Social Studies

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Architecture 2030

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Learn about efforts to protect the environment by changing the way buildings are planned, designed and constructed.

Super Use

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View examples of buildings that are designed with reusable locally-obtained materials in mind.

The Art of Data Visualization | Off Book

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Off Book takes a look at how the practice of data visualization has gained even more importance in this digital age. From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is present in every aspect of our lives.

Egypt's Treasure Guardians | Full Program

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Meet Egypt's "treasure guardians," a group of archaeologists, scholars, conservators, and engineers working to guard national heritage, following years of political upheaval, by building a museum. To preserve its rich history and to tempt visitors back, Egypt is building the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)—the greatest Egyptian monument since the pyramids! Archaeologists across the country are opening new dig sites to find artifacts for display, with the hope that teaching the public about important historical areas will keep those places protected in the future.

New Orleans: The Water Line

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Learn how community groups and outside organizations are making it possible for one New Orleans community to rebuild.

Up the Yangtze

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

Adopting Sustainable Food Practices

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This video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College looks at how the traditional subsistence practices of indigenous people were once sustainable, unlike today's lifestyles. Most foods are now produced and transported using methods that can damage the environment and contribute to climate change.

Virtual Field Trip Video: China's Great Forests | Nature Works Everywhere

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Join our expert scientist Yue Wang, a conservation planning officer for The Nature Conservancy, on a virtual field trip across the world to two stunning provinces in China—Sichuan and Yunnan—where we will explore majestic forests, towering mountains, and other iconic landscapes. While examining the role these vital natural areas play in the carbon cycle and climate change, as well as the benefits of reforestation, we will learn about the magnificent creatures who call these habitats home: giant pandas, golden snub-nosed monkeys, and the elusive and odd-looking takin. 

Find a teacher's guide here to accompany this field trip.

Virtual Field Trip Video: Africa | Nature Works Everywhere

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Experience a virtual field trip to Africa to learn how locals are working together to restore forestlands, protect wildlife, and promote ecotourism, hosted by PBS LearningMedia, The Nature Conservancy, and field scientist Charles Oluchina. This event was originally recorded on Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Find a teacher's guide here to accompany this field trip.

Faces of the Oil Patch | Carol Goodbear (Exploitation)

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Carol Goodbear, the legislative director for the Three Affiliated Tribes, recognizes that the exploitation of oil is profitable, but at what cost?

Trading Bows and Arrows for Laptops

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Learn about a unique collaboration between the Surui tribe and Google Earth Outreach. The partnership, a result of Chief Almir Surui’s request that Google help raise visibility for his tribe, involves training the Surui people to use Internet technology to protect their forest, preserve their culture, and empower their people. Support Materials include a lesson guide and student handout.

Trading Bows and Arrows for Laptops: Carbon and Culture

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Since Chief Almir first contacted Google five years ago, their partnership has flourished. The Surui have created a cultural map in Google Earth to preserve their knowledge of their territory including plants, animals, and historic sites. They are also using Android devices equiped with ODK (Open Data Kit) to monitor illegal logging and measure the biodiversity and carbon stocks of their forest. Support Materials include a lesson guide and student handout.

Stewards of the Land | Odegard Farm

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Growing a wide variety of grains, the Odegaards seeded marginal land to grass, mulch tilled, rotated grazing pasture and networked with other participating farmers. 

Gooseberry Falls State Park | Two Harbors, MN

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On the banks of Lake Superior, the Civilian Conservation Corps left an indelibily legacy in Gooseberry Falls State Park. The beautifully crafted stone buildings they built at the height of the Depression stand as a testament to their hard work.

Red River Divide | Flood Control Part 1

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With each succeeding flood along the Red River, attempts have been made to develop and provide more effective permanent flood control, including earthen dikes and flood walls, diversions, holding ponds, and home buyouts. Better flood forecasting by the National Weather Service has enabled local and state governments to plan and react more effectively.

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