Education Through Entertainment

German Battleships, Memories, and School Assemblies.

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2012

portable planetarium 5 24 resized 600About a million years ago, when I was a kid, I heard a song on the radio. I liked it immediately and so I made my Mom buy me a copy on a 45 (that alone betrays my ancient condition, right?).

The song was by a country and rockabilly singer named Johnny Horton. It was called Sink The Bismarck, and it was one of three great songs that made Horton famous. The other two were, of course, The Battle of New Orleans, and North To Alaska. I LOVED these songs. I think I was about nine or ten years old at that time. I learned all the words and still remember them to this day. But I also found myself drawn to learning more about The Bismarck and the ships it sank, and how it was finally destroyed.  I was reminded of this when I learned that today is the anniversary of the date in 1941 when the Battleship Bismarck destroyed and sank the pride of the British Navy, the H.M.S. Hood. Americans have little understanding of the deep impact this had on the British psyche at that time when so much of Britain’s self image was based on it’s vaunted ability to “Rule The Seas!”.Johnny Horton Sink the Bismarck 1960 resized 600

Funny how some memories stick with you!

Some things just seem to have a deep impact on us and the memories never really fade away.

Working in this business, I am frequently reminded of this. Someone will call looking for our portable planetarium, The Sky Dome. They will remark that they saw it years ago when we still used the commercial Starlab name. They will always remark on what a lasting impact it had on them and how well they still remember it, and how they want to share that experience with their own children. I cannot begin to describe how often we hear this. 

portable planetariumSimilarly, we are often approached by people who still remember an Abraham Lincoln assembly from many years ago, or a science assembly from twenty years ago that set them on a path toward a career in science.

These shows do have an impact on kids. They remember them and it sets a spark to their imaginations. They are important.

Which is why I am always astounded when I hear that this or that principal does not believe in taking time out of class to host a school assembly. I say nothing, but in my mind I know that principal is foolish. The impact is real, deep and lasting. Isn't’ that what the best education is supposed to be?

If you are seeking school assembly ideas for the coming year, keep these thoughts in mind. School shows such as The Living Lincoln, The Sky Dome Planetarium, Chemistry! It Really Matters! and Young Authors Day are powerful teaching tools that work well as elementary school assemblies or middle school assemblies. Either way the impact is great.

So, don’t let negativity sink your battleship! The memories that you treasure can shine a light on the activities that will become the memories your children cherish. 

Meantime, I am going to see if I can dig out those old 45’s. Oh, but then I’ll have to find a record player. Hmmm... this could take some time!


Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where "Education Through Entertainment" has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fields of science, history, writing, astronomy, natural science, mathematics, character issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas. In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed's THE LIVING LINCOLN.

Topics: Starlab Planetarium, school assembly ideas, science assemblies, Elementary School Assemblies, Middle School Assemblies