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Tramline Virtual Field Trips

What it is: Tramline is a site that has a variety of virtual field trips for all ages and multiple subjects. They also provide software that allows teachers to create their own virtual field trips. The trial version of the software is free but the full version needs to be purchased. All of the already made virtual field trips are free to use. Tramline Virtual Field Trips include Antarctica, Baking Bread, Deserts, Dinosaurs, Endangered Species, Fierce Creatures, Getting Green, Hurricanes, Insects and Minibeasts, Natural Wonders, Oceans, Rainforest, Salt Marshes, Sharks, Temperate Forest Biome, Tonadoes, Volcanoes, Wildfires, Author, Poet’s Pantry, Shakespeare, American Presidency, My America, Oregon Trail, Windows on the World, Women’s History, Flight, Photography, Pi, Filmmaking, Iditarod, and Leonardo da Vinci. The list of field trips is continually growing so check back often! How to integrate Tramline Virtual Field Trips into the classroom: Tramline is an amazing tool for the classroom, it takes students beyond your walls without ever having to leave. The virtual field trips can be used on a projector for whole class instruction or students can take their own, individual, field trip in a computer lab situation. The field trips are well done and complement curriculum well. If you can’t find a field trip that fits your class needs, create your own. Encourage your students to help research the field trip subject and bring ideas for what the field trip could look like. They can be the “test subjects” for the finished product. Students will love having a hand in the creation of a virtual field trip! Tips: Be sure to test out the software in the trial version. Get training online for free from Tapped in. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Tramline Virtual Field Trips in your classroom.

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Moon Zoo: Contributing to science with lunar mapping

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 03-05-2011

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What it is: The Endeavour Shuttle launch has been delayed but don’t let that keep your students from exploring space, there are some incredible interactive sites that will make your students feel like they get to suit up as astronauts.  Moon Zoo gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.  Students can get an up close and personal view of the moon viewing images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Moon Zoo’s mission is to provide detailed crater counts for as much of the moon’s surface as possible.  Your students can take part in actually helping to count and map out craters and features of the lunar surface.  Students can identify craters with boulders around the rim to help map the regolith across the surface of the moon.  To take part in Moon Zoo, students are shown an image of the lunar surface, the first task is identifying craters in the surface.  Students can click on the “Crater” button and click the center of each crater they see.  Next, students adjust the ellipse to stretch and move their marks so that they are the same size as the crater.  Students search for boulders around the craters, if there are any boulders students can note that by selecting “blocky crater” and marking the most appropriate description.  When finished, students can submit their work to the Moon Zoo database.

How to integrate Moon Zoo into the classroom: I love that Moon Zoo actually lets your students take part in science.  They are contributing to actual lunar research in real and meaningful ways while learning about the moon.  Moon Zoo would be a great activity to complete as a whole class in the elementary classroom.  Tell your students that they are going to be astronauts and complete a “launch” to the moon.  If you have time, students can create official astronaut badges to wear for the big launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by hunting for craters in Moon Zoo.  Help students mark craters, look for boulders and map the lunar surface.  Each student should have a chance to make a discovery.  While students wait for their turn, they can track the crater/boulder count on a table to create a graph.  Categories can be small, medium, and large craters found and number of boulders.

Older students can sign up for their own Moon Zoo account, each studying and identifying craters on their own images.  Older students can dig into the science behind mapping craters and learn about how craters can be used to date the moon.

Want to involve your students in more contributing science?  Check out Galaxy Zoo (the hunt for supernovas), Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Planet Hunters, or the Milky Way Project.  This is such a neat way for students to contribute to the scientific community while learning more about space and the universe.

Tips: Registration for Moon Zoo does require an email address.  If your students don’t have an email address of their own, they can use a mailinator or tempinbox address.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Moon Zoo in your classroom!

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