Palo Duro Webcast Links Students With Geologic Wonder – Lake Mohave
AUSTIN, Texas — More than 10,000 schoolchildren across Texas and other states will get a virtual view of life in enchanting Palo Duro Canyon without leaving their classrooms through an interactive Webcast from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The event, “Life on the Edge — Where Ecological Regions, Cultures, Past and Present Meet,” is scheduled for 8:30-11:30 a.m., Fri., Nov. 15. It features an exploration of Palo Duro Canyon, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Texas.
The Webcast will be broadcast live from Texas’ largest history museum, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. It will take students on a journey from past to present, exploring life around the canyon from the vast plains stretching across the horizon to the immense canyon below. The Webcast will also feature live streaming Internet video of living history reenactors in uniform and native dress recreating the final battle of the Red Rivers War. Students will also witness biologists and scientists uncovering the rich geology and diversity of life in the area.
Students will learn about the people, animals and plants found there. Local students will try their skills at some light-hearted games of wit and fun to reinforce learning. Students not in the area can join in the fun through the chatroom and polling questions. They can also ask questions of the experts in the online chatroom during the Webcast.
Dozens of schools across Texas cities have registered to take part in the Webcast. Among the participating schools are some in Abilene, Austin, Beaumont, Bryan, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harlingen, Houston, Midland, San Antonio, Waco.
“The TPWD webcasts have gained a national reputation for excellence, and it is truly a joy to provide this experience for our kids,” said Nancy Herron, TPWD education coordinator. “We have outstanding guests lined up, a ‘play along’ game show that will challenge students’ knowledge and observation skills, and will even use polling questions for the internet audience. It’s going to be fun, fast-paced and student-centered.”
Herron has produced 21 educational Webcasts for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 1998, along the way finding support from NASA, Texas A&M, University of Texas, University of Houston and other public and private groups interested in the innovative use of the Web as a teaching medium.
“TPWD education recognized the potential and interactivity of the Web as an educational tool,” Herron said. “Used responsibly, the Web can reach thousands of kids as a precursor to going out into the real world at one of our sites or as a follow-up to an educational program. Nationally, other organizations are beginning to follow our lead to offer virtual field trips and access to their experts.”
Anyone may view the Webcast, and teachers may register online in advance to receive educational materials that accompany the Webcast. A link to TPWD Webcasts is on the TPWD home page (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/). The site includes an archive of earlier Webcasts covering topics such as “Texas Wild,” “Spaceship Earth: The Water Planet,” “Wild In the City,” “Lone Star Dinosaurs,” “Mysteries of the Lower Pecos,” “Travel the Texas Time Machine” and “Treasures of the Gulf Coast.” – Lake Mohave