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FIS - Fernerkundung in Schulen

From Satellite Images to Maps

Maps as a basis for spatial orientation play a key role in geography teaching. To use maps as important devices, maps as such are dealt with in class with pupils aged 10-11. A main subject in geography teaching for pupils aged 10-11 is ”mapping”. This subject area contains the question how maps can be derived from aereal or satellite images. Through this, it is referred back to national standards in education because the following competences are included: • Competence of spatial orientation: The pupils learn to orient themselves in space and therefore gain topographic orientation knowledge. • Map competence: The pupil’s spatial perception is trained. The pupils learn how to deal with maps adequately and are able to create sketches of topographic overviews and simple maps theirselves. The aim of the teaching unit “From Satellite Images to Maps” is to put the pupils in a position to derive thematic maps from digital satellite images with simple analysis tools and to formulate statements regarding landscape composition. This teaching unit makes use of computers to teach the topic in an effective manner through animations and interaction. The work with this complex of themes is done through a computer-aided and interactive learning module. The analysis tools within the learning module are implemented in flash in an illustrative design suitable for pupils. Furthermore, the computer-aided learning module takes the following requests to teaching and learning into account: • The module’s structure is science-oriented and thus encourages science-propaedeutic learning in general. • The learning module encourages lesson organisations which depend on individual activity and self-responsibility of the pupils. • The learning module takes the pupils‘ real life into account. • The medium computer is used as working equipment; thus the pupils experience the computer not only as a mere source of information and entertainment but also as a tool. Moreover, the use of new media and therefore media competence is promoted.

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Planet Schule, SWR

USA, die Ostküste: Florida

Vor den Florida Keys verlief im 17. Jahrhundert die Route der spanischen Silberflotte, die Schätze aus den Kolonien nach Europa schaffte. Hurrikane brachten immer wieder Galeonen zum Kentern. Heute sucht Berufs-Schatztaucher Kim Fisher nach den versunkenen Reichtümern.

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FIS - Fernerkundung in Schulen

Traces of Fire (Geography)

Forest fires claimed a large number of lives and caused great ecologic damage in the Mediterranean in the past years. During the summer and while the fires last, the media coverage is extensive - one can watch countless reports on the course of the fires, listen to interviews on losses and human tragedies, and read about backgrounds. But what about the developments in the affected regions after such a disaster? In order to derive statements on the development of ecosystems out of balance, the use of remote sensing data is advantageous, since it allows the comparison of different points in time, thereby, showing the development and change. Most Geography curricula include natural disasters and/or interactions between nature and human interferences (e.g. with spatial effects or effects on geo-ecological cycles). This teaching unit combines both topics and analyses how a ”natural” disaster, triggered or expedited by humans and, therefore, being a human interference with nature, effects the development of landscapes. The utilisation of satellite images in this case is particularly beneficial for they facilitate the analysis of an area at different points in time. Thereby, one may for example derivate conclusions on the development of landscapes in interaction with disastrous processes caused by humans. Especially the display of so-called vegetation indices allows conclusions on the vitality of plant stocks. The goal of the teaching unit "traces of fire in satellite images" is to point out the coherences between the electromagnetic spectrum, the production of satellite images and the detection of alterations within ecosystems. The teaching unit utilises the facilities of the computer for effectively conveying the issue by using animations and interactive applications. The topic complex is practically approached via a computer-based interactive learning module. The analysis tools within the learning module - NDVI or time series analysis - are programed in a new, clear and pupil-oriented fashion in Flash AS 3.0.

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FIS - Fernerkundung in Schulen

Brown Coal - Land Use Change Through Surface Mining

The impact of man on nature can be demonstrated especially well through the example of brown coal surface mining. The expansion of the area of surface mining leads - depending on the scope of the expansion - to a corresponding myriad of ecological, social, and economical consequences. The examination of these causal relations and their consequences for man and nature is increasingly done with the help of remote sensing. With remote sensing changes over time can be analysed, problems identified, and possible interrelations between man, environment, politics, and economy derived. In this teaching unit, a broad spectrum of remote sensing data is used which demonstrates the different application possibilities of said data to the pupils .

