How Can We Use These Photos?
Much of our understanding of our earth comes from simply
looking at it. Remote sensing helps us with the big picture. Remote sensing
photos can be used to plan the future. We can ask which way will a city grow
or how will a new freeway affect farming areas. Remote sensing can also help
show which way a fire moving or how fast lava from a volcano is flowing. The
purpose of this exercise is to gather data from remote sensing pictures.
Grade Level: 4-5
- Remote sensing images of your town or city with adjacent rural areas. Good
web sources for such images are:
Many pictures of our planet at many different scales may be found at an
Earth Page on the WWW. (See also the NASA Spacelink connection at this
NASA's Photo Gallery for more pictures closer to your school that you might
use for this exercise.
Also you can search for specific topics using the SEARCH botton located at the
end of NASA's
Ames Research Center Home Page.
For this exercise, views of Santa Clara County in California, and the Alviso
area are provided. Each group or individual playing a roll should have access
to the images.
- Copies of simulation rolls each student will play (grouping of three);
speaker, researcher, recorder
A developer wants to build 300 homes near existing wetlands. This land belongs
to a couple and has been used as a farm. Some people are concerned that the
development will affect the wetlands and others are worried that existing roads
will not be able to accommodate new traffic.
- Planning Commissioners (3) - one favors growth, one is conservationist, one is
unsure how the development should proceed. The commissioners must study and
weigh the evidence and do what is best for the city.
- Mr./Ms. Eagle is a volunteer for the Fish and Game Department. He/she counts
the birds each year. He/she is suspects that the added noise and the people
will drive away wetland migrating birds.
- Mr. or Mrs. House are developers who don't feel his/her planned, new houses
are close enough to the wetlands to hurt the birds and the new development can
put hundreds of people to work for several years.
- Mr./Ms. Sells owns the property. They have managed to keep their farm
productive long after most farmers left the area. Both are getting older and
they want to retire. No one wants to buy the land and use it as a farm.
- Mr./Mrs. Store owns a convenience store and would like to expand and see the
- The Chamber of Commerce (up to five students) doesn't want to hurt the
wetlands but does want new residents who will use the town's businesses and
thereby improve the economy of the town.
- Pollution Solution is an environmental advocacy group that encourages people
to use mass transit. The group fears that the new houses will cause too much
congestion and more pollution.
- Day 1) Practice reading remote sensing images as a class. Choose groups.
- Day 2) Groups work together on pictures and prepare arguments using pictures
and playing rolls.
- Day 3) Planning commission meets, hears testimony and comes to a decision.
Each group is represented by a speaker playing one of the above rolls.
Have planning commission members visit your class. Invite local
environmentalists to visit your class.
Change the simulation to an issue of importance to your locality.
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