EarthView team bios, guidelines, and more.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

North Reading Middle School, North Reading- June 19th

42° 34' 36" N
71° 05' 17" W

Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!

The EarthView team is pleased to be visiting North Reading Middle School! Today marks our fifth visit to the school since starting the original EarthView BSC Blog and our last Friday school visit of the 2014-2015 school year. 

We have had some exciting visits this year! We started the year by visiting North Andover Middle School for their wonderful family Geography Night and for our first regular Friday school visit. This school year we've traveled to many schools in the Southeastern region of Massachusetts (Bridgewater, Foxboro, Brockton), to schools in the Northern region (Tewksbury, Gloucester, Winchester), to a school on the Cape (Barnstable Intermediate), and even to schools out of state (Johnston, Rhode Island and Arlington, Virginia)! 


We hope that the students who have gone inside of EarthView this year learned a lot from our teachings and have gained more interest in Geography! We have certainly had a lot of fun traveling around this year and are excited to start back in September for another fun filled year. 

                                           We wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy summer! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

St. Mary of the Annunciation, Danvers -- June 17

42° 34' 06 N
70° 56' 54 W

Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!

The EarthView team is making its first visit to St. Mary of the Annunciation School in Danvers, a town north of Boston that was once part of the coastal town of Salem. We included some information about the geography of the town in the blog post for our 2012 visit to Smith Elementary School.  

The two schools are just over a mile apart Students can use the latitude and longitude of each school to determine which direction the other school is found, relative to St. Mary School.

As detailed in the 2012 post, Danvers is famous as the home of Rebecca Nurse (a victim of the Salem trials) and the source of a famous onion. It is also surrounded by waterways and crisscrossed by all of the region's important roadways.

One thing that surprises people the most about their time in EarthView is the enormous size of the Pacific Ocean, which covers about 1/3 of the planet. We tend to know little about it in the United States, aside from the small area near our shores. One reason is that many world map projections divide and stretch the ocean. In EarthView we can see that Hawaii is almost centered in the ocean, that it has thousands of other islands, and that its coastlines are thousands of miles long.
Our visit to St. Mary School comes on the one-year anniversary of President Obama's addition of 780,000 square miles to the Remote Pacific Islands Marine National Monument. This adds an area bigger than Alaska and California combined to a protected area that was created by President Bush in 2009. It includes areas surrounding Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands; Johnston, Wake, and Palmyra Atolls; and Kingman Reef. An interesting aspect of the geography of the Pacific Ocean is that it is actually difficult to get maps, even of such important federal waters!

The anniversary is very interesting because this week Pope Francis has spoken about the importance of climate change in a major statement that has people all over the world discussing the problem and what role the church should or should not play. It is also this week that the Pacific nation of Palau has gotten a lot of attention for the dramatic way it is protecting its fish and corals. The boats that were used to fish illegally in Palau were burned to protect Palau's fish.

Geography's Cool = Geography School

We found a lot of enthusiasm for geography and noticed that students at all grade levels know and care a lot about the planet. Congratulations to St. Mary's for being a great example of how geographic teaching and learning is done. Most of that takes place in the classroom of course, but some evidence of the importance of geography at this school can be seen from space!

The templates to the world map and the US map shown here are available online from Ursa Major. A closer view can be had from the gym window. Spatial-thinking quiz: Which window was used to take this photograph?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mary Baker School, Brockton- June 12th

42° 5' 49 N
70° 59' 24 W

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We are happy to be back visiting the Mary Baker School in Brockton for our third visit and our second this year! We last visited the school on May 15th and the blog post for that visit can be found here.

The Path of the Worcester Tornado
While trying to think of things to write about for this week's blog post, EarthView wrangler Eva was watching the news the other night when she heard that this past Tuesday, June 9th, marked 62 years since the devastating Worcester Tornado.

On June 9th, 1953 at 5:09pm, a powerful F-4 tornado ravaged through the city of Worcester, Massachusetts becoming known as the 21st deadliest tornado in United States history. The funnel was a mile wide and the tornado was on the ground for about an hour and a half, blowing through some 60 miles of land. While the tornado also affected the nearby towns of Barre, Rutland, Holden and Shrewsbury, Worcester was hit the hardest. In the storm, 94 people were killed and about 1,250 people were injured. 
1953 Worcester Tornado

While it is unlikely for Massachusetts to be affected by tornadoes, we do get powerful storms that spawn up tornadoes every once in a while like the tornado outbreak four years back that affected Springfield and other surrounding towns or even that small EF-0 tornado that hit Stoughton in May of 2013. Tornadoes do happen in our area so we always need to be prepared. 

For a list of ways that you and your family can be prepared for any natural disasters, please visit 

We hope that the students of Mary Baker School enjoyed their visit with EarthView today! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Clifford H. Marshall Elementary School, Quincy- June 10th

42° 15' 10" N
71° 0' 03" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent Earth View outings, near and far!

The EarthView team had its first geography lesson on the way to the Marshall School. As with many people, we relied on Google and a GPS for directions. This took us to the mailing address for the school, which is at the Quincy School Department. We were fortunate that the mail was about to be taken to the school by a staff member who allowed us to follow him. So we have a second map and set of coordinates to share for this visit.

42° 14' 37" N
70° 58' 51" W
The coordinates allow us to compare the two locations -- which is further north? which is further west? -- as does a map of the correct addresses. What lesson did the EarthView team learn about electronic maps?

