Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Geography - Keep the Flame Alive: Resources - Secondary

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Geography - Keep the Flame Alive: Resources - Secondary

Article excerpt

Examining the Olympic and Paralympic legacy with pupils.

After all the planning and anticipation, London 2012 is over. The collective national euphoria as Mo Farah slapped his head, Ellie Simmonds touched home first and Jessica Ennis returned to Sheffield to a crowd of 20,000 has begun to dissipate, and we can all get back to normal - other than posting our letters into gold postboxes. But how might we be able to continue teaching themes related to the Games?

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London is now closed for at least a year. The "mobilisation" phase is over, and we are into "transformation" until 2015 as venues are dismantled or downsized, the athletes' village is converted to housing and infrastructure is built. This will be followed by "regeneration" until 2030, which means the park could remain a relevant issue for case studies on regeneration, sustainability, carbon reduction, waste and water management for decades to come.

The housing areas are designed to be as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible. Students could be challenged to design their own eco-friendly houses, and see if they have included all the planned features of these new neighbourhoods. The change from public to private space could be a focus for A-level geographers, along with the way that sustainable transport options are being encouraged.

Google Earth has three-dimensional renderings of the main Olympics venues. Collect the Olympic stories of colleagues and students, and add them to annotated placemarks. Students could perhaps design a mountain-bike track in Google Earth, plot a route for a wheelchair race or even build venues using a gaming platform such as Minecraft.

Lots of data were generated during the Olympics about the relative successes of countries' athletes compared with statistics such as gross domestic product and population. …

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