US Announces Test Sites for Domestic Drones

UNITED STATES The US aviation regulator has announced the six states that will host sites for testing commercial use of drones. (BBC) Plot the test sites on our 1-Page Map of the United States. Use different markers for different tests, and guess where the (unannounced) tests on the West Coast will be. Discussion Ideas The test sites described in the BBC article are being tested … Continue reading US Announces Test Sites for Domestic Drones

Who’s Afraid of Jean Lafitte?

The first day of bioblitz is officially here! As you’re reading this, National Geographic staff is descending upon Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve  in New Orleans, Louisiana to conduct a bioblitz, or biological inventory, alongside the National Park Service and more than one thousand volunteers. Lucky for me, I get to lead some of the visiting groups of local school kids on terrestrial inventories. … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of Jean Lafitte?

Update: Expedition to the Desventuradas Islands

Two weeks ago, we announced the latest and greatest National Geographic Pristine Seas Expedition to the Desventuradas Islands. Located 853 kilometers (530 miles) off the coast of Chile, the Desventuradas are one of the most mysterious and unknown places in the Eastern Pacific. Very little scientific information is known about this (essentially uninhabited) “blue spot” on the map. In fact, the area surrounding the Desventuradas … Continue reading Update: Expedition to the Desventuradas Islands

Forget white, we’re seeing blue. Join us.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. —André Gide You may have heard the old adage about the “white spots on the map.” This month, forget the “white.” We here at National Geographic are seeing “blue.” Did you know that 98% of the ocean remains unexplored? There’s only one world ocean, but there’s more than one … Continue reading Forget white, we’re seeing blue. Join us.

EE Week Guest Blogger Series: Do you know where the water in your town comes from?

This is the second post in our EE Week Guest Blogger Series. Read the previous entry, “Wondrous Wetlands,” by 4th grade teacher Tasha Kiemel of Sammamish, Washington, to learn more about how educators across the country are incorporating hands-on environmental field work into the curriculum.
 
Dave Wood teaches 8th grade Environmental Science at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, and he serves on the National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) Teachers Advisory Committee. EE Week promotes understanding and protection of the natural world by actively engaging K-12th grade students and educators in an inspired week of environmental learning before Earth Day. This year’s EE Week celebration occurs April 12-18, 2009, and the theme is Be Water Wise! To learn more or get involved, visit www.eeweek.org.

After teaching 8th grade environmental science at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. for over a decade, I came to realize that our students did not know some fundamental facts about the water upon which their lives depend.  For them, water just magically came out of the tap, and it had to be clean and healthy because, evidently, no one was getting sick from drinking it.  And, when my students dumped anything and everything down the drains or toilet, they assumed that, of course, the sewage treatment plant would take care of it all–because that’s why it was called a “treatment” plant.   Where their drinking water came from, how it was treated, and what happened to it after it was flushed down the drain; they couldn’t say.  And, I had to admit, neither could I.
 
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Dave taking his students out for some field research.

Continue reading “EE Week Guest Blogger Series: Do you know where the water in your town comes from?”