to the ETE Teacher Pages!
NASA Classroom of the Future at Wheeling Jesuit University,
through a cooperative agreement with the NASA Goddard Space Flight
Center, is developing environmental earth science course modules
that are accessible over the Internet. Supported by NASA's Information
Infrastructure Technology and Applications (IITA) Program, which
facilitates public use of Earth and Space Science remote sensing
databases over the Internet, Exploring the Environment
(ETE) is a series of interdisciplinary, problem-based learning
(PBL) modules for high school students. The project engages student
teams in addressing real-world problems related to weather, population
growth, biodiversity, land use patterns, volcanoes, water pollution,
and global warming. Teams analyze remotely-sensed satellite images
to come up with solutions to open-ended earth science problems--problems
that real scientists are working on today in much the same fashion.
The remotely-sensed satellite
images used in ETE modules are images of the earth taken from NASA
satellites or aircraft, which students download from the Internet.
The images, however, are not taken by ordinary cameras, and they
may vary from traditional photographs in many ways, especially in
color and scale. Interpreting them may involve physical manipulation
(cropping, rotating) or mathematical manipulation (processing) of
the digital data stored in the pixel array of the image. These manipulations
are done in the classroom by students using image processing software
such as NIH Image (Mac, Win95), Idrisi (Windows), or Arcview (Windows).
Students access these software products by following instructions
in the ETE modules.
In addition to mastering
one of these specialized software products and learning to interpret
remotely-sensed images, ETE students collect, analyze, generate,
and transmit information using computers. They use email to communicate
their findings to ETE students at other schools and to contact scientists
for answers to questions. They use computers to search the Internet
at large for information leading to a satisfactory solution to the
problem they are trying to solve. Finally, they use word-processing
software or hypertext mark-up language (html) to create a report
on how they approached a problem.
The following pages and
materials address subject matter content, cooperative learning,
problem-based learning, and assessment. You will find many teaching
and learning ideas related to Exploring the Environment.