Virtual Field Trip
Students, teachers, and homeschoolers, join scientist Alex Wegmann to answer this question (HINT: renewable energy) by exploring two amazing places: the Palmyra Atoll (coral reef) and the Mojave Desert. Take a virtual field trip Friday, May 20, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EST on YouTube. Registration is here. (And it’s totally free.)
Grades 3 – 8 will spend 45 minutes seeing how scientists harness renewable sources of energy, such as sunlight and wind.
First, you’ll visit the islands Palmyra Atoll which are 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, sit atop coral reefs, and teem with anima life. Believe it or not, the entire island is almost entirely powered through renewable energy sources. Below you’ll see a wind turbine.
Scientists study Palmyra to learn more about global climate change, coral reefs, marine restoration and invasive species.
Next, you’ll visit the scorching 20-million acre Mojave Desert in California. There you’ll see extreme peaks and valleys, monumental vistas, immense star-filled skies, desert plants, rattlesnakes, tortoises, bats, and coyotes.
For people in this area, the Mojave Desert offers recreation, ranching, mining, and military training.
What’s even more interesting is that the Mojave Desert boasts a massive solar panel installations that powers large cities. (See photo below.)
However, because the Mojave’s resources are finite and fragile, the Nature Conservancy is applying its Development by Design approach to caring for this desert. They are encouraging the development of clean energy while protecting the landscapes and ecology.
Even if you can’t watch the virtual field trip on May 20, register anyway to receive the YouTube viewing link, which you can use to watch anytime after the live event has concluded.
Download this free accompanying renewable energy lesson plan for your students explore solar and wind power—two important renewable energy sources. In this lesson, students will act as residents of different regions, weigh the pros and cons of each renewable energy option for a region, and make a recommendation based on that evaluation.
Classrooms can watch this Nature Conservancy video about making clean energy.
The content of this virtual field trip is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
photo credits: The Nature Conservancy
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