Rose Theatre in the Alberta Tent at the National Mall, Washington. In addition to the students from Washington, there will also be a live audience that will be watching us from a very large screen! We are also excited because Alberta’s Education Minister, Gene Zwozdesky will be at the Rose Theatre during our conference. The students from Washington will watch part of our documentary and view photographs of our carpet factory and artwork we have done. We will explain what our inquiry was this year and Washington will have a chance to ask us some questions. We will also get a chance to ask the students from Washington some questions about folklife and school life in Washington. For additional information about the video conferences see "Alberta at the Smithsonian."

We are so honoured and privileged to be invited into this amazing event. We realize this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are excited to share all the things we do here at Glendale Elementary.

Copyright © 2006 J. Grimm, N. Klinger and L. Ranta

Copyright for students' work remains with the authors.