Have you found the “Habitable Planet?”

Excitement is in the air for teachers of environmental science! “The Habitable Planet” is an amazing collection of a free online textbook, video resources, interactive labs and more (it is possible to purchase the video program if you wish), including topics like: Many Planets, One Earth, Carbon Cycling and Earth’s Climate, the Atmospheric Oxygen to name a few. “The Habitable Planet” is part of Annenberg Media and it is intended to provide, “a multimedia course for high school teachers and adult learners interested in studying environmental science [including] access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field.”


It would be easier now…part 3: Titanic

Ahhh, the Titanic. We studied it before Kate and Leonardo were all the craze and it was interesting but with the resources available to us now would be so much easier to create an engaging learning experience! Of course the History channel would have an amazing resource. History’s main Titanic site connects visitors with video, the ship’s manifest, and an image gallery. There is also a link to an excellent interactive time line with links to a tour and images from before the disaster, an exploration of the most likely scenario showing how the Titanic hit the iceberg, and an introduction to the lives of survivors.

If looking at the voyage of Titanic, Discovery’s “On Board the Titanic” is a great next stop. Virtually follow the journey of one of five passengers on the Titanic. The site is not really interactive (you see images and video clips with their story in words on screen-some of the language is authentic…) but presents the stories of each passenger.

National Geographic also has resources, primarily focused on Robert Ballard’s expeditions to Titanic. Their “Titanic: The Real Deal in 3-D” allows for an exploration through video clips from a 1998 3-D filming of Titanic. The site, “Return To Titanic” is also interesting. It has video and images of the shipwreck Titanic and an interactive feature allowing visitors in virtually explore the shipwreck. With National Geographic does have a lesson plan focusing on shipwreck exploration in general inspired by Robert Ballard, though some of the links in the lesson are broken.

The BBC’s “Titanic Journey” would be another great place to explore. With a combination of video clips and quizzes, visitors learn about the science and history behind the creation and sinking of Titanic. There is even a “Ships Log” so if you are using the site with students, they can save video clips and notes relevant to their research while they investigate the site. Interestingly, this website follows the explorations by the Keldysh, the same research ship featured in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s current Titanic exhibit.

Finally, Snag Films has put online National Geographic’s Secrets of the Titanic. (the video I showed my students on VHS!) The video is interesting, and Martin Sheen is a great narrator.