5th-Graders Learn Impact of Natural Disasters

5th-grade students at Weeks elementary walked along the flood-damaged riverbanks of the rainforest and the lava-scarred landscape of a volcano - all without leaving the classroom.

Technology teachers Rick Bray and Taylor Norton helped guide the students through these faraway lands by using Google Expeditions. Students in Lindsey Hendricks' and Dr. Jennifer Grassi's classes learned the effects of natural disasters in different climates. Hendricks felt this was a great way to introduce the students to the subject.

"We are moving into studying natural disasters. We just finished studying space. We wanted to take them to different locations and start to use the vocabulary of natural disasters," said Hendricks.

"We went to a waterfall, we went to a forest, a river, and a volcano," said 5th-grader Sophia Chen. "There's a lot of disasters around us. When the volcano erupts it can harm things around it."

And these high-tech trips aren't limited to earth.

"We took them to a hurricane on Jupiter. We want to show them how weather can affect different planets," said Hendricks.

And these virtural trips around the planet and solar system seem to have an affect on the students as well.

"Even going from screen to screen it's the instant oohs and aahhs that show the excitement and that they want to be engaged," said Hendricks.

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