Every year, Mrs. Bernstein’s 8th grade science class explores geography by studying plate tectonics. In the past, she’s felt that her students aren’t able to make real world connections after this unit. This year, she’s using Google Expeditions to explore the earth’s geography in new interactive ways. Students are using VR to see new places and landscapes up-close and personal. For her students, this is an opportunity to see places that look vastly different from what they’re used to. Seeing real examples of plate tectonics expands students’ perspectives and helps them make connections between what they’ve learned about geography and how it applies to the real world.

“The victory is that […] in almost every group at least one student said: ‘That Iceland? I want to go there myself, I want to see it myself.’ As an earth science teacher, that has to be one of my goals, that the students care about places other than their neighborhood.” –Mrs. Bernstein, science teacher at FDR Middle School

Produced by Jenna Missanelli, Storyteller at FDR Middle School

About Emily Morris

Emily Morris is a Project Associate with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative.