The Whole World Comes to Campus
Posted on June 30, 2008
Faculty and Staff
A 20-foot-tall replica of the earth was the center of attention on campus Friday, as the college put the spotlight on geography.
Local residents, along with area students and teachers, visited the hand-painted balloon that unzips to reveal a special classroom inside. BSC will have use of the balloon to tour area schools for the next six months. It's all part of a plan to put geography on the map -- literally.
"Geography means 'teaching the earth,' and here it is," said Dr. Vernon Domingo
, a BSC geography professor, as he stood outside the balloon. "And this is a dramatic way of doing it."
Dr. Domingo and Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan
, chairman of the geography department, were instrumental in bringing the balloon to campus.
BSC President Dana Mohler-Faria
toured the inside of the balloon, and said its appearance on campus "signifies our commitment to geography education."
"Today we see a meshing of cultures, and the necessity of the peoples of the world to come together," he said. "This means today's children must be globally literate."
The balloon is a unique teaching tool. As luck would have it, BSC is host this month to a Geography Teachers Institute, which meant plenty of educators were on hand to experience the earth balloon first hand.
"It's fabulous," said Gloria Lehan
, a sixth grade teacher at Foxboro's Ahearn Middle School. "It will spark the students' imagination. It's more than words on paper, and it gives you an unbelieveable perspective."Phyllis Morgan
, a teacher from Canton's Galvin Middle School, also had high praise for the earth balloon.
"Anything that's going to make geography a reality for students is a good thing," she said. "This just brings it to life for them."
Or, as Dr. Domingo put it: "After seeing the balloon, students will never see the world the same way again." (John Winters, Office of Institutional Communications)