A unique visitor is touring the county over the next week. Local youth are getting a global perspective of the world WITHOUT ever having to leave the county courtesy of a giant map of Asia from the National Geographic Society.
Sue Lahti is the Maine Coordinator of the Maine Geographic Alliance, an extention of the traveling maps program and describes this particular maps as “its 25 feet by 35 feet and comes in a culvert with a trunk full of activities the activities are grades pre-K to 8 so I usually bring it to schools and we operate an open house at the university that’s close by.”
At 25 feet by 35 feet, THIS PARTICULAR map is the world’s largest map of the continent. And its LARGE size, serves a GREAT purpose…helping to promote the importance of geographic education to youngsters. Lahti says its an interactive educational tool, that teaches participants to appreciate a region’s history, wildlife and varied cultures.
“its usually the largest map people ever had a chance to walk on and the younger students I had this morning learned that the capitol of a country is usually a star and they found the mountains and learned about islands and peninsulas and what country borders look like.” adds Lahti.
The map will be in the county for the next week and a half, while here it will travel to a number of schools and be walked on by youngsters and people of all ages…hoping to get a better insight into our world and a better understanding of how we’re globally connected. Today, the map was the highlight of a tour for college students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Thiago Consicao is an UMPI Student and says youngsters can take a lot away from seeing this map in person “I think they can learn where places are and all that where countries are in asia they can actually see it because I think they’ll learn better by seeing it than by a teacher telling them”. Another UMPI student Isaiah Straubel says “it gives kids an idea of where things can happen she was telling us a second ago of where the wars are and its very interesting to see it like a bigger bigger blown up idea of it.” The giant traveling maps program began in 2006 with maps created for the continents of Africa, Europe, North and South Americas. Lahti says the program is a great way to make learning interactive and fun.