Farm Tech Trek Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 3

Farming Today and Tomorrow

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  1. Students will explain the term "Global Positioning System" (GPS).
  2. Students will describe how GPS technology helps farmers examine fields for crop yield, crop damage and how it assists in mapping soil conditions.

Activity Summary

Students will read the background information about Geographic Information Systems and Global Positions Systems.

Discuss the following question: What ways do farmers use GPS?

If possible, bring a GPS receiving unit into the classroom, and discuss other applications of this technology with students.

Students can view where they live from space by experimenting with different Earth Observing Systems that are available on various Web sites.

Extension Activity

Since this is rapidly evolving technology, students can search for additional current resources on the WWW using the following search terms:

(global position* system*) or gps

(geographic* information* system*) or gis

(satellite* with (image* or survey* or data or map* or photograph* ))

((precision) NEAR (farming* or agriculture*))

Teacher Resources

The Earth Observing System (EOS) consists of a science component and a data system supporting a coordinated series of polar-orbiting and low inclination satellites for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans.

NASA Global Change Master Directory
Includes links to how global change is affecting agriculture.

NASA Global Change Teacher Resources

Visible Earth
A searchable site designed by NASA that includes images, visualizations, and animations of the Earth.

View Above Earth
This site provides images of any place on the earth. If you know the latitude and longitude of a location, then you can view it.

View from Satellite
To view the Earth as currently seen from a satellite in Earth orbit, choose the satellite from a list and press the "View Earth from Satellite" button.

Teacher Page: NASA's Earth Observing System
Includes educational links and publications from the EOS program, Ask an Earth Scientist section, and explanations of terminology used.

The EOS Education Project utilizes emerging technologies such as map, image, and document services to delivery geospatial and multimedia information directly into the classroom.

An Introduction to Remote Sensing GIS/GPS
NASA Lesson Plans

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

Using GPS for Math, Science & Social Studies
Discussion group for educators who are integrating the use of GPS and mapping technology into their state curriculums for math, science and social studies.

Classroom Applications of GPS and GIS
Includes links to GPS WebQuests and projects and GPS/GIS lesson plans.

Viewing Earth from Space
Showcases NASA's educational products, websites and missions that highlight various images of Earth. Included is a listing of missions that research Earth's various attributes - land, water, air/atmosphere - as well as a list of multimedia resources available through the Center of Resources for Educators (CORE).

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