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Teaching Earth Science Through Computer Technology
Released: 9/26/1996

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Marti Quigley 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4460

The program requires one of the Macintosh suite of computers or a personal computer with a sound card running Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, a 13-inch or larger color monitor, 5 megabytes of free memory, and a double-speed CD-ROM drive.

GeoMediaTM is available from InterNetwork Media, Inc., 411 Seventh Street, Del Mar, CA 92014-3013, e-mail:inm@in-media.com; telephone: (619) 755-0439; or fax: (619) 481-8181 for $49.49 plus tax and shipping.

GeoMediaTM—an earth science educational tool for students between the ages of 10 and 14--uses interactive multimedia technology to give students exciting new possibilities for navigating through multiple layers of information.

"As informal educators and multimedia software developers, our goals are to instill in children a sense of wonder, a sense of scale, and an understanding of the kind of skills needed to solve problems - whether the problems are in their own backyard or on a global scale - relating to a safe and renewable natural environment," said Denise Wiltshire, project chief at the U.S. Geological Survey National Center in Reston, Va.

"GeoMediaTM offers the opportunity for students to collaborate and learn how to use scientific fact-finding methods to develop solutions," Wiltshire said.

GeoMediaTM was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and InterNetwork Media, Inc., through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).

Payson Stevens, president of InterNetwork Media, Inc., said, "Children are more apt to comprehend a concept by interacting with the information that sparks their curiosity. Browsing through the information is dynamic and also allows many levels of focus."

GeoMediaTM has six modules: Understanding Maps, Time and Change, the Greenhouse Effect, the Carbon Cycle, Earthquakes, and the Water Cycle. Each module consists of four sections: Animation, Elements, Glossary, and Further Reading.

Partnership projects such as this CRADA allow the federal government and a non-federal partner to combine resources and provide cost-effective products and perform research by sharing the costs of projects. The collaborating partner agrees to provide funds, personnel, services, facilities, equipment, or other resources needed to conduct a specific research or development effort while the federal government agrees to provide similar resources but not funds directly to the partner. USGS Director Gordon Eaton said, "Partnerships such as the one between the USGS and InterNetwork Media offer exciting new possibilities for sharing the technical expertise of the federal research community with the private sector. The end result is a cost effective method for commercializing federally-developed technology."

In 1994, the USGS and InterNetwork Media, Inc., received the Presidential Design Award for Excellence presented by President Clinton for the prototype CD-ROM science journal entitled "Arctic Data Interactive."

The U.S. Geological Survey, part of the Department of the Interior, is the federal government’s largest civilian mapping agency, largest water resources science and information agency, and largest earth science agency and has just taken on a new biological science responsibility. It is dedicated to providing the nation with reliable, impartial information to describe and understand the Earth. This information is used by more than 1,000 local, state and federal organizations to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; enhance and protect the quality of life; and contribute to wise economic and physical development.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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