UMBC’s Sparrow Point Project
The University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Sparrows Point Project was recently featured in the Baltimore Sun. David Hoffman, UMBC’s ADP Campus Coordinator and Assistant Director for Civic Agency spoke to the Sun about how the project — and UMBC’s larger Breaking Ground initiative (see previous blog post) — are advancing the university’s efforts to prepare students for informed, engaged citizenship:
“How can we prepare students to work together and see the world as open to transformation through their actions?” said Hoffman, one of the program’s leaders. “Every experience students are having reinforces the sense that they can take responsibility for recognizing problems and initiating solutions in their communities.”
Read a segment of this front page story below, and find the full story here.
Excerpt from the Baltimore Sun:
UMBC students use new media to document a dying industrial past
They are preserving Sparrows Point history through website, film
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun
8:00 p.m. EST, February 11, 2013
Now, with the [Sparrows Point steel] plant closed and machinery being sold for scrap, Bartee and other steelworkers are teaming with University of Maryland Baltimore County students and professors to record their stories. The students are making a website and helping with a documentary to preserve the history of the plant….
Much as pieces of massive machinery have been carted away from the plant in recent weeks, the history of the mill — once the region’s economic hub — is in danger of disappearing. But two UMBC professors and their students aim to preserve the stories of 20th-century manufacturing using 21st-century techniques….
The project is part of the university’s Breaking Ground initiative, which aims to empower students to develop and implement solutions to challenges that surround them. David Hoffman, UMBC’s assistant director for civic agency, said the university wants to shatter students’ conception that citizenship occurs in discrete bursts in the voting booth or volunteering projects….
The Sparrows Point project, Documenting Cultural Heritage in Partnership with Communities, is a collaboration between an American studies professor, Michelle Stefano, and a new media studio professor, Bill Shewbridge. The students in their two interwoven courses use traditional methods for exploring the past, such as transcribing oral histories, while employing the latest technology to record and share those stories.