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Virtual Field Trips
These virtual field trips allow students to explore plant and animal life in two of South Carolina’s ecosystems—a cove forest and a salt march—and to understand the threats to these fragile systems. Interactive QuickTime VR (virtual reality) movies allow viewers to scan the terrain and see it up close, while movie clips and photo galleries of wildlife and links to other multimedia help make the ecosystems come alive during different seasons. Challenging worksheets assess students’ knowledge, and answer sheets provide comprehensive content to assist teachers. The virtual field trips are the products of a collaboration between Clemson University's SC LIFE project, which uses the natural history of the Southeast to teach biological concepts, and South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV). Virtual field trips to other ecosystems are under development.
Program Director: Barbara Jean Speziale, Ph.D.
Award Years: 1998, 2002, 2006
Summary: Clemson University is a public research university in Clemson, South Carolina. Its HHMI-funded initiatives include:
- Interactive research communities for undergraduates from Clemson and three historically black colleges and universities;
- Extensive professional development opportunities, including graduate-level courses in bioengineering, bioinformatics and other topics, and summer and short-term courses on natural history, for middle and high school teachers;
- Two CD series that aid students and teachers in learning about various components of South Carolina ecosystems: the SC LIFE Image CD Series, consisting of hundreds of images of invertebrates and vertebrates, and the SC LIFE Interactive CD series, which explores the diversity of flora and fauna in the five physiographic regions of the state; and
- Programs, including laboratory field trips, for middle and high school students to improve their knowledge and understanding of biodiversity and natural history using multidisciplinary curriculum materials that are also available online.