Virtual Field Trip to the Borneo Rainforest

posted Jun 5, 2018, 11:59 AM by Patrick Johnson   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 12:08 PM ]
This week, students took a virtual science field trip to the Borneo Rainforest in order to learn about plant adaptations. 

We tested out a new app called Google Expeditions. Google Expeditions allow teachers to take their students on virtual field trips. The teacher has an iPad and starts in Guide Mode. Students load the app on their iPads and then join the teacher. Students are then immersed in a 360 degree photo. The teacher can direct students to areas of the photo they want to focus on (it appears as an arrow on the student screen). It is also compatible with the Google Cardboard VR headset.

Below: Arrows point to items the teacher wants the students to look at. The happy face on the teacher screen shows where the students are looking with their iPads.

We learned that the Avicenna Tree's roots fan out in this harsh salty environment where there is little top soil. We also learned that Mangrove leaves look like normal leaves but excrete excess salt (this area is flooded by the ocean twice a day).

Student's learned that the picture plant below has adapted to this area of shallow soil where their is a lack of nutrients. These picture plants catch and digest flies and leaves in order to adapt to this harsh environment.

Students learned that the Johannesteijsmania Palm has waxy leaves that help keep moisture in during the dry season.

The Strangling Fig is a strange structure. Vines grow up a the tree, trying to reach light at the top of the canopy (very little light reaches the forest floor). In this case, the tree the vines enveloped has died and rotten away leaving a hollow center.