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Virtual Field Trips with National and State Park Rangers
In science, seventh grade students spent time in the library researching the Earth's biomes. After their research was completed, students then assumed the role of applying to become junior rangers at an imaginary national park for each of the biomes they studied. To apply for the ranger badge, they presented what they learned through their research about the animals, climate, and plants of each biome as well as other current topics of their choice such as conservation and the effects of climate change.
To give the students an authentic learning experience about different biomes and ecosystems, they participated in virtual field trips to Joshua Tree National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California.  During each Skype session, park rangers taught our students about the diversity of each park and provided opportunities for our students to discuss points of interest and ask the rangers questions. 
Mystery Skype
Students in seventh grade social studies classes are sharpening their geography skills by playing a fun and interactive game called Mystery Skype.  Through this game, classes at North Hills Middle school are making connections with students across the United States and abroad.  Students first visited the library to learn how to play the game, and each completed a job application before they were assigned roles they would assume during the activity.  Game play involves both classes asking yes/no questions and using their understanding and investigation of geography to determine where the other class is.  The first class to guess correctly wins the game!  To date, our students have "met" peers in other classes in the sates of Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Georgia.
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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