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Take an Amazing Virtual Field Trip With The Nature Conservancy

Link up and hang out with The Nature Conservancy for a super-fun classroom virtual field trip!

Field trips are a common occurrence in schools, especially near the end of the school year.  However, funds are often nonexistent, and with the crushing pressure of end of course testing, time may not be available to take the kids out of school for the day.

What is the solution?  Take an exciting virtual field trip with The Nature Conservancy!

Tell me more!  The NatureWorks Everywhere website (presented by The Nature Conservancy) offers a wide range of lessons, videos and virtual field trips for our science classrooms.  The videos are highly engaging, and the downloadable free lesson plans are perfectly designed to complement and enhance your teaching.

What about the virtual field trip?  The third virtual field trip is just around the corner!  It is entitled:  "The Coral Reefs of Palau: Nature's Amazing Underwater Cities."  The mission of this field trip is to design, plan and execute a live Google Hangout for grade 3 - 8 classrooms in order to learn about the diverse ecosystem of Palau's Coral Reefs.  Students will learn about the symbiotic relationships between the many organisms, the environmental dangers facing the coral reef, and how people can act to protect the reef. From the developers, "We hope the virtual field trip will build student's knowledge of and emotional connection to environmental issues that are at the heart of The Nature Conservancy's mission."

When is it?  The live Google Hangout will take place on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

How do I sign up?  Click this link to sign your class up  for the coral reef virtual field trip.

What will my students learn on this virtual field trip?  "Join the Nature Conservancy on a Virtual Field Trip to the Coral Reefs of Palau: a remote network of islands deep in the Pacific Ocean. Here, sharks snatch up smaller prey; decorator crabs apply bits of shell, algae, and sponge to their own backs for camouflage; and massive 2,000-pound sea cows graze. Our journey to the Coral Reefs will open students’ eyes to an amazing, interconnected ecosystem built on symbiosis and mutualism, where diverse organisms are designed to protect, clean, nourish, and even camouflage one another. In this underwater city, the coral supports its many “workers” and they, in turn, keep the coral healthy. 

Called “the medicine chests of the sea,” Coral Reefs provide ingredients that are leading to new lifesaving medications. They are also an astonishingly rich source of food for many species, including humans, and provide a perfect buffer to protect shorelines from erosion. Join our expert scientist, Marine Biologist Stephanie Wear, as we take a deep dive to learn about one of the “seven underwater wonders of the world.” May 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm (ET). Length: 40 minutes."

Many of the key ecological concepts that we have been teaching all year long will be reviewed and reinforced:  Symbiosis, mutualism, interactions within communities, predation, competition, food chains and food webs.  

Who will be leading this virtual field trip?  Marine biologist Stephanie Wear will be leading us on this adventure.  Stephanie is Director of Coral Reef Conservation for The Nature Conservancy.  Stephanie is articulate, engaging and explains concepts in a clear and easy to understand manner.  You can take a look at one of her coral reef videos at this link:  Coral Reefs - Feeding and Protecting Us.

Are there resources I can use to get prepared before we take the virtual field trip?  YES!!  These links will provide you with many free resources to prepare you for teaching and your students for learning.
You mentioned above that this is the third virtual field trip presented by The Nature Conservancy.  Can I still view the first two fields trips?  Absolutely!  The first two virtual field trips can be viewed below:

Wild Biomes:  From America's Rainforests to America's Deserts

Deserts and Grasslands of Africa

This sounds great!  What do I do now?  Be sure to sign up for the live Google Hangout.  Then sit back and get ready for a fun classroom adventure!

Disclosure:  This post has been sponsored through a partnership with WeAreTeachers and NatureWorks Everywhere.