JOURNEY NORTH: Spring, 1995
Engaging Students in a Global Study of Wildlife Migration

Who: Students Across North America

What: Track Wildlife Migration and Spring's Journey North

When: Groundhog's Day Until Summer Vacation

Where: On Internet at:


Spring's Journey North on the Information Superhighway

Groundhogs Aren't the Only Ones Who Can Forecast Spring!

Minneapolis, MN--Announcing Journey North, an Internet-based learning adventure that will engage students in a global study of wildlife migration. Beginning on Groundhog's Day, 1995, students will travel northward with spring as it sweeps across the continent of North America. With global classmates and state-of-the-art computer technology, they will predict the arrival of spring from half a world away.

Students will witness the wonders of migration as they travel "live" with some of the world's most accomplished wild adventurers--bald eagles, monarch butterflies, sea turtles, songbirds, peregrine falcons, caribou and loons--on the annual journey their ancestors have traveled for generations.

Up-to-the-minute news about migration will be exchanged between classrooms as students report observations from their own home towns. The dramatic migrations of several Journey North species will be tracked by satellite. News about these journeys will travel from the animal's transmitter to an orbiting satellite and then directly into the classroom via the Internet. This revolutionary technology will give students a bird's eye view of the remarkable challenges faced by individual animals as they migrate.

Linked to classrooms from the tropics to the arctic, students will conduct interactive, comparative studies of the natural world. In addition to following migrations, they will observe the local emergence of spring through studies of changing day length, temperatures and other spring events.

Understanding Global Ecological Systems Journey North yields an understanding of perhaps the most important, yet difficult, concept in environmental education: the concept of interdependent global ecological systems. In the words of one participating teacher:

"My students suddenly saw the connection between the backyard butterfly, spring temperatures and the distant country of Mexico. They were able see how fragile nature is, and that all living things are interconnected. Journey North provided the chance to 'think globally and look locally'."

Linking Students to Scientists Journey North will give students the opportunity to interact directly with scientists and participate in current scientific research on problems not yet solved. They will discover real-life applications of math and science, and explore the geography, politics and economics inherent in conservation issues. Students will grapple with real issues and learn from real people. The end result will be dynamic, interactive learning.