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Teaching with Technology in the St. Louis River Estuary

St. Louis River. Photo by Chris J. Benson.

For two days in mid-November, 15 students and eight teachers explored the St. Louis River on foot and by iPhone. Their goal was to join estuary scientists and mobile‐device quest developers to generate a place-based learning experience for the St. Louis River. The students had an opportunity to go geocaching and to work with GPS (Geographic Positioning Systems) and ARIS (Augmented Reality for Interactive Storytelling) software to build a hybrid world of virtual interactive characters and objects placed in physical space.

Pat Collins, St. Louis River Conservation Coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, became one of those quasi-virtual characters at the Rice's Point boat launch, giving the students some pause as they tried to figure out who he was and what information he contained.

The "Teaching with Technology in the St. Louis River Estuary" workshop was funded by the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grants and supported by Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes. It was organized and run by a team of scientists and educators from University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Minnesota Duluth's Natural Resources Research Institute and other partners.

A video that involves this project is available at: http://video.esri.com/watch/185/geptppls-to-promote-spatial-literacy-and-stewardship-of-the-great-lakes.

By Sea Grant Staff
February 2012

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