Nearly 12,000 school children from across North Carolina and the country eagerly anticipated the chance to ask their questions about Blackbeard and his flagship last Friday as Sec. Susan Kluttz introduced the live stream program. Sec. Kluttz was introducing archaeologists, conservators and historians that work on the recovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge project to students who were participating in the first installment of “Cultural Resources TV,” the department’s live streaming video initiative. During the next 45 minutes, Sec. Kluttz joined elementary, middle and high school students as they asked the experts questions about underwater archaeology techniques and equipment, artifact conservation and Blackbeard through live chat, email and streaming video. Project staff discussed the shipwreck site itself, how they got to it, how they protect and conserve it and what we know about Blackbeard and his crew. The program, which was broadcast from the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort and hosted by Maritime Museum staff, ended with gunfire from a pirate re-enactor, officially kicking off the 2013 spring dive season.
Overall, the program reached 493 classrooms and groups from 196 schools and public libraries across the country. Those schools and libraries represent 51 counties and 4 states outside North Carolina. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be bringing you answers to some of the questions the experts didn’t get to, some stories of the program’s impact and updates on this season’s recovery efforts. Check back on this blog for more, but in the meantime, check out the video above and some behind-the-scenes photos here.