Saturday, June 19, 2010


You may have noticed a flurry of activity on the Updates page in With the end of the school year, I finally found the time to add some lessons and make adjustments to the site.

The first addition was an exercise that revolves around the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Estimates is a lesson on estimating area that uses image data from NOAA. Google Earth's lines of latitude and longitude serve as the grid for two estimation techniques. I also designed two versions of the platform with SketchUp to serve as the focal point of the lesson. The first model is a cross-section of the drilling operation; it can serve as an instructional mode. The second is a model of the Deepwater Horizon that can be loaded into Google Earth at the scene of the accident. Hopefully the crisis will be resolved by the end of summer.

Three of the new lessons use SketchUp as the tool of instruction. A four color map investigation led to an introduction of tessellation. SketchUp proved useful to accomplish these two-dimensional activities but it is the third dimension where it excels best. Thus, SketchUp's ability to model 3-D buildings for Google Earth is used in a project-based learning activity. If that isn't enough, there are two more Google Earth tutorials made with Xtranormal's animation creator: Adding a Polygon and Managing the View.

In the next month, I'll be traveling to the ISTE convention in Denver and attending the first Google Geo Teachers Institute in Mountain View, California. I hope to gain more knowledge to improve the RealWorldMath website and meet a lot of interesting people. Keep checking the website and this blog. You should see a constant growth in the year to come.