ONLINE INTERACTIVES FOR TEACHING EARTH HISTORY
Each year, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) produces a lecture series for pre-college audiences. In 2012, the series was titled: Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future. We will present three online interactive resources that we developed to support the lecture series. The first, consisting of an interactive graph combined with videos and animations, allows students to explore the history of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. The Deep History of Life on Earth is a multimedia timeline meant to give students an appreciation for life on Earth over geologic timescales. Finally, a module on climate change starts with the premise that Earth’s climate is dynamic and past changes provide a better understanding of current anthropogenic climate change. In addition to presenting our resources, we plan to engage with educators to solicit feedback and generate idea for future online interactives.
HHMI is one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to supporting research and science education. HHMI’s BioInteractive initiative opens a window on cutting-edge science through interactive web features, short films, virtual labs, and scientific animations. Since teachers play a pivotal role in launching the careers of future scientists and in helping the public understand the beauty and import of science, the BioInteractive team partners with the teaching community to create and distribute media that is engaging and relevant to the science curriculum.