The EarthView team is excited to be visiting Clifford H. Marshall Elementary School in Quincy for the first time in many years today! Once we arrived, we realized we had actually been to this amazing school during the first year of our EarthView program -- before we had a blog -- so we did not notice it when we checked our records.

While we normally visit schools on Fridays, we are happy to be traveling to two different schools on Wednesday and Friday this week!

We are thrilled to be visiting a city that is full of rich history. In fact, we recently included some Quincy attractions on our GeoDates page for our own university students looking for interesting places to visit.

The city of Quincy was first settled in 1625 as a part of Dorchester before combining with the neighboring town of Braintree. The city split from Braintree in 1792 when it became the town of Quincy and eventually the city we now know today in 1888.

Quincy is the birthplace of two United States Presidents,  the second president John Adams and the sixth president John Quincy Adams. John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence was also born here. 

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Hancock
The United State's first commercial railroad,the Granite Railway, started here and the Fore River Ship Yard sustained the economy of the city by shipbuilding.

In more recent history, the restaurant and hotel chain Howard Johnson (1925) as well as Dunkin Donuts (1950) were founded in Quincy.


We hope that the students of Clifford H. Marshall Elementary school enjoy their visit with EarthView today and we hope to be back soon! 

Really Local Geography
EarthView team member Kevin Bean is a BSU geography student who grew up and still lives very close to the Marshall School, and shared some of the fascinating geography of the neighborhood with the rest of the team and the teachers and students we met today. Wherever we are -- there is a geographic story!

The very first word spoken on a telephone was “Watson,” the name of Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant. In a phone call from Boston, they tested an invention that would change the world and that would make them very wealthy individuals.

Mr. Bell used some of his money to start the National Geographic Society, which is where several members of the EarthView team have had the opportunity to visit his office. A little-known fact is that every president of National Geographic has been a relative of Alexander Graham Bell.

Mr. Watson, meanwhile, invested his fortune in the neighborhood where the Clifford Marshall School is found. Specifically, he built the Fore River Shipyard, which employed thousands of workers from all over the world, building ships that sailed all of the world’s seas until the ship-building industry left in the 1980s. These workers include Kevin's own grandfather, who came to this very neighborhood from Russia to work in the shipyard.
A landmark in the neighborhood is the building by its address at 1000 Southern Artery. Many of the Marshall students we met were aware that this building provides housing for elderly residents, but few realize that was the first building constructed specifically to meet the needs of elderly people in the world. It includes stores, a theater, and many other facilities that make the community as self-contained as possible. Today, however, the center is actually very well-connected to the community, including the Marshall School. Volunteers from the center visit the school as “foster grandparents,” and students from the school perform holiday concerts at the center.

Trinidad Connection
The students at the Marshall School come from around the corner and around the world. Rarely have we encountered a school with so many countries represented by the students who attend or their family members. As geographers, we believe strongly in taking the opportunity to learn about the world from people who have been to places we have not been, or who can offer us local insights about places that we have been. 

So we ask students where they or their parents may have come from, and today several dozen countries were mentioned. One of those was Trinidad -- which is actually part of Trinidad and Tobago. We told the student who mentioned Trinidad that we have a colleague who has recently made a film about a woman who organized her community in order to restore the water of her part of Trinidad.Not only is the film Earth, Water, Woman continuing to help people understand water resources -- Bridgewater students and staff are in Trinidad right now, contributing to the conservation work described in the film. Akilah Jaramogi -- the "star" of the film -- will be visiting the Bridgewater State University campus in the fall for public discussions of her work.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Barnstable Intermediate School, Hyannis- June 5th

42° 06' 24" N
71° 09' 58" W 
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent Earth View outings, near and far!

Today we are happy to be back at Barnstable Intermediate School for our fourth visit and second in two weeks at the school!

EarthView in the Gym on 5/29/15

At last week's visit, the student's had a wonderful time going inside of the globe and learning about all different types of geographic interests all over the world. Ms. Rosalie aka The Globe Lady and Dr. Domingo assisted in the teaching of micro-entrepreneurship which the 6th graders here are learning about in the classroom. 

EarthView wrangler Eva was even learning things that she had never known about before such as the Grameen foundation and the Grameen bank. Both of these organizations help the poorest of the poor in reaching their full potential in starting their own small businesses in order to support themselves and their families. 

A fun fact of the day is that today's visit coincides with National Doughnut Day! While they may not be the healthiest of snacks, they sure are delicious! National Doughnut Day falls on the first Friday in June and was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honor the men and women who served doughnuts to the soldiers in World War I. Today many places that serve doughnuts are giving them out for free (with the purchase of a beverage) so if you get the chance too, enjoy yourself with a delicious treat! 

We hope that the 6th graders at Barnstable Intermediate have enjoyed their trip inside of EarthView! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

John F. Parker Middle School, Taunton- June 2nd

41° 54' 05" N
71° 04' 12" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent Earth View outings, near and far!

.The EarthView team was happy to visit John F. Parker Middle School tonight for an evening showcase! 

Tonight was the schools "Multicultural Night"! Each student chose a country to research and at the event they showed off their display of their country and even brought in some food to share. A local choir performed some Portuguese music as well.

 There was a ton of energy in the gymnasium where it was held and lots of excitement as many people wanted to go inside of the globe! 

We hope that everyone who attended this event enjoyed their visit inside of EarthView!