June 5, 2010

The NOAA  (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association) website is a good source for tracking the spill with your students. The site is full of valuable information, particularly satellite photos of the scene.

Still, explaining vast numbers and distances to kids can be difficult. The bigger the numbers, the less they mean. That’s why I often use analogies (e.g. if Earth is the size of a basketball then the Sun would be the size of an entire basketball court) to explain outsized concepts to kids.

There is a great source online to help kids understand the size of the ever-expanding oil spill in the Gulf. If It Was My Home is a simple site that uses Google Maps to place the footprint of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill over a map of your own city or town. It is sobering, and definitely helped me to understand the magnitude of the slick.

Type in your own zip code and try it for yourself. It really brings the sickening sense of urgency to life.




Posted by: Seymour Simon

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