maps , reading contour maps, map projections, latitude and
longitude, and GPS. All culminating in the mapping of
#02-01: Understanding Mapping Projections with
The world is round but our maps are
So how do scientists make flat
maps? A simple balloon works wonders as a demonstration. Blow up the balloon
and draw similar sized circles on the inflated balloon. After deflating,
the balloon is slit down the side and stretched
out so it is flat. OHHHH! NOW I understand map
#02-02: Intro to
latitude/longitude and GPS “Bingo”
Sometimes learning latitude and longitude can be really boring. But
now do it with GPS bingo and you’ll see the spark
of enthusiasm! Each student gets a different piece of the Earth.
Call out the locations and you’ll soon hear “Bingo!”
ACTIVITY #02-03: An introduction to GPS
A PowerPoint slide show introduces GPS and
how it works. Then pass around an apple, toothpicks and marshmallows and
let the students build their own system of positioning satellites around their “Earth”.
ACTIVITY #02-04: Using a hand-held GPS locator
is done outdoors (of course). Flag a few locations in your playground and have the students record the
lat/long coordinates for each. Then go back to the classroom and see
how everybody did. Four GPS devices are provided, with simple instructions for each.
What a fun adventure!
ACTIVITY #02-05: An introduction to Contour Maps
surprising how many people can’t read a contour map. But you’ll have expert students after this activity. Using
foam sheets, each students cuts out their contour piece. And when you
assemble them all together, you’ve conquered the mountain – Mt. Hood that is!
ACTIVITY #02-06: Map that Earthquake!
Now that we know maps, lat/long coordinates and
GPS methods, we can keep track of earthquakes on our own earthquake map!