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THE FACE OF EDUCATION IN THE NEW MILLENIUM -
THE ODYSSEY TO LAUNCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE TREK THROUGH US HISTORY



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US Trek Team Members!
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - January 5, 2000 - The Odyssey, a nonprofit organization using the Internet to promote global awareness and transform K-12 education, announced today that it will launch its next interactive online trek, the United States Trek, next fall.

The US Trek will allow hundreds of thousands of students around the country, and the world, to travel around the United States to visit historic places, interview significant historic figures, and meet experts in US History, all for free via the Internet.

Students will experience this Trek from their classrooms via The Odyssey website - the students’ connection to a Team of eight educators doing a real one-year Trek around the US. These eight Trekkers, selected from over 1000 applicants, will set out on September 4, 2000. They will be outfitted with laptops and digital video cameras, with which they will document their experiences twice a week on The Odyssey website (www.ustrek.org).

Linked directly to the progression of the majority of K-12 US History classes in the US, the Team will focus on US history through the Civil War in the fall, and will next spring explore the United States in the 20th Century.

The website content will include not only the unique and fun dispatches written by the US Trek Team. It will also include historic photos, historic sound and video clips, and opinions by experts in US History. There will be periodic live video interviews with prominent figures from American history, including politicians, activists, and celebrities, as well as other students. The website will also include live chats, interactive polls, bulletin boards for them to post their own thoughts, and contests.

The goals of the US Trek are three-fold: to engage students in established curriculum more effectively than traditional materials and methodologies, to introduce to students diverse perspectives and critical issues too infrequently addressed in established curriculum, and to engage students in service to their communities and general society.

The US Trek will follow on the heels of The Odyssey’s award-winning World Trek. Used by over 1400 classes so far, the World Trek allows students to follow along with a Team of Trekkers doing a two-year trek around the world. Over 800 dispatches have been posted on the website, comprising such diverse issues as: the environment, human rights, the arts, history and current events. Along the way students have interviewed three Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Rigoberta Menchu, Oscar Arias, and Adolfo Peres Esquivel - as well as Mary Burton of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, former President of "Rhodesia," Ian Smith, Africa Prize Laureate, Esther Ocloo of Ghana, and Egyptian author, Nawal El Saadawi.


About The Odyssey: World Treks for Service and Education
(http://www.worldtrek.org)

The Odyssey was established in 1997 as a non-profit corporation headquartered in San Francisco. Its mission is “To use the Internet to promote global awareness among youth and involve them in activities to create positive change in the world.” It launched its first major project, the World Trek, in January of 1999. The World Trek has received numerous awards and notable mentions from Education World, USA Today, Excite, and the Microsoft Encarta Schoolhouse, among others, and is an official entry for the 2000 Webbie Awards in education. Its is supported by corporate sponsors such as Viant, Star Media, Verio, and Kodak, and foundations such as the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

For more information visit The Odyssey Website at www.worldtrek.org , or the Odyssey Awards and Press webpage at http://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/info/media.html, or contact Jeff Golden, Executive Director, The Odyssey, at (4l5) 659-3178 or worldtrek@hotmail.com .

 
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