Friday, April 20, 2012
7 Resources for Teaching and Learning About Mount Everest
National Geographic Expeditions has a lesson plan for middle school students about the history and development of climbing Mount Everest. The lesson plan also touches on the physical challenges posed by high altitude mountaineering.
The Rest of Everest video podcast provides more than 100 hours of video and commentary from two expeditions to the Himalayas. If you're looking for a way to show students what life on a mountain climbing trip is really like from start to finish, the Rest of Everest is the place to go.
Panoramas.dk, hosts dozens of other interactive panoramas from around the world. Included in that list is this 360 degree interactive panoramic image taken from the peak of Mt. Everest. Using this panoramic image students can see what mountaineers see when they stand on the peak of Mt. Everest. The image includes views of the famous Khumbu valley as well as Everest's neighboring peaks Lhotse, Changtse, Makalu, and Nupste. The rest of the list of interactive panoramas includes views of cultural festivals and tourist attractions. The database of US panoramic views includes the Grand Canyon, the Jefferson Memorial, and two dozen other panoramas.
Everest: Beyond the Limit was a Discovery series that chronicled the efforts of amateur mountain climbers attempting to climb Mount Everest. The climbers are accompanied by professional guides and Sherpas. The entire climb was coordinated by Russell Brice. To accompany Everest: Beyond the Limit, Discovery has developed a number of interesting and educational web resources. On the Everest: Beyond the Limit website you will find interactive Sherpa-cams, puzzles, games, and climbers' blogs. The Sherpa-cams give you perspective of what a climber sees has he or she ascends Mount Everest.
This Google Earth tour of Mount Everest's South Col route offers good views of the steps and camps along the way to the summit of Mount Everest. The South Col route is the route that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay used on the first successful summit climb. The South Col route is also the most commonly used route up Mount Everest.
A team of scientists studying climate change in Nepal have established a live webcam feed featuring Mount Everest. The camera is only operational during daylight hours in Nepal (roughly 6am to 6pm local time) but if you can grab the feed at the right time you can get some great looks at the mountain. The same researchers are also posting real-time climate data about Mount Everest and other mountains in the region.
I recently read Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance 1921 which I downloaded for free from Google Books. In the introduction there is a three page explanation of the methods used to measure the height of Mount Everest. An explanation of the differences in measurements is also provided in the introduction. Part of that explanation includes differences in snow fall, cyclical deviations of gravity, and differences atmospheric refraction when observations were made. I'm not a mathematics teacher and will never pretend to be one, but reading that introduction did get me thinking about a possible mathematics lesson.
On a mildly related note and on a promotion of a Mainer note, Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest by Ed Webster is one of the best books ever written about Mount Everest. If you enjoy good adventure stories and or stories about overcoming personal struggles, I think you will enjoy Webster's book. For my money, and I own two copies of it, it is far better than Krakauer's Into Thin Air.