Students to design mobile app that gives audio walking tour of Little Rock Nine’s first day

by Jennifer Joyner (JJoyner@nwabj.com) 43 views 

A group of Little Rock Central High School students this fall will design a mobile app intended to function as an audio-guided walking tour of the first day nine African-American students attempted to enter the all-white institution during the school desegregation crisis of 1957.

Students are designing the app on the behalf the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, a division of The National Park Service, and as part of The Memory Project a student-led effort to collect, preserve and share oral history of civil and human rights.

The students will learn to code and deploy the app under the guidance of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub team, according to a press release from the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a unit of the Central Arkansas Library System that sponsors The Memory Project.

“Using code to create an app that deposits us into another time. It’s not science fiction. It’s The Memory Project. And this remarkable group of students are utilizing technology to immerse us in a significant moment in history,” Joel Gordon, executive director of the Hub, said in a press release. “Their hard work will teach and inspire a new generation and illustrate the significance of this event in the history of human rights.”

The project will be launched on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine’s first day, Sept. 4, at 1 p.m. on Park Street across from the high school entrance. It’s titled “Words That Matter–Voices of Civil Rights: The 1st Day at Central High,” according to the Butler Center.

Memory Project students that day will lead visitors on the walking tour, which in particular highlights Elizabeth Eckford’s experience.

On Sept. 25, the students will generate a live tweet re-enactment documenting in real-time the day the Little Rock Nine, accompanied by U.S. Army paratroopers, succeeded in entering Central High School.

The re-enactment will be produced for National Public Radio in partnership with Youth Radio, according to Butler Center.

David Kilton, chief of interpretation for Central High historic site said in a press release: “We are pleased to be involved with the development of this new and innovative resource, which will allow a greater amount of people to connect with the story of Central High School and the change that this story brought to our nation.”

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