Tynes GATE sixth graders have fun with geography

Is Greenland bigger than Africa?

Tynes Elementary School’s gifted and talented education (GATE) sixth graders, working with Assistant Professor of Geography at Santiago Canyon College Vanessa Engstrom, learned to think spatially and answer this question by applying concepts of latitude and longitude to a three-dimensional object.

Working in groups, students drew the seven continents on balloons, added lines of latitude and longitude, and then selected land masses. The size of the continents and land masses were then compared to two-dimensional maps. The comparison allowed students to understand how two-dimensional flat maps distort the size of land masses, particularly those closest to the poles.

Thus concluding that, no, Greenland is not bigger than Africa.

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