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GPS and Geodesy for Dummies: Do You Know Where You Are?

Virtual Globes!
The first of two web seminars on the topic of GPS and Geodesy was held on Thursday, April 19, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was Galen Scott, Team Lead for the COASTAL Program within NOAA's National Geodetic Survey. In this seminar, Mr. Scott talked about virtual globes, existing online data resources for classroom use, and ideas for using virtual globes to engage students.

Participants used their stamps to answer one of the presenter's questions about virtual globes. Eighty-six (86) participants were present at the live Web Seminar not including the presenter and the NSTA staff. In addition, one site in Alaska reported hosting 20 participants that watched the seminar on a large screen. Participating educators represented the states of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

In this seminar Galen Scott, NOAA, defined virtual globes and shared ideas of how this tool can be used in the classroom to engage middle school students. A virtual globe is a 3D model of the Earth, or another world, that allows the user to move around in the virtual environment by changing the viewing angle and position. Different data sets can be displayed on virtual globes giving users many applications. All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide about Coral Ecosystems, grades 9-12.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:
  • "It helped me to understand the features of virtual earth models."
  • "I had not given much thought to virtual globes beyond using them as a cool graphic. Many good ideas were shared both in the chat and with the presenter."
  • "I have used virtual globes with my students but tonight I learned some new applications that will make this a more useful classroom tool."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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 Underwritten in part by: NOAA