the Pigeon Launches!
GREENBELT, MD October 7, 2002. NASA announces a new educational
resource for teaching children the concepts of Earth science.
"The Adventures of Amelia the Pigeon"
project is a new interactive web site with supporting lesson plans
and hands-on activities to illustrate science concepts to children
in grades K-4. The animated adventure engages children in a story-based
scenario that emphasizes concepts of remote sensing. Children
are taught how NASA scientists use satellite imagery to better
understand the Earth's environmental changes.
The development of the web site is intended to better help introduce
students to the science of NASA. "The use of satellite imagery is
an essential tool in NASA's studies in Earth science," said Ginger
Butcher. "NASA imagery will inspire our next generation of scientists
at these early grades, when children form their opinions about science." Butcher, with Science System Applications Incorporated, is an education
specialist for the Laboratory
for Terrestrial Physics at NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center, and the creator of the Amelia the
The web site introduces students to Earth science concepts,
beginning with classifying objects by shape, color, and texture,
building a foundation for interpretation and understanding of
remote sensing. The Pigeon Adventure encourages the development
of a childŐs inquiry skills, via on-line explorations, sequential
story telling, and hands-on investigations.
selects Echo the Bat for SciLink
ALEXANDRIA, VA February 7, 2002. The National Science Teachers
Association has reviewed Echo the Bat and the EMS site using a
stringent set of criteria that ensure selected materials have
accurate content and effective pedagogy. Criteria they used can
be read at http://www.scilinks.org/nsfinstitute/criteria.htm.
The SciLinks program links school textbooks to effective online
content. A direct connection from a concept on the textbook page
to materials exploring that concept in cyberspace leads readers
to the kinds of materials our professional educators believe work
best in the classroom. Once a web site is selected, NSTA places
the URL in a database, correlate it to the National Science Education
Standards, and write a brief description that identifies one or
more of its salient characteristics. When a reader (a teacher,
student, or even parent) of a SciLinked textbook comes across
a SciLinks icon in their textbook, they know that the content
on that page has been enhanced with online content specifically
connected to a single concept. The reader goes to the free SciLinks
web site, and they type in a code found on the pages of that text,
and the SciLinks search engine reports the five to 15 pages our
the Bat appears in puppet show at GSFC Community Day
GREENBELT, MD. June 16, 2001. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's
Community Day, children of all ages were delighted with a puppet
show adapted from the Story of Echo the Bat. The show follows
Echo along his adventure through Arizona. Dramatic backgrounds
of satellite images bring together story and science.
Echo the Bat book is now here!
GREENBELT, MD. July 6, 2001. After a long awaited
release, Echo the Bat is now available in print. The goal of
this book is to introduce remote sensing to our youngest future
scientists. The book retells the story of Echo to children ages
5 - 9 (but I have been told some older folks have secretly read
the book). When Echo launches his adventure, he is followed
by a satellite. Landsat images of the five habitats Echo travels
provides a backdrop for the adventure. The text emphasizes shape,
pattern, and texture and refers to the many flaps in the images.
When the flaps are lifted, pictures of the land features are
displayed underneath. This is definately a great resource for
parents and teachers alike. To learn more, visit the Echo
the Bat book page. Or, to order your own copy, visit http://bookstore.gpo.gov/market.
To learn more about the author, check out the
24th edition of Goddard News.
Adventure Wins Proposal
WASHINGTON, DC. December 10th, 1999. The Pigeon
Adventure: An Adventure through Remote Sensing History was
selected in the NASA Research Announcements for participation
in the Earth Science Education Program. The monies made available
from NASA will enable this project to incorporate more interactive
technology including Shockwave Flash animations and take advantage
of the new QuickTime 4.0 technology. The site will also have more
audio to appeal to the younger target audience of K-4. We will
also develop under this proposal 20 activities that can be used
without a computer and in the formal and informal educational
setting for children in K-4.
Initial work on the Pigeon project is made possible
through funding from Goddard's Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics
and Tennesse State University (MU-SPIN/NRTS program). This award
from NASA's Earth Science Education Program will greatly shorten
the development cycle and increase the amount of interactive technology
within the adventure.
Look for story development and testing information
of the Pigeon Adventure on the IMAGERS web site February 2000.
See NASA's Earth
Science Enterprise web site for a full list of selected proposals.
the Bat awarded Outstanding Educational Product
AUSTIN, TX. November 17th, 1999. Ginger Butcher
accepts award from NASA's Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) for
the Echo the Bat web site. The NASA ESE review board rated
Echo the Bat as an "Outstanding Education Product" and recommended
the product for broad distribution. This review is the final
step before an ESE education product goes into national publication.
The site is now published in the ESE Education Product Catalog
and will be part of hundreds of NASA teacher training workshops
across the county.
