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Welcome to the ETE Teacher Pages!
The 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.

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Last updated April 28, 2005
   

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