PROJECTS

Education and the Environment

Since his days growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota, Aaron has had a passion for geography, technology, education, and the environment. His projects focus on the importance of educating learners around the world about the environment, and he does so using interactive online learning environments. His work has taken him (and his learners) to the far reaches of the earth, exploring remote landscapes and connecting learners from vastly different cultures with each other. For over a decade Aaron has engaged millions of learners and educators annually with support from a dedicated team at the University of Minnesota along with a range of generous sponsors, funders, and collaborators. You can read more about each of the projects listed below on the individual project pages.

The Changing Earth

The Changing Earth

This new adventure learning series heads to the far reaches of the Earth to harness the power of adventure, storytelling, the arts, and modern tech to educate learners worldwide about sustainability, resilience, and the role of traditional knowledge. Its mission is to help create an environmentally literate and socially engaged generation of learners able to blend traditional and 21st century scientific and cultural knowledge to generate innovative solutions to sustain the Earth and its diverse inhabitants into the unforeseeable future.
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AgCultures

AgCultures

This four-year adventure learning series is capturing extraordinary stories about the future of agriculture from scientists, farmers, and technological innovators around the globe. Teachers have access to a free online STEM curriculum tied to issues the team is exploring. Students worldwide will be able to share their own story as they work online alongside these innovators investigating the world’s food puzzles.
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EarthXplorers

EarthXplorers

An exciting new online initiative for GIS learning that features National Parks historic sites and engaging project- and inquiry-based activities. This unique project is a partnership between ESRI, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the LT Media Lab.
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The Raptor Lab

Raptor Lab

An interactive online learning environment that models the process of scientific investigation in real-world settings through the active role-play of scientific careers involved in wildlife rehabilitation, and then provides a platform for students to team up and share their own inquiry-based investigations online.
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WeExplore

WeExplore

WeExplore encourages learners to become explorers in their own communities and to then share their explorations with the world through a socially networked adventure learning (AL) environment. Teams of students, guided by a teacher or other adult sponsor, can work together to generate an AL project centered on a specific location and environmental or social issue. They then share their project online through this unique, custom-designed environment that scaffolds them through the process of creating an AL project.
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Earthducation

Earthducation

The Earthducation team traveled to climate hotspots on all the continents, documenting environmental issues and educational practices, and working together with a broad array of individuals, communities, and organizations to create an ecological narrative of educational beliefs. Teachers, students, and the online community are expanding upon and discussing these same issues in the online EnviroNetwork as we collectively explore how education can influence the future of our planet.
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North of Sixty°

North of Sixty°

The mission of North of Sixty° is to create a global tapestry of climate stories, weaving together the history and culture of Arctic communities worldwide and preserving the voices and ecological knowledge of generations. We will collaborate with classrooms in Arctic regions north of 60 degrees latitude, assisting students and teachers in the collection and dissemination of these stories by providing tools, scaffolding, and an online learning environment to create and share their stories.
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GeoThentic

GeoThentic

Within GeoThentic, students are placed in the role of a geographer, working toward solving a geographic problem while using the scaffolding choice they deem appropriate. The software creates opportunities for students to solve authentic complex problems within an online environment, while concurrently providing teachers with the necessary TPACK foundation to be able to teach the multiple modules available within the environment.
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GoNorth!

Reaching more than three million learners annually (across all fifty states and the entire globe), the first six GoNorth! programs provided the grounding proof-of-concept for adventure learning. In these programs, students from around the world completed research-based lesson plans while interacting with an Arctic dogsledding expedition team, scientists, and their peers and teachers. Students learned about climate change, Arctic geography and culture, and issues of sustainability, among other topics, as they followed live expeditions that traversed the circumpolar Arctic.
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