There are some unique educational opportunities available to students today that will take students out of the ordinary hum-drum environment of the classroom. Some of these are available to all education establishments, while others are available only to a few.
School of the Air
Australia’s ‘school of the air’ is one example of a unique education opportunity. In the school of the air students on remote cattle stations and other farms in the Australian outback go to school via the radio. There classmates may be hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, and they may never meet their teacher.
The radio was in use from 1951 to 2005, but now has been largely supplanted by the Internet. Printed distance education materials are also used.
A new project in Florida will soon give school students what promises to be perhaps the most unique education opportunity available anywhere in the world.
The project is called Project Atlantica, and it aims to establish a permanent human colony on the sea bed. Eventually the colony will become an underwater city in which families can live and work, in which children may be born, go to school, and live permanently beneath the sea.
The website at http://underseacolony.com/ offers some unique educational opportunities for children to learn about the challenges and rewards of living in the sea. In the first stage, two aquanauts will live in an undersea module for 80 days (the longest stay in an underwater habitat). In the second stage (scheduled for 2012) the Challenger Habitat will be positioned off the coast of Florida, and the first permanent residents will begin to live their lives underwater, with no intention of returning to live on land.
The project is also intended to be used as an educational tool to understand, monitor, and protect the marine environment.
1000 days at Sea
Another unique education opportunity for students to learn about lives other than their own is Reid Stowe’s adventure of living at sea out of sight of land for 1000 days without seeing land or re-stocking. Students from a number of schools are following Reid’s adventures via his website at http://1000days.net.
NASA Education Opportunities
NASA also offers some unique education opportunities including scholarships and internships. For those students living in particular areas, there are also opportunities such as The Great Moonbuggy Race at Huntsville Alabama. This is an annual competition in which students design lunar vehicles. There is also an Astro Camp at Bay St. Louis, Missouri. The National Space Club has many education opportunities such as summer schools and internships at the various NASA facilities.
For tertiary students there is an International Space University and the NASA academy for undergraduates and graduates.
Teaching from Space (TFS) provides educational opportunities through links with orbiting astronauts in the International space station.
These are just a few of the unique educational opportunities now available for students of all ages.