Geography Quest ~ Session 2 ~ 2016

This session, our ES Eagles are learning about their place in Austin, in Texas, in the US and in our world! We started the session off by pairing up with PenPals across the globe! Through, an Austin-based tech company, we focus each week on a different aspect of our Pen Pals' lives. Week one was "A Day in the Life" and this week we are focused on the food of different cultures! The Eagles are able to chat with their Pen Pals about their lives, their communities and the ways in which their cultures differ. As the weeks go on, the topics change, as do the challenges the Eagles face in our community. Currently, we are working in groups to create "GeometroCities." Each Pod has chosen a major US city in which they create a suburb. From the beginning stages, the group researched the climate, topography, culture and population so that they could create a suburb which fits. As the City Planning phases continue, groups attain permits for building, Blueprint challenges, zoning challenges and are now in the "building up" phase to turn our 2D, Geometric cities into 3D, real world communities. Stay tuned as this quest unfolds and we learn more about Geography and our communities!

Ashley & Sara ~ Acton West Guides

The Middle School has been gaining tools to play in a “Colonization Game”. They have been learning how to read topographical, precipitation and political maps, and find their latitude and longitude with a handmade quadrant and knowing what timezone they are in. In the Colonization Game their teams will make the passage across the Atlantic, and settle into the New World. The game is broken down into the following stages:

Planning -

They will select the type of ship, the ship captain, who will they bring with them (carpenters, blacksmiths, doctors, weavers, etc), how much cargo (food, equipment, etc), and where will they set their initial settlement location. All of the decisions will have a costs, risks, and benefits they will need to weigh as they plan.

Voyage & Settlement -  

They will run into obstacles (leaking ships, tuberculosis, ship captains taking a detours, attacks from natives, flooding, freezing weather, etc). All of the obstacles will have some likelihood of happening that is based on their initial planning. For example, if they pay for a higher quality ship, the less likely the ship will leak and need to be docked for an additional month and pushing their landing dates into the winter.

Later in the session, we will explore geocaching, geographic information systems (GIS), and human geography.

Joey ~ Acton West MS Guide