Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA) was one of the schools chosen to participate in The Hamilton Education Program, or EduHam, which provided 2,000 students from schools across Utah the opportunity to immerse themselves into American history – and also experience the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton.
Hamilton, the musical, based on Alexander Hamilton, founder of the nation’s financial system, became a Broadway sensation in 2015. The musical combines hip-hop and the traditional atmosphere of a Broadway show, bringing to life the bravery and inspiration of the show’s namesake and American statesman.
EduHam is designed to make history relevant to students, a concept that’s also central to K12’s mission. The program is rigorous, engaging students to analyze primary source documents and engage in writing assignments and performances.
“My performance was a song about the life of a solider in the camps during the winter at Valley Forge,” said UTVA 10th grader Jessica Greenwood. “It was based on the letters that George Washington wrote to Congress in 1777. I wanted my song to reflect the depression that moved throughout the camp during those six months at Valley Forge.”
On May 4th, UTVA students met at a local theater to watch their peers’ performances. The Hamilton cast also held a Q&A session with the students, before an exclusive show just for the EduHam program participants!
“The cast and crew did an incredible job spreading the message of ‘never give up, reach for the stars’ and all the inspiring messages that teachers could only have hoped they would share,” stated UTVA high school teacher Brittney Wanlass. “Our students were inspired!”
“My favorite part of the entire program, besides getting to see Hamilton, was writing my performance piece,” Jessica said. “I had so many ideas from so many different historical documents, it was very difficult to just pick one!”