Magazine article Technology and Children

Exploring the Earth

Magazine article Technology and Children

Exploring the Earth

Article excerpt

This month's topic relates to planet Earth. I typed "Earth" into the Google search box. Immediately I got hundreds of sites where I could choose interesting sites to describe for you. So I chose sites that give general information about the earth, sites from NASA that tell us how they study the Earth from the outer space perspective, geology sites, sites with activities, and sites with lesson plans.

Pay special attention to the technology that is used to study the earth. The Big Blue Marble, as Earth is often called, is a most remarkable sight to see from outer space. All our problems seem small compared to the tremendous cycles that are occurring on and around the planet. What would happen if one of those cycles was interrupted or changed? What technologies do we use to keep track of it all?

www.fourmilab.ch/Earthview/ vplanet.html--Let's use this site to let you see the earth from outer space. You can choose whether you are looking from the moon or sun, the latitude/longitude, or the time of day. It helps teach scientific concepts about day and night. You can view the moon also. Other links from this site let you see the night sky from your location. You just need to know where you are.

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/ realdata/sightings/index.html--This site helps you find out whether you can see the International Space Station (ISS) in your area. People use the International Space Station to study Earth. It is very bright, and if you know what you're looking for you may be able to see it. I must warn you though that it moves quickly.

www.solarviews.com/eng/Earth. htm--Statistics and facts about the Earth and some very nice photos of Earth and its continents are found in this location.

http://Earthobservatory.nasa. gov/--NASA has a site called the Earth Observatory. Many experiments that send back data about the Earth are described and simulated here. Every link is a winner. Choose "Experiments" from the links on the home page to do some hands-on challenges with the data that is collected there. If you choose "Global Warming" on the Experiments link, you use data to understand the effects of global warming on the earth's systems. If you go to the bottom of the page, you may be able to load this activity in a game format. You or your students can find remote sensing activities, also on the Experiments page, to find out about fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, blight, human activity, and study the Earth's biomes. …

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