Author: Michelle Kretzschmar

Sign Up for the STEAM Challenge

We are excited to announce the launch of our STEAM Challenge! The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) Challenge is a competition that kids in preschool-8th grade can participate in.

What’s great is there is no travel or expensive materials needed. Students create their projects and teachers, staff, or administrators submit their projects to be evaluated by real STEAM professionals. We will pick winners from the different age groups to receive STEAM prizes for their schools or organizations. 

Many schools and organizations are completing the challenges during class, during an enrichment program or club like robotics, or during after-school programming.

You can visit the challenge page of our website at to learn more and sign your school up. You can also check out our flyer on the program and feel free to share it with your colleagues.

You can use the coupon code rlc2017 to receive a discount on entries.

Feel free to email me at or call 314-272-2560 if you have questions about participating.


Fall Exhibit: Requiem for Steam

“Requiem for Steam: The Railroad Photographs of David Plowden” will be on display September 1 – December 9. The exhibit features 30 meticulously crafted black and white photographs all taken by David Plowden. Plowden is widely acknowledged as one of America’s great landscape and industrial photographers.

Plowden first pointed a camera, his mother’s box Brownie camera, down a railroad track in 1943 when he was eleven years old. For the next sixteen years Plowden photographed steam locomotives at every opportunity. He earned a degree in economics from Yale University with the hopes of working in railroad management, spending a year as an assistant to the trainmaster on the Great Northern Railway in Minnesota. At work, he learned railroading and rode trains, then used his days off to photograph some of the GN’s last steam operations. He worked as an apprentice to photographer O. Winston Link and studied with Minor White and Nathan Lyons before striking off on his own. In 1959-60, he pursued the end of steam on the Canadian Pacific Railway, having been granted open access to the entire system. His devotion took him to the most far-flung reaches of the CPR’s Atlantic Region where he quite literally bore witness to some of the last breaths of steam on North American mainlines.

The photographs in “Requiem for Steam” preserve the living beauty of his beloved locomotives while continuing to show the railroad’s presence in the ever-changing American landscape.The Center for Railroad Photography & Art (, David Plowden, and the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum have collaborated to present this exhibition.

Photo Caption:
Central Vermont Railway Extra 464 North Meets Extra 472 South, Amherst, MA 1954. Photograph copyright David Plowden, courtesy of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art


Child actors needed

Khaula Malik a graduate film student from NYC will be shooting my thesis film in San Antonio next month (October 9-13th) and is looking to cast two children (ages 10-14, Male or Female).


Rosa, 60 y/o Latina, has waited ten years for her daughter, Esperanza, to be released from incarceration. The extended families’ unexpected Welcome Home party crashes the mother/daughter reunion but the families’ joyous celebration also comes crashing to an end as Rosa realizes that Esperanza is not the daughter she remembers. In order to move forward, Rosa and the family must accept that Esperanza isn’t the only one that’s been changed. This film is an intimate look at the difficult transition of bringing a loved one home from long-term incarceration.



Two Young Children:

Latino, ages 10-14, Naive. These kids are part of Rosa’s extended family. When they arrive at Rosa’shouse with their famileis they have no idea who Esperanza is (they weren’t born, when we went to prison), but they’ve heard about her. They’re excited to connect with an older and “cool” cousin. When they notice her ankle bracelet, they think it’s a sign of being cool, but Rosa shatters that perspective quickly.



Saturday, September 30, 2017 – 10:30am

Celebrate your right to read! Red Balloon is hosting a Banned Books Storytime in honor of Banned Books Week.  We’ll be reading a selection of our favorite picture books that have been challenged or banned in public and school libraries throughout the United States. We’ll let you know what the objections to the book were that led to the challenge. Decide for yourself if you can handle this subversive storytime. All are welcome, though it will be best appreciated by readers ages 3 and up.

To get an idea about the kinds of books we’ll be reading, take a look at some of these highly controversial titles.


C-Span Remember 9/11

Looking for resources to help your students understand the impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, or learn about current events like DACA, the debt limit, or Federal aid for hurricane victims? Below you’ll find links to timely clips and other recently created content.

Want your students to view our Lessons and Bell Ringers for homework or on their individual devices during class? Consider creating a generic C-SPAN Classroom account for their use, or use the following shared log-in credentials:

Username: students
On This Day in History: September 11, 2001 (11 Clips)

Marking the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, C-SPAN Classroom has aggregated a number of resources, including oral history and testimonial videos, to help your students learn more about the day and the aftermath of the attacks.


    • WUSA News Coverage from the morning of September 11, 2001 (5 mins)
    • Presidential Statement from the morning of September 11, 2001 (2 mins)
    • President Bush, September 11, and Critical Decisions (3 mins)
    • Photographer Doug Mills on Traveling with the President on September 11 (4 mins)
    • Vice President Dick Cheney on September 11 (2 mins)
    • NY State Museum’s September 11, 2001 Exhibit (6 mins)
    • Condoleezza Rice on September 11 (2 mins)
    • New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on September 11 (4 mins)
    • New York City Resident’s Witness Account (8 mins)
    • President Obama’s Remarks at the Pentagon Remembrance Ceremony (7 mins)

Current Event Resources


Additional New and Featured Resources:


Lesson: Should Hate Speech Be Protected By the First Amendment?

In this deliberation, students will have the opportunity to explore recent court cases and situations in the US that have brought this topic to the forefront of American political debate. Students will explore the context for these court decisions, assess the impact of those decision on subsequent instances of hate speech, and attempt to determine where they believe the line should be drawn between unprotected and protected speech when that speech is hateful in nature.

Additional Recent Deliberations:

Warm regards,


Craig McAndrew, Pam McGorry, and Tom Grane
C-SPAN’s Education team