Project based math with Amelia Earhart search

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Read ALA notable book Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh. Read this book to introduce biographies in your classroom.

It has been 75 years since Earhart disappeared on her trip around the world. Create a computer literacy center to track one of the two current groups looking for her long lost plane at the TIGHAR site (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) at TIGHAR’s Niku VII expedition. Students can read about what the engineers and historians experienced each week and journal interesting observations.

Provide the link on the site for her travels at http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/MapsandPhotos/maps/worldflight.html and allow students to research one of her destinations on her map. Or give the map to your students without the miles, and allow them to use Google Earth to find the miles traveled.

Allow students to find the site where TIGHAR is searching using Google Earth and determine how far away the site is located from their school. As the expedition starts searching along the coast, allow your students to find the area of their search using the provided GPS coordinates.

After students are familiar with her story of disappearing over the Atlantic, allow your students to read the fascinating last radio signals at http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog3.html. This could create an outstanding writing assignment for students to imagine that they are Earhart and what Earhart is experiencing during these last minutes.

The iPad at “World Book: This Day in History” would be great for a literacy center allowing students to find out what other newsworthy events occurred around the date of her disappearance and answer the prompt in their journals: Discuss how the Earhart event or other newsworthy events during this time period might have affected the country.

Finally, although I did not find a specific person on the expedition to follow on Twitter, TIGHAR provides a fascinating Facebook page. Some of the items on the page may be found on their website, and perhaps most video, blog and picture entries will eventually be stored on the website too. The Facebook page is by far the most interesting of the two presentations and a much more clearly presented example of their quest. For older students, or for a student that you could sit down next to you for a center, check out the social iPad app TreasureNet. It is not monitored for children.

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