Students attending the Extended Child Care Center at the Greene School were recently given an exciting geography lesson by Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan, Professor of Geography at Bridgewater State College. Dr. Hayes-Bohanan is an environmental and cultural geographer, specializing in the geography of Latin America. During his twelve years at Bridgewater State College, he has enjoyed teaching geography to students in the classroom, on Cape Cod, in Vermont, and during study-abroad programs in Nicaragua, Cape Verde, Brazil, and Cuba.
The Greene School geography program was not taught from a book of maps, but from the inside of a twenty-foot scale model of the earth! When the children from the Extended Child Care Center walked into the gymnasium of the Greene School, there were quite a few amazed looks, and some “wows and “aaahs” were uttered, as the globe had been inflated prior to their arrival.
The children lined up against the wall of the gym for a brief explanation of the Earth View Project and what they could expect to see as they entered the globe’s opening, which was located near New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean.
After walking into the inflated globe, the students could see a three-dimensional view of the world as it would appear from inside of the earth’s core.
Dr. Hayes-Bohanan pointed out some major geographic features of our planet, such as how much of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and the different mountain ranges located on the globe. “We are trying to promote geographic education and help students understand their connection to the rest of the world”, said Dr. Hayes-Bohanan. He also noted that geography is not a required subject in most high school curriculum’s and the United States lags behind many industrialized nations when it comes to geographic knowledge and the teaching of the subject.
The appearance of the Earth View Project at the Greene School Extended Child Care Center was made possible by the efforts of Nathan Couto, a Center staffer and also a Geography Major at Bridgewater State College and Diane Guay Director of the Extended Child Care Program at the Greene School. Due to the size and safety requirements of the Earth View Project, the Greene School gym location was needed to accommodate the large-scale replica of our planet.
Was the Earth View Project a hit with the students?
”I think it was pretty cool because you get to go in the Globe”
“It was really cool, I learned a lot that I did not know”
“I liked it because I learned about the Earth”
“It was a good experience for us and Mr. Couto is the best for getting this for us”
Judging by those comments from participating students, the program was a resounding success!