USES OF EXISTING GigaPan IMAGES IN THE EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE CLASSROOM
Several sites of geologic significance have been photographed with the GigaPan system. These panoramas are geo-located and appropriate as a basis for student investigation and discussion. Sample imagery teachers can access include petroglyphs in Saudi Arabia, dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and Yellowstone National Park. Teachers may want students to explore Earth processes by examining the flooding of Harriet Island along the Mississippi River or the Gros Ventre Landslide in Wyoming. Students can discuss the human-environmental impacts of mining operations by viewing the Brigham Canyon Mine in Utah, or conduct a biodiversity assessment in a panorama of an Antarctic Adelie penguin population.
Classroom strategies for implementation can be created with a GigaPan image as a starting point for individual or classroom exploration. A high-resolution image not only allows students to explore unseen places, but they often provide a crucial sense of scale, allowing students to connect to these foreign places. Impact craters on Mars can be explored in astronomy classes; students can walk in the steps of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, and describe what they see in a reflective writing exercise. GigaPan images of ecosystems can be printed and used to enhance quantitative skills by using geometry to estimate the number of organisms in a population. This presentation offers additional image examples along with pedagogical strategies for classroom integration.