We can’t take field trips in person this year, but we’re not going to let that stop us from continuing to explore and learn about the world around us!
Join us every Friday for a new set of virtual adventures, and take notes on places you’d like to learn more about or even visit in person one day!
WELCOME TO WEEK 5, YOU MADE IT!
For week 5 there is no theme, just different places to go and things to see and learn. (And things that didn’t fit into other weeks!)