Students in California and Thailand Find Innovative Ways to Incorporate GLOBE
In Redding, California, GLOBE students are learning about science in innovative ways, while expanding their knowledge and awareness of the world. At Evergreen Charter School, GLOBE science has been integrated into all aspects of the curriculum: art, music, language arts, and science. Terri Lhuillier, a GLOBE-certified fifth grade teacher, has been implementing GLOBE protocols for two years, creating new ways to engage her students across the curriculum, through science.
In language arts, the students read It Looked Like Spilt Milk, by Charles Shaw, an engaging book in which splashes of milk look like various cloud formations. After the students read this, they go outside to observe the clouds. In art class, they use cotton balls and glue to illustrate what they see. During writing time, they describe their observations. In science class, the students focus on clouds, climate and weather by taking measurements such as temperature readings, rainfall levels, pH levels and cloud cover. Then, the students enter their data into the GLOBE Web site. Ms. Lhuiller says, "My students begin to take an interest in the weather and climate around them because of their involvement with the GLOBE Program. They actually get to apply what they have learned, and then put that information to good use by providing valuable information for the atmospheric scientists."
In November 2006, nineteen of Terri Lhuillier's fifth grade students began corresponding with 28 students from Princess Chulabhorn School in Trang, Thailand. Patchara Pongmanawut, with help from North American Regional Desk Officer Nan McClurg, initiated the pen pal project with American students to give her Thai students the opportunity to improve upon their English reading and writing skills. The students write to each other regularly, discussing many aspects of their lives: climate, the animals inhabiting their countries, their experiences with GLOBE projects in the classroom, and their favorite music and movies. Recently, the Thai students began to teach the American students the Thai alphabet and some words and phrases. Student Geoff Barley says, "It is great to have a pen pal! I love it! It is exciting to learn about their weather, too. I wish I lived in Thailand!"
The exchange has encouraged the American students to take an interest in the rest of the world by focusing on Thailand. Ms. Lhuillier says, "My students want to know everything there is to know about Thailand now, and they want to share what they know about our country with their new Thai friends! It is such an incredible learning experience for all of us." The American students have expressed curiosity about all aspects of Thai culture, including music. Teachers Mrs. Sanders and Mrs. Champe are working with their students on an end-of-the-year musical performance about the Seven Continents, with students performing songs from Thailand. Student Michelle Mills says, "It has been a fantastic opportunity to write letters to people on the other side of the world and learn about their culture and things about their country. So someday, when I'm older, I would like to go there and bring my future husband and kids."
The students have also become involved with Heifer International's Read to Feed Program, a global education, awareness, and action program to assist communities in becoming more sustainable and self-sufficient. Students solicit sponsors who donate funds for each book read within a six-week period.
Ms. Lhuillier's students are working hard toward raising enough money to buy a water buffalo to donate to a family in Thailand. At Evergreen Charter School, Terri Lhuillier has done great work exposing her students to the many benefits of GLOBE Across the Curriculum , allowing them to see the world in a new light. We wish Ms. Lhuillier and her students and their new friends at Princess Chulabhorn School the best of luck with all their future endeavors at school and across the globe!
9 May 2007