James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography and Co-Coordinator of Project EarthView, Bridgewater State College, brought Project EarthView to The Pinecroft School on Monday, November 30th. The visit took place in the field house of Wheaton College.
EarthView is a hand painted inflatable globe, 22′ in diameter and about 19 feet tall, which gives observers the opportunity to view the world inside and out.
The K/1 class arrived in time to watch Dr. Hayes-Bohanan inflate the globe. They then journeyed inside the structure for a short visit. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades were able to experience a longer amount of time inside the globe before Dr Hayes-Bohanan had to return to Bridgewater State College where Project EarthView is based.
EarthView is both a fascinating teaching tool and a delicate work of art. It is made from translucent sail fabric which creates an effect similar to stained glass. The outside is a hand-painted, large-scale map of the Earth’s surface, showing biological communities, rivers, seas, landforms, continents, islands, oceans, and major cities. The inside reveals the positions of tectonic plate boundaries and ocean spreading centers, along with all of the detail visible from the outside.
After unzipping an opening located near New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean, visitors can step in to see a three-dimensional view of the world from inside of the earth’s core.
The goal of the program is not only to teach students about the world, but also to emphasize the need for more geography instruction in primary and secondary schools.