HOUSTON-- Sailors assigned to USS Constitution taught early U.S. Navy history to students at Lanier Middle School in Houston, Oct. 22.
Constitution Sailors gave an interactive historical presentation to more than 100 eighth grade students as part of Houston Navy Week, Oct 22-28.
"Teaching these young students about our country's early naval history was a wonderful experience," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Christopher Haws. "I felt like we connected with them, because we are Sailors who have the experiences and stories they want to hear. It was a very special afternoon."
Students learned about the creation of the Navy, Constitution's construction, her battle with HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812 and the mission of today's Navy as it relates to the past.
"It was very exciting because there isn't a large military presence in this area," said Lenny Briones, Lanier Middle School 8th grade history teacher. "It brings the Navy into our lives hearing about it firsthand from Sailors currently living it." Constitution Sailors will also be giving presentations to Spring High School, Oct. 23 and Kingwood High School, Oct. 24.
Constitution Sailors undergo six months of naval history training as soon as they check on board. They also receive additional weekly training from the USS Constitution Museum and Naval Historical Heritage Command Detachment Boston.
"I love teaching kids," said Seaman Levi Simmons. "Their enthusiasm and energy in learning the history of our Navy and our ship gave me great satisfaction in doing what we as Constitution Sailors do best."
Houston Navy Week is the last of eight Navy Weeks Constitution Sailors are scheduled to participate in 2012. The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Houston Navy Week will showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.
Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year. She defended the sea-lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. America's Navy: Keeping the sea free for more than 200 years.
Constitution's mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship's history.