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Iditarod.Com

Article excerpt

Located online at http://www.iditarod.com/.

Source: Iditarod Trail Committee, P.O. Box 870800, Wasilla, AK 99687; Phone: 907/376-5155;iditarod@idit arod.com.

Access Fee: No fees required. Memberships to support the Iditarod event are available online.

Audience: All ages, particularly grades K-8, students and teachers. Especially appropriate for use with students in the upper and middle grades.

Format: Web site: text, graphics, photographs.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with Internet access and an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Description: This Web site features information and activities related to the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race held in Alaska each March.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: The home page loaded easily and is easy to navigate. Photos and news items are continually updated. A side menu bar provides easy access to a variety of features. Installation/Access Rating: A

Content/Features: This site keeps an eye on the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, first run to Nome in 1973, after two short races on parts of the Iditarod Trail in 1967 and 1969.

The Iditarod was established originally as a reminder of Alaska's colorful past. It is also a testimonial to the brave participants in possibly the most important "sled dog race" that will ever be run in Alaska. That relay ended on Feb. 2, 1925, bringing life-saving diphtheria anti-toxin to save the lives of the children of Nome during the transportation-halting Alaskan winter.

The official Iditarod Trail Committee presents this information packed site, complete with an extensive array of teacher resources. A side menu bar provides links to a large collection of information.

The Iditarod button links to timely information related to the event and includes photos and interviews with those involved, including mushers (sled drivers), trainers, and veterinarians. The Race Updates link provides daily results during the actual event, which usually lasts for several weeks. Archived records provide an interesting history of past events.

General Information provides information on the previous year's teams and their awards, as well as the history of the race, questions and answers, rules and policies, and famous mushers and dogs. One of the most-valuable features in this section is Teacher Resources, which provides information on professional development conferences for educators offered twice a year, forums for teachers and students, a complete annotated bibliography for all ages, daily math problems, daily language arts exercises, an online scavenger hunt, musher tracking form, and a printable board game with game pieces and card questions.

Trail Notes provides maps and mileage for both North and South Trails, used alternately every 2 years. This year, Iditarod XXXIII begins on March 5, using the Southern Route. Descriptions of each checkpoint on the trail are online.

Each year, one teacher is selected to enter the race as the Teacher on the Trail. A special section is dedicated to this individual's experiences.

Zuma's Paw Prints, hosted by an Alaskan husky named Zuma, is a section of the site designed for younger children. This area is filled with science and math activities for home and school use.

A Junior Iditarod Sled Dog Race for teens 14 to 17 years of age is held each year 1 week before the main race. Aportion of the site focuses on the challenges and achievements of this age group.

Musher Biographies provide information on each entrant, as well as previous trials entered and awards won. A photo album contains a picture gallery featuring dogs and mushers from previous years.

Other site features include a Calendar of Events, Musher Forms, Race Rules, Veterinary Corner, Communications, Volunteers, a Members Lounge, and a general merchandise store selling memorabilia such as posters, tee-shirts, stuffed animals, books, and other items. …