Sunday, November 21, 2010

Changing the Balance - Explore Climate Change

There are a lot of resources on the web for learning about climate change, but Changing the Balance uses a unique approach. Changing the Balance is a website for students to use to explore climate change through looking at its impact on mosquitos, malaria, and the West Nile virus.

There are nine sequential parts to Changing the Balance. In the first four parts students learn about mosquitos, Malaria, and West Nile and how climate change may be a contributing factor to the spread of those diseases. In the beginning students also learn how mosquitos bite and how Malaria affects the human body. The last five sections of Changing the Balance are geared toward a more general explanation and examination of causes and effects of climate change.

There are videos, podcasts, and interactive displays throughout Changing the Balance, but the one that could help all students understand the basic premise of climate change is The Greenhouse Effect. The Greenhouse Effect is a simple interactive animation in which students manipulate Greenhouse Gas levels to see their effects on the temperature of the Earth.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing the link on Twitter.

Applications for Education
Changing the Balance has two companion resources for teachers. There is a digital assets page for teachers who would like to pick and choose sections of Changing the Balance that they want to use in their classrooms. The digital assets page provides strategies for using each section of the site, printable materials, and links to additional information resources.  Changing the Balance also offers a complete collection of resources and strategies for using the Blood Fever blog in the classroom. The Blood Fever blog is a more in-depth look at mosquitos and Malaria.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Exploring Climate Change in Google Earth
NOVA - Volcano Above the Clouds
Interactive Map of Past and Present Climate Data