EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brockton UU Church -- October 30

EarthView team members Dr. Domingo and Dr. Hayes-Bohanan were among friends when they visited the Universalist Unitarian Church of Brockton. Several members have participated in other programs of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance or have seen EarthView in other venues. We were therefore pleased to make EarthView an integral part of the morning's service on October 30, with a program entitled "Our Earth, A Fascinating Place to Be."

Because EarthView had to be supported above the pews on a platform of dining tables, we had no "inside" program. Still, the two geographers shared a number of insights with the congregation, mainly from the African and Atlantic regions, including Cape Verde, whose eleventh island is sometimes said to be the city of Brockton!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tantasqua Regional Jr. H.S. -- Oct 28

42° 09' 24" N
72° 07' 44" W

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The EarthView team is delighted to be returning to Tantasqua, where the one-and-only Globe Lady, Ms. Rosalie Sokol, first became a geography teacher.

She began life as a French speaker and her education career as a teacher of the French language at Tantasqua. During the 1980s, however, she participated in an intensive training program at National Geographic, and went on to be a geographer extraordinaire! As the Globe Lady, she is part of a team with a passion for geography education that now travels throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Our Tantasqua visit occurs on the anniversary of a few interesting events.

1636: Harvard University was founded. Sadly, Harvard closed its geography department in 1948.
1790: Vermont paid New York $30,000 to settle land claims, making way for the 14th state to be formed. It was admitted the next year, on the same day as Kentucky, so that the balance between free and slave states was maintained.
1886: President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France (which helped establish the USA during the Revolutionary War) and a beacon welcoming people everywhere to this nation of immigrants
1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded Happy Christmas (War is Over) in New York City. (The links in this line are to two versions of the song that capture the paradox. The first shows Christmas; the second shows children in war.)

When time allows, BSU students who are part of the EarthView team share "extra" lessons about the geography of specific places. In this case, geographer Ashley Costa teaches some samba beats and discusses the cultural geography of Brazilian music with a group of Tantasqua students. Also shown (near bottom-left)  is fellow geographer Brigitta Hart, who had given presentations about Alaska. Both students combined their academic training in geography with their own extensive experience in the regions they discuss. BSU education student Paulo Borges is also available to discuss life in Cape Verde.

The EarthView team can arrange for presentations of this kind to take place in conjunction with any school visit, and are happy to discuss scheduling possibilities ahead of each program.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Congratulations North Andover!

For the past couple of years, the EarthView has been pleased to work with geography teachers at North Andover Middle School. In addition to the daytime program with students, we have also led programs in the evening for parents. 

We have committed to these long days not only because we enjoy the company of the North Andover educators, but also because it enables us to be part of something truly innovative: Family Geography Night! Throughout the building, students and their families participate in a variety of fun, creative, and artistic activities, all of which teach geography and generate interest in learning more.

This year, the State Senate has recognized this achievement and has issued an Official Citation to North Andover Middle School. Family Geography Night is a wonderful model, which the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance and EarthView have started to promote at other schools.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Collins Middle School, Salem -- Oct 21

42° 30' 52" N
70° 54' 22" W

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The EarthView team is very pleased to be visiting Collins Middle School in Salem. Team members Domingo and Hayes-Bohanan attended the annual meeting of the New England and St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society when it met in Salem in 2009. They and other members of the team enjoy visiting Salem's many historic sites and museums, or simply walking around the beautiful center of the seaside city.

The Collins School is located very close to the most infamous event in Salem's history, and one to which EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan has a family connection. His wife and daughter are direct descendants of Rebecca Nurse, one of the victims of the 1692 Witch Trials. Her hanging took place just a few hundred yards from the school, on aptly-named Gallows Hill. Even before we learned of the connection, the story of Rebecca Nurse has been of special interest, and we have appreciated both the educational materials provided by the Salem Witch Museum and the serene Salem Witch Trial Memorial. The stone benches that honor each victim create a serene space in the center of town where people can contemplate the tragedy.

