Outing #12: To the Moon!
Earth’s Moon EXPLORE Today we decided to visit our closest celestial neighbor, the Moon. To join us, start with the National Geographic’s Earth 101 video. Then, Walk to the Moon with David Bowie and the NPR Skunk Bear team to get a sense for how far away the moon really is. To learn why the Moon appears to change shape, tune into the SciShow Kids Moon episode. Bonus: Check out this interesting NASA recreation of the first time humans watched the Earth rise from the Moon. DISC
Outing #11: Stories from Dark Skies
Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, Arizona EXPLORE This week the Adventure Whales decided to take to the skies. We started by talking about how the one thing that all cultures have in common is the sky. We all see the same sun, moon, and stars (well, we all see stars, but our friends in the Southern Hemisphere get a different collection). But to see them from Earth, you need clear, dark skies. So, we started Space Week at the first “Dark Sky Nation” in the world—the Kaibab Pai
Outing #10: The Glow-in-the-Dark Sea
Puerto Mosquito (Mosquito Bay), Vieques, Puerto Rico EXPLORE Our last stop on our “week of land and water” was pretty special. We traveling to a bioluminescent bay on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. That means that the water GLOWS when you disturb it! The light comes from a type of plankton called a dinoflagellate (Pyrodinium bahamense to be precise.) This plankton is just one of the many aquatic animals that produce, reflect, or absorb then release light to survive. Star
Outing #9: Northward, ho!
Kenai Fjords National Park EXPLORE Of course, not all aquatic ecosystems are warm like tropical rainforest and coral reefs. Some of the most interesting places where water meets land are in the arctic. Today, we travel to Alaska to see Kenai Fjords National Park. There, the forces of ice, tides, and changing temperatures dominate the landscape and the wildlife that live there. Start by checking out the Google satellite map to see where exactly Kenai Fjords National Park is an
Outing #8: In Search of Muck Fish
Rio Negro near Manaus, Brazil (Amazon River Basin) EXPLORE We explored one of the most diverse ocean ecosystems yesterday. Today, we’ll travel further south to Earth’s most diverse terrestrial ecosystem—the tropical rainforest. In particular, we’ll visit the flooded forests along the banks of the Rio Negro in central Brazil. The abundant water and seasonal floods along the Rio Negro support such a diverse collection of fish and other life, that scientists are still trying to
Outing #7: Under the Sea
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA EXPLORE After our introduction at the Shedd yesterday, we decided to continue learning about the diverse, but delicate, coral reefs. These underwater ecosystems grow in warm, shallow waters such as the Florida Keys. To get a feel for these undersea wonderlands, we visited Dry Tortugas National Park. Start by finding the park on a map—it’s about 70 miles west of Key West. Personally, I’d never heard of this park, and I was a ranger for
Outing #6: Where Water Meets Land
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, USA EXPLORE The Adventure Whales voted to spend this week visiting places “where water meets land.” We’ll focus on how creatures have adapted to diverse ecosystems defined by water and land coming together. And what better place to start this adventure, but the world-class Shedd Aquarium! To explore the Shedd, join their Aquarium Adventure Club via these sweet Sea Curious videos: What do animals eat? What does animal poop look like? What ani
Outing #5: What Emperor are you?
Great Wall of China EXPLORE We finished our “week of the ancients” by exploring the Great Wall of China. We talked about how and why Chinese emperors ordered it built, what a “dynasty” is, and especially the impressive technology developed by Ancient Chinese cultures. To start your journey, check out this interesting map of the different sections of the wall built by six dynasties over more than 1500 years. Then, watch this short video from the Smithsonian Channel about the o
Outing #4: Drip Drop, Not Tick Tock
Acropolis & Agora, Athens, Greece EXPLORE To continue our tour of ancient cultures, we got our tourist on at the Acropolis and Agora in Athens, Greece. To join us, start with this short video from the ultimate tour guide, Rick Steves. Then, to explore on your own, take a self guided virtual tour. Finish with a short introduction to one of the less common, but fascinating structures: The Tower of the Winds. The tower acted as both weather station and town clock. DISCUSS Which
Outing #3: Does that Start with Vulture or Viper?
The British Museum, London, UK EXPLORE My crew of virtual explorers—aka The Adventure Whales, they've decided—have been really excited about ancient cultures. So, we decided today would take us to the British Museum in London. The Brits collected (or as some of the kids pointed out, took) cultural objects from every inch of the planet, and it’s impressive to see them all in one place. We focused on how cultures learn, share, and take from one another, even when they are separ