Dear GeoForAll Colleagues,
As I started on this “Lab of the month” series for the Geo for All newsletter, I myself started learning more and more about the excellent work that our amazing colleagues globally have been doing. This month, I am pleased to share the excellent work of WorldBridge who are involved in International Real-time, Real-world Collaborative Projects by Trillium Learning. WorldBridge is an international award-winning program for learning 21st Century Skills, using advanced teaching methods that incorporate real-world projects involving industry and government partners. A World Bridge continually advances educational models for international leadership, economic development and educational research. These dynamic projects involve the design and implementation of Real-world, Real-time Project-Based Learning into the curriculum. Students develop professional skills while working on locally-oriented projects that have relevance to the larger global community, such as urban management and sustainable resources. Details at http://aworldbridge.com
I was particularly impressed by their work with students through NASA Europa Challenge . Alaska’s A World Bridge program in Kodiak won back-to-back NASA Europa – International Grand Challenges the past two years, competing against the world’s “Best and the Brightest” to generate solutions to societal issues that will benefit both the local and world communities. The competition includes top universities and commercial organizations – the 2015 Alaskan team represented the first high school to be involved in the competition. The Earthquake Signal Precursors (ESP) project (aka Global Earthquake Forecast System) is a revolutionary initiative that will advance the field of earthquake science using a dynamic monitoring system of earthquake precursor signals that have the potential to forecast imminent seismic activity. ESP can serve as a cornerstone to inform the community for the increasing risk of an earthquake. The current work monitors the Earth’s magnetic field for anomalies. These anomalies have been consistently shown to shortly precede actual seismic events by several hours to a few days.
Members of the Kodiak Team working on their project (picture courtesy of Trillium Learning)
The students are also working on the NASA OpenCitySmart global initiative, which challenges “the world’s best and brightest” to find solutions for creating sustainable communities. They are looking for renewable energy solutions and the development of shared energy grids suitable for Arctic conditions. Students are also working on building new types of greenhouse systems that can withstand extremely cold temperatures, technology that could have enormous impact on agriculture in the Arctic. This is a great example of accelerating academic performance for students in STEM to greatly enhance the quality of our next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. See more details at
We thank Ron Fortunato who is a pioneer and innovator in the development and implementation of educational technology. He is one of the original five Christa McAuliffe Educators in the USA selected by the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, and a NASA Space Ambassador for the United States. His understanding of teaching and learning processes, real world project-based learning and program implementation enable him to design and produce effective learning environments.
Thank you Ron and WorldBridge Team for making possible. It is important that we can share these amazing ideas with all, so that it keeps building more synergies. We are a global community and it is this global perspective which gives us strength. It is important that we highlight and share ideas from colleagues in different parts of our home planet.