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Lessons on the Pacific Ocean

Molokai elementary students got a chance to dive into learning about the Pacific Ocean when a giant traveling map from the National Geographic came to visit. Measuring 26 by 35 feet, it’s one of the world’s largest maps of the world’s largest ocean. The map is printed on smooth vinyl with bright colors that can be spread on the floor, giving students the opportunity to learn about geography in a fun, interactive way. The map was on loan to Hawaii schools from Oct. 15 through Dec. 20, and visited Molokai last week.

Teachers were provided with a curriculum and activities for the map. From the deepest place on each, the Mariana Trench, to the world’s tallest mountain, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, which has its base on the ocean floor, youth learned all about the Pacific Ocean.

“Most of all, students… [experienced] the Pacific as a living entity, with active volcanoes giving birth to new islands, deep sea vents supporting new life forms, phytoplankton blooms providing over talk of the planet’s fresh air, and the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure in the world,” stated a news release about the map from the Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology program.

Women in Technology was one of the partners that brought the map to Hawaii, and others included the Hawaii Geographic Alliance, and the Hawaii Geographic Information Council. The National Geographic’s Giant Traveling maps program is managed by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society. The Pacific Ocean maps and curriculum were developed and funded by two $1 million Oracle Commitment Grants awarded to National Geographic.


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