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Oversized, interactive map headed to class at Lab School in Natchitoches

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NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State University Elementary Lab School will display an oversized National Geographic traveling map of North America in May.

The map measures 35 feet by 26 feet and weighs 102 pounds.

The interactive map will be at NSU’s Elementary Lab from May 9 to 20 as part of National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.

The map, designed for pupils in kindergarten through eighth grade, comes with interactive games, atlases and books about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its history and cultures.

Some of the activities are “A Tale of Twenty Cities,” in which students explore the physical and economic reasons behind the locations of North American cities, and “Grocery Store Geography,” in which bean-bag-tossing skills are called upon to test students’ knowledge of where foods are produced in the continent.

“This will be a memorable experience for the students, as they will be actively be engaged and experience geography in a hands-on way,” said Dr. Paul Nagel, coordinator of the Louisiana Geography Education Alliance.

“This map will allow our students to take what they learned in class and apply it in a real world setting,” added Caron Coleman, principal at NSU Elementary Lab.

“Experiencing a map of this size can really awaken a student to the power of maps and the limitless depth of geography,” said Dan Beaupré, National Geographic’s director of education partnerships for National Geographic Live.

“Whether they are using the map to learn place names or to compare state-to-state CO2 emissions, students are physically involved in a hands- and feet-on way that makes geography into an event.”

National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa, and has since expanded to maps of North America, Asia and South America. The maps measure 26 feet by 35 feet and are loaned to schools and other hosts with an assortment of activities.

In the 2010-2011 school year, it is estimated that more than 300,000 students will use one of these maps. In addition to school visits, they appear at National Geographic Live events around the country featuring explorers, scientists and journalists.

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Written by demon53

April 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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