Peter Hutton: FreePort (at PEM)
That tragedy from three centuries ago does not entirely define Salem, of course. Though the city is identified with witches in both serious and light-hearted ways, it is geographically significant in many other ways. These include achievement in the arts and architecture and of course a rich history of seafaring and trade. The delightful Peabody Essex Museum is a great place to learn about Salem, New England, and the world as a whole. Current works include exhibits about container ships, a means of transportation that has really changed the world! 

As always, our orientation to EarthView will also include some discussion of the planet's second-largest continent -- Africa -- which some people mistakenly believe to be a single country, or entirely comprised of "jungle." In reality, Africa is large and diverse in both its physical and human geography.

We are very pleased that the EarthView team will be joined for this and other upcoming visits by Paulo Borges, a graduate student at BSU who will be speaking a bit about his home country. Like many students at BSU, he is from the island country of Cape Verde, located about 400 miles west of the westernmost part of mainland Africa.

Cape Verde is a fascinating country with a very small area but a rich history of connections to the rest of the world. Paulo will tell a little about the environment of his country, and why Cape Verde is much better known south of Boston than it is to the north.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Upcoming EarthView Events

The following is a partial list of EarthView programs taking place in coming months (revised March 16, 2012). All town and city names are in Massachusetts, unless otherwise indicated. We usually bring EarthView to schools on Fridays; some Fridays are not listed below because tentative arrangements have not yet been finalized or because the team is not available. We are currently accepting requests for remaining openings in spring 2012 reservations and are starting to plan the 2012-2013 season. 

Please see the EarthView web site for requirements and contact information.

For both pedagogic and security reasons, participation at school programs is limited to the students themselves, unless prior arrangements are made for visitors. Certain EarthView events are open to the public, as indicated below.

This schedule will be reposted as further programs are confirmed.

Friday, March 16
Walton Elementary, using Woodville School gym 

Friday, March 23
Wilmington Middle School

Wednesday, March 28 (evening)
South Middle School
This is a Geography Family Night program!
On Friday, March 30, the entire EarthView Team will be attending the Massachusetts Geography Bee.

Wednesday, April 11 (evening)
East Middle School
This is a Geography Family Night program!

Friday, April 13
The Hood School
North Reading

Friday, April 27
Sharon Middle School


Thursday, May 3
Massachusetts State House
Public event: Come see EarthView in Nurses Hall, and invite your legislator to meet you there!

Friday, May 4
Howe Manning School

Friday, May 11
Horace Mann Elementary


Thursday, May 24 (day)
Bridgewater State University

Thursday, May 24 (evening)
Quabbin Regional Middle School

Friday, June 1
Rumney Marsh Academy

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photos-North Andover Middle School

North Andover -- Oct 6-7

42° 41' 36" N
71° 07' 15" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)

Photo: Ashley Costa
The EarthView Team -- newly constituted with geography students Ashley Costa and Brigitta Hart -- is in the middle of its fourth visit to North Andover Middle School, to take part in one of the Commonwealth's leading geography programs. See post from December 2010 visit for one of the interesting ways NAMS teachers used EarthView on a previous visit.

In addition to EarthView presentations, the school hosted its annual Geography Night, in which students are joined by their parents, siblings, and other family members get a glimpse of the geography program at this school through games, music, and special appearances -- such as a talk by Channel 5 meteorologist Chris Lambert.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NASA Image of the Day

Everyone knows that NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) explores space, but its explorations of the earth are equally important. Fortunately, the Earth Observatory at NASA makes it easy for internet users to get an idea of the variety of ways in which NASA helps scientists, students, and the general public to learn about the earth, through its Image of the Day (IOTD) web site.

Each day, a different image is featured. The images are at a variety of scales, ranging in coverage from a single city or river delta to  a continent to the entire planet or more. Each image is accompanied by a brief explanation, and often by a few more images that complete the story. The sampling above gives an idea of the variety of topics covered by IOTD and by NASA in general.

Users can check the web site each day or subscribe to the IOTD program by email.