Saturday was another day filled with learning, but this time, it was at the Georgia Aquarium. The workshop I attended, entitled “How Do We Explore?” took a room full of educators on an exploration of how all standards (not just those on science) can be taught based on our oceans. Believe it or not, our world’s oceans are still largely unexplored. So NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has constructed a ship that is fully equipped with scientific instruments to test, analyze, explore the ocean. All of the data they collect is beamed up through a satellite, which then distributes their findings almost
instantaneously over the internet. New species of plants and animals are literally being discovered daily. Beyond this, the Okeanos Explorer, this NOAA exploration vessel, is also working with multibeam sonar to map the ocean floor.
In this all-day workshop, my colleagues and I built a model that mimicked the multibeam sonar’s capabilities, constructed a hydraulic robot arm, and tested water for its temperature and pH to better understand how the Okeanos Explorer carries out its duties. As an added perk, I was able to see the majestic Beluga Whales as well as the Whale Sharks suggests afterwards. It was certainly a Saturday well spent.
Until next time,
Last week I had the opportunity to attend an in-county conference by teachers, for teachers and I learned a myriad of exciting things about how to use technology in the classroom, among other things. This week, I went to the zoo!
Our very own Zoo Atlanta regularly hosts educator workshops on a variety of subjects that easily tie in to all subjects. The three-day workshop I attended, entitled “Project Wild and Project Learning Tree” provided me with included materials and a host of activities that I cannot wait to share with my students next year. Have you ever seen grown-ups act like deer foraging for food, seeking shelter, and getting clean water? Have you ever seen a room full of over fifty educators converge in one spot to act like the parts of a tree? Have you ever taken a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo? After these three days, I most certainly have, and it made for a wonderful experience. Now I will never look at the plants and animals in my backyard the same way again. Would you?
Project Learning Tree focused on studying trees and forestry through every content in a way that is exciting, engaging, and relevant to students. Of course many of us know that the rings inside a tree share its age, but what can cause different rings and blemishes to form? To expand our bringing the outdoors into the classroom, Project Wild taught me about connecting ecology, wildlife, and environment issues to my English Language Arts classroom.
I plan to put all of the pictures and videos into a larger presentation for our return to school, but until then, here is a taste of what I experienced.
Take care and feel free to explore the nature in your area!
Until next time,