Giant traveling map brings Pacific Ocean to Alaska Schools
Fairbanks, Alaska—Students across Alaska will dive into the wonders of the Pacific Ocean with one of the world’s largest maps of the world’s largest ocean . The map, measuring 26 feet by 35 feet, will give these student explorers a fun, interactive experience through rich content and exciting activities that enliven the study of geography. Designed for grades kindergarten through eight, the map will be on loan to the UA Geography Program and the Alaska Geographic Alliance in March and April through National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, managed by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.
The brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface of the map will allow students at over 20 Alaska schools from Bethel to Anchorage to Juneau and points beyond to explore some of the unexpected geography at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean: from the deepest place on earth, the Mariana Trench, to the world’s tallest mountain, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which has its base on the ocean floor. Most of all, students will experience the Pacific as a living entity, with active volcanoes giving birth to new islands, deep sea vents supporting new life forms, phytoplankton blooms providing over half of the planet’s fresh air, and the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure in the world.
Teachers are provided with a set of fun, content-rich activities to help students interact with the map: “Cities in the Sea” invites students to explore the extraordinary biodiversity of four reef ecosystems; “The Deep & the Dark” simulates for students the depth of the Mariana Trench and fifteen other ocean floor trenches; and “Ocean Commotion” allows students to travel the ocean surface along the paths of eight major currents, finishing in the middle of the Pacific garbage patch, where they learn about human impacts on ocean health. Also accompanying the maps are lavish photo cards of animals and plants, hand-held models of volcanoes, and colorful coral reef replicas.
National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa. Since then the program has expanded to include maps of North America, Asia and South America and now the Pacific Ocean. The maps reinforce National Geographic’s commitment to increasing geo-literacy through teacher professional development, K-12 curriculum, live events and academic competitions.
Wednesday March 7, Nenana City Public School, Nenana
Monday, March 12, Kongiginak School, Kongiginak
Tuesday, March 13, Gladys Jung Elementary, Bethel
Wednesday, March 14, Gladys Jung Elementary, Bethel
Thursday, March 15, ys Jung Elementary, Bethel
Tuesday, March 20, Larson Elementary, Wasilla
Wednesday, March 21 Palmer Junior Middle School, Palmer
Thursday, March 22, Machetanz Elementary, Wasilla
Tuesday, March 27, Goldenview Middle, Anchorage
Wednesday, March 28, Ravenwood Elementary, Eagle River
Thursday, March 29, Eagle River Elementary, Eagle River
Friday, March 30, Alaska State Geographic Bee, Egan Center, Anchorage
Wednesday, April 4, Family Geography Night, Immaculate Conception School, Fairbanks, 5:30 - 7 pm
Monday, April 9, Montessori Borealis, Juneau
Tuesday, April 10, Montessori Borealis, Juneau
Wednesday, April 11 Harborview Elementary, Juneau
Monday, April 16, Kaleidoscope School, Kenai
Tuesday, April 17, Soldotna Elementary, Soldotna
Monday, April 23, Kenny Lake School, Kenny Lake (with iGlobe)
Tuesday April 24, Glenallen School, Glenallen (with iGlobe)
Wednesday, April 25, Glenallen School, Glenallen (with iGlobe - evening science night program)