Ginger Butcher accepting award from
Nahid Khazenie of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise
Ginger Butcher and guest Cullen Geiselman,
Education Specailist at Bat Conservation International show
off a live Mexican Freetailed Bat at the Echo the Bat poster.
the BAT book receives approval from ESE
WASHINGTON, DC September 1999, The Echo the Bat book
has been recommended for "Broad-Distribution"
by reviewers in NASA's Peer Review of Earth Science
Educational Products. The Institute for Global Environmental
Strategies (IGES) managed the intensive review with
teams of reviewers carefully selected by IGES to ensure
the following expertise was represented: a teacher with
classroom experience at the level of the targeted audience;
an Earth system scientist; a curriculum writer familiar
with national science education standards; a media specialist;
and an instructional designer. The reviewers rated The
Echo the Bat pop-up book as an outstanding education
product and recommended it for broad distribution -
meaning it is an excellent candidate for national distribution
by NASA with no need for special training or instruction
(e.g.,national education conferences, such as NSTA,
NASA Educator Resource Centers, etc.) and is also good
for use in NASA teacher workshops. The books are scheduled
to go to the printers in mid-January 2000 and should
be available by spring 2000.
Through funding from the Goddard's Laboratory
for Terrestrial Physics, NASA's MU-SPIN program and NASA's
Earth Science Enterprise, copies of the book should be
available through teacher workshops. We are currently
discussing distribution options and will post details
when available on this site. So check back in a few months
for information on how you can get a copy of the Echo
the Bat book. The K-4 activities
that accompany the book are available online.
the BAT pop-up book is ESE approved and hits the press!!
GREENBELT, MD May 30,1999. Prototypes of the Echo the Bat
book are submitted to NASA's Earth Science Enterprise's education
product review. Ginger Butcher, creator of Echo the Bat along
with Beth Broadhurst, Education Curator at the Baltimore Zoo
wrote and illustrated an Echo the Bat pop-up book. This book,
along with hands-on activities, was created to meet NASA's
needs for K-4 educational material in Earth Science. Thanks
to funding from Tennessee State University, through the MU-SPIN
program, we were able to create this book in a little over
the Bat for the visually-impaired
The USGS Biological Resources Division has contributed funds
to the project in order to revise the Echo the Bat web site
for disabled access. Along with format changes and added descriptions,
we will experiement with audio displays using Shockwave and/or
QuickTime technology. This could possibly allow visually impaired
children to explore satellite imagery through via sound. The
complere report on recommended revisions
to the Echo the Bat site for accessibility is available
The revised site is scheduled to launch in Fall 2000. Anyone
interested in participating in our efforts, please feel free
to contact Ginger
Butcher for more information.
Magazine, April 30, 1999
WASHINGTON, DC April 30, 1999. Echo the Bat receives mention
in SCIENCE magazine. Jocelyn Kaiser, NetWatch columnist of Science
magazine, writes "Remote imagery might seem a bit complex
to explain to kids, but this site pulls it off with satellite
images that help tell the story of a bat tooling around Arizona's
eco-systems. Aimed at middle school students, the site folds
in lessons about the electromagnetic spectrum, ecology and more."
Times, May 23, 1999
WASHINGTON, DC May 23, 1999.
Joe Szadkowski of the Washington Times reviewed the Echo the
Bat web site for his NETWISE column in the Family Times. This
2/3 page feature article included a collage of illustrations
from the web site and some fantastic comments.
"USER COMMENTS: The site is easy to load,
and the satellite images are clear. Special compliments go
to Miss Butcher, the story writer and illustrator. She did
an excellent job with this delightful children's tale. Just
remember to have the latest browser installed, or it will
be a short-lived Web adventure.
CYBERSITTER SYNOPSIS: Children will go batty
for this site, and I wouldn't expect too much roaming to other
parts of the Internet.
FAMILY FUN FACTOR: 100 percent.
INFORMATION GRADE: A+"
Joe Szadkowski, Washington Times
Endorses Echo in The Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages
about Echo the Bat
"I'm currently working on an article on Earth Day activities
in which I reference your site. I just wanted to let you know
how terrific it is! It is, without a doubt, one of the best examples
of the correct use of instructional technology that I've ever
seen. It's extremely well-written, the story and activities are
engaging and educationally sound, and the Teacher's Guide is terrific--exceptionally
valuable. (Can you tell how much I loved it?) Someday I'm going
to do an article on the Web sites that show how educational technology
SHOULD be used--and your site will be at the top of my list! Are
you planning any more sites like this? Anyway, I was really bowled
over by the quality of this activity and wanted to let you know
that. Thanks! "
Linda Starr, former editor at Weekly Reader, a former editor
and instructional designer at McGraw Hill, and (currently) the
Curriculum/Technology Editor at http://www.education-world.com
Education World, an ezine for educators
"After making a comment this morning about how many of the
websites are much ado about nothing, I had to eat my words when
I found your site. Bravo.! We are hanging a picture of Echo on
our bat box"
Regina McCarthy Gateway Environmental Study Center/NYC Bd
of Ed @ Gateway National Recreation Area Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn,
"This is a great tool for teachers to use since everything
for the lesson is right there. It is great how you wrote the story
and then linked it to two topics, electromagnetic spectrum and
remote sensing. The teacher's guide was wonderful and full of
great ideas. Thanks for creating this great site for me, and other
teachers, to use in our classrooms."
Nina Hoffman, Middle School Teacher in Maryland
"I used Echo myself to better understand the electromagnetic
spectrum and remote sensing. The lessons were easy to use and
the exercises supported the lessons. What made the whole "red,
green, blue" concepts click for me was the coloring page. I LOVED
IT and I could demonstrate that I learned something too!"
Toni Dufficy, Park Ranger Everglades National Park