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Explore the World -- Virtually!

What did your students do on their vacation? Probably nothing as exciting as the adventures they can embark on right in their own classroom! Even better -- there will be no sandy clothing, insect bites, sunburns, or lost luggage on these trips. Where are they going? Anywhere in the world -- with just the click of a mouse. Check out these online adventures. Then grab your students and hop aboard!


Each year, The Jason Project, the granddaddy of online exploration, offers a new scientific expedition designed to engage and educate students and provide professional development for teachers. The project includes scientific exploration, online information, teacher training, and curriculum units aligned with national science, geography, and technology standards. Currently, JASON Project XI, Going to Extremes, is providing participants with a look at sea and space through the eyes of modern-day explorers. Students visit and compare the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquarius Underwater Laboratory with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's International Space Station. During the 2000-2001 school year, Jason XII will explore Hawaii and compare volcanic events on Earth with those throughout the solar system.

Adventure Online, from Learning Outfitters, Inc., offers a yearly subscription that provides teachers, parents, and students an opportunity to participate in real-world learning adventures. A $99 classroom subscription or a $449 building subscription provides members with access to several expeditions, along with background information and updates, online learning activities aligned to state standards, and interaction with expedition teams, experts, and other classrooms. Sample past expeditions have included:

  • Magellan Global Adventure. Join a family of five as they wrap up a three-year sailing trip retracing Magellan's route around the world.
  • Caribbean Sea Expedition. Follow marine biologist Wayne Brown on a four-week exploration of reef and ocean ecology.
  • Thule 2000. Accompany Lonnie Dupre and John Hoelscher on the last leg of their trip to circumnavigate Greenland.
  • Expedition Africa. Pedal along with two cyclists as they travel the entire continent.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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