The Osprey Education Project
The Osprey Education Project: To add to my experience of creating opportunities for use IT and linking concepts within the Geography classroom, I have been working with the Rutland Osprey Project to give schools around the globe the opportunity to use a GPS track of Osprey migration as a catalyst to learn about different places in the world. As a result of this we are aiming to be able to allow schools to upload their own work about the places the Osprey has visited onto the map to provide an online community of education about this fantastic bird and the places it visits.
Rutland Water is home to the first Ospreys to breed in England for 150 years following a translocation programme (more info here). Over the past 18 years The Rutland Osprey Project has been observing the Ospreys from their arrival from Africa in Spring, through to their Autumn migration.
With new technology from Geographic Information Systems such as Google Earth and GPS Tracking it is possible to track the route flight the Osprey takes on it's migration patterns between Rutland Water and Western Africa (click here to view the route).
This log taken of the journey of the Osprey offers an exciting opportunity for introducing a variety of countries to your Geography classroom as the Osprey flies over so many different places. There is an opportunity here to base a scheme of work on the Ospreys journey through focusing on development or cultural differences of the places the Osprey visits.
This excellent resource gives several opportunities to a range of subjects to link their lessons together to involve a story from lesson to lesson. Within my classroom I have used the migration of the Osprey to facilitate learning about the different countries the Osprey passes through England, France, Spain, Morocco, Senegal and Gambia.
Below is an outline of the lessons that I used with key geographical concepts that the students used:
Lesson 1- Introduction to the Osprey Project: Migration, Scale, GIS.
Lesson 2 - Osprey in the UK: Development, Schools Link.
Lesson 3 - Osprey goes on Holiday: Tourism in Africa
Lesson 4 - Outside speaker on the Ospreys and the project.
Lesson 5 - Osprey in the Desert: Extreme Environments, Adaptions.
Lesson 6 - Osprey in the Mountains: Extreme Environments, Mountain Formation.
Lesson 7 - Farming on the Flightpath: Sustainable foods.
Lesson 8 - Half Term Quiz and Self Assessment.
Lesson 9 - Climate on the Flightpath: Different climates.
Lesson 10-11 - Osprey Atlas Project and Assessment.
Lesson 12 - Reflection.
If you would like more information about what we have done with this project aswell as lessons or the scheme of work please contact me here.
As you can see above using the Osprey Education Project it was possible to create a link with another school learning about Ospreys along the migration route within Gambia. In Lesson 2 my students generated Geographical questions when learning about development to find out more about the differences between here in London and living in Gambia. A few weeks later we recieved replies shown in Fig 2. As of April 2013 the Rutland Ospreys Project have now released "Flyways" on their website allowing schools that have signed up to find school links along the migration path in order to find out more about them.
Osprey "Flyways" Project
Everything you need to know can be found on the Rutland Ospreys website here: http://www.ospreys.org.uk/osprey-flyways-project/
The "flyways" project works on the principle that I have used here at my school (above) where the interactive map can be used to display the Osprey migration route and also shows all of the schools (that have signed up) currently studying Ospreys allowing them to get in touch with each other. Within this project we aim to build bridges between schools across the world such as what I have already done with my school here in London and the schools in Gambia. If your school would like to sign up to the project, please complete the online application here.