Monday, March 23, 2015

Virtual Field Trip - Wild Biomes: From America’s Rainforest to America’s Desert

Water... the one commodity that keeps the world moving...

We use water and interact with water on a daily basis and far too often we take for granted those interactions. There's no denying the importance of water and the role it plays in our lives.

To highlight the impact water has on different environments and how it affects the everyday happenings within those different environments, the Nature Works Everywhere organization plans to host a virtual field trip with a 'live' Google Hangout. This virtual field trip will be comparing the two distinctly different ecosystems of the temperate rain forest in Washington State and the dry and arid Arizona Desert.

What you need to know about this virtual field trip:

- Sign up to participate in this virtual field trip

- The 'live' event is Wednesday, April 8, at 12 noon Eastern time

- The target audience for this event is students in grades 3-8 with a focus on science and geography... several NGSS and national social studies standards will be covered in this event!

- The virtual field trip is roughly 40 minutes in length which isn't too short but also isn't too long... the perfect amount of time for an in-depth and thorough lesson

- This field trip is a part of larger series via Nature Works Everywhere with the goal of building students' knowledge of environmental issues, as well as helping students to make a more emotional connection to the world around them

- Teachers and students can also watch the virtual field trip live via Google Hangout On Air and Google+. 

- Teachers and students can view the event streaming live on YouTube or you can check it out later when timing is better by visiting the Nature Works Everywhere YouTube channel

If you still aren't sold on being a part of this virtual field trip, check out this additional information!

- There will be several participants in this virtual field trip. Tyler DeWitt, science teacher, will be serving as the emcee, and Kari Vigerstol who is a senior hydrologist on The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water team, will also be joining the conversation. 

- Additionally, there will be a classroom full of students participating with video clips and graphics being shared in advanced in preparation for the event. Also really neat is the fact that questions can be asked via the chat function in the Google Hangout to be answered live!

- If you are looking to align what you are currently doing in your class or start preparing for this virtual tour in advance, below are some of the key concepts and key terms that should be focused on:

Biomes (temperate rainforest, desert), water quality, water quantity, Pacific Northwest, urban watershed, Arizona desert, Verde River, geography, rainfall, how water affects people and how people affect water, and lastly, where does your water come from?

- Nature Works Everywhere has even provided some supplementary materials to go with the virtual field trip:

Nature Works Everywhere has also provided corresponding classroom resources on how natural areas filter water and how managing salmon can help support healthy forestsLastly, if you are needing materials and information on water, check out this garden activity guide.

So, with all this information, be sure to check out this neat and exciting opportunity to bring learning to life for kids. This is a wonderful example of how we can take technology and the globally connected world we live in and bring them both right to your classroom!