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FIS - Fernerkundung in Schulen


The main objectives of the teaching unit Tsunami - When waves change everything cover the training of spatial perception and assessment, risk detection and damage evaluation using satellite images. Within this group of topics, the application of satellite images appears to be particularly beneficial when looking at them at different times because it facilitates the comparison of landscape changes in the course of a natural disaster. The goals of this teaching unit Tsunami - When waves change everything are as follow: The pupils shall become acquainted with the significance of natural disasters, undertake spatial perception and assessment, as well as get to know the backgrounds of the development of tsunamis and the potentials of remote sensing as a tool for damage assessment. The teaching unit makes use of the computer’s potentials to effectively convey the subject matter by using animation and interaction. A computer-based interactive learning module allows a practical consideration of the thematic field and, thereby, shall ease the detection of landscape changes. Furthermore, the computer-based learning module covers the following aspects of modern learning: - The module is science based and, thereby, fosters propaedeutic science learning - The module promotes a type of teaching that emphasises the students’ self-activity and self-responsibility - The module considers the students’ life reality - The computer is applied as work equipment. Students learn to use the computer as a tool instead of an information and entertainment medium. Furthermore, the pupils learn how to handle modern media and gain media competence

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FIS - Fernerkundung in Schulen

Haiti - Emergency Aid from Space

One occasionally reads about catastrophic natural disasters with thousands of casualties in the news. After the 2004 tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, in 2010 another catastrophe of similar extent occurred in the Caribbean: On the 12th January 2010, Haiti was struck by a once-in-a-hundred-years earthquake. Such extreme catastrophes usually deploy many foreign aid workers. ”Which particular areas are affected, where can we put up a field hospital, which bridges are passable, which streets are blocked, and are there intact landing runways?” are questions that concern relief organisations during the first hours. To provide information about the event’s effects for the aid workers e.g. in form of maps or GPS coordinates, the use of remote sensing data is suitable: The data can be gathered and evaluated before the first aid workers arrive on field. In the case of Haiti, it has been managed to produce first maps within 24 hours. Google Earth, the virtual globe, uses satellite and aerial images; thus pictures of the Earth’s surface taken recurrently, quality-checked and projected onto a three-dimensional model of the Earth. The geography’s curriculum for secondary education I involves within the field of content ”naturally and humanly caused threats to habitats” the topic ”Threat to habitats through georisks (earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes). The use of virtual globes on a satellite image basis presents itself as sufficient, as it is possible to view images of a place in different points in time and thus visualise changes. The aim of the teaching unit ”Disaster Management from Space” is the mapping of earthquake effects in a small area of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince by means of Google Earth. Thereby, the pupils are to analyse the changes in this area between two points in time. This procedure simulates the work of civil and disaster management organisations on a small scale but with similar tools. In addition, gathering information from multimedia and from web-based geo information service presents a contentual aspect of the curriculum for secondary education II; thus, this teaching unit can be used for higher grades in a modified manner as well.

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Animal Stories: Hot Hippo: Im Zoo: Elefanten

Schematische Darstellung der Unterschiede von Afrikanischen und Indischen Elefanten.


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Arbeitsblatt Bild Elefant Zoo





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Columbus Eye - Live-Bilder von der ISS im Schulunterricht

Canada - Snow, Ice and the Sea

When opening the tool ”Canada”, the ISS-panorama will appear, showing the region Saskatchewan and the almost fully frozen Tobin Lake. Moving eastwards you will spot Lake Winnipeg as well as partly ice- and snow-covered regions until you reach Fjord Saguenay in the east, located north of Québec. A video of formerly 9 minutes - the time it took for the ISS to fly over this region - was used to create this panorama.

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Columbus Eye - Live-Bilder von der ISS im Schulunterricht

West Africa - crossing the Earth´s biggest desert

The ISS flight above Western Africa shows a unique portrait of the Earth's biggest desert: the Sahara. It shows the huge dimensions of the enormous and hot drylands. But it also includes the more vivid Savannas in the adjacent neighborhood. While there is nearly no life in the Sahara, you can find seasonal blooming regions and even agriculture here. Perhaps, you can detect the Eye of Africa or the ship graveyard of Nouadhibou.