Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched the lightning-speed evolution of some amazing venues for connecting students in project-based explorations of the BP oil spill. The combination of Suzie Boss’s PBL Camp (via Edutopia) and Paul Allison’s Voices on the Gulf site (via the Teachers Teaching Teachers community and the National Writing Project) has me pretty excited about starting the new school year.
From the the PBL Camp wiki and the Twitter and Elluminate sessions, along with the Teachers Teaching Teachers weekly Skypecasts, and few Google searches, I’ve gleaned some great resources to help jump start classroom discussions, research, and projects on the oil spill:
- From Free Technology for Teachers, see what the oil spill would look like it were in your backyard – If It Was My Home
- From the New York Times Interactives – How Much Oil Is on the Gulf Coast
- From GeoPlatform – Mapping the Response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
- From NOAA – Oil Spill Resources for Educators - site has maps, images, videos, and lessons!
Videos and Images
- Satellite images from NASA
- NDRC’s Go Below the Surface
- +50 Ways to Visualize B.P.’s Dark Mess
- TEDx Oil Spill Expedition (licensed under the Creative Commons)
- Glee’s Over the Rainbow
- A Song for the Gulf
Animals on the Gulf
- Encyclopedia of Life – Oil Spill
- 10 Animals Most at Risk from the Oil Spill
- Gulf Oil Spill’s Animal Victims
- Bird Tracking
- Citizen Science site/concept of citizens gathering bird data
- ebirds – Will gulf oil spill effect backyard birds? Check out gulf coast bird tracker!
- All About Birds – Check out the Gulf Coast Gallery!
- NestWatch – Get started with backyard science!
- BirdSleuth.com – Check out lesson modules and “bring science to life through inquiry”!
- Celebrate Urban Birds Project – Check out the featured mini-grants projects!
- Bridge Marine Resources and Lessons – (Grades 2-12)
- From Thinkfinity:
- from NOAA – Cleaning Oiled Feathers (elementary)
- From CSIRO – An Oily Problem (Grades 4-6)
- From Science Buddies – Goo-Be-Gone – Cleaning up an oil spill (Grade 3)
- From a West Coast Perspective – How Would an Oil Spill Effect the Monterey Bay Marine Animals? (Grades 4-6)
In the News
- From PBS – Oil Spill News + embeddable widget for keeping track of number of gallons leaked
- NY Times – Oil Spill’s Effects on Wildlife
- CBS News – 10 Animals Most in Danger from Oil Spill
- eNature.com – Louisiana Wildlife at Risk
- ScienceMag.org – Oil Spill Articles
- Discovery News – Gulf Coast Expert on Oil Spill
- Planet Green Videos (Discovery) – Top 5 Worst Oil Catastrophes
- National Geographic Blog – A Photo Essay: TEDx Oil Spill Expediton
- NewsWeek – Oil-Spill Spin: Who can you trust?
- US Department of the Interior: Deepwater Horizon Response
Starting today, I’ll be putting some time and energy into the Voices on the Gulf project. I’ve learned never to say “no” to an invitation to work with Paul Allison, Chris Sloan, and Kevin Hodgson. Over the past five years, I’ve connected teachers in my district and region to a number of innovative, technology-enhanced NWP projects – always with the same result: students are empowered by opportunities to connect with students in other locations around issues they genuinely care about.
If you are looking for ways to connect with other teachers and classrooms around specific or general topics, issues, and questions surrounding the oil spill, I encourage you to join the Voices on the Gulf community. I’ll be working mainly with the Our Voices (K-6) channel for Voices on the Gulf, and I already know it will rock your students’ worlds because I’m teaming with Kevin Hodgson, whose expertise in teaching the new writing continues to inspire – and push (in a good way) – all who work with him.
And if you have additional oil spill resources to add to those I’ve posted, please jump in with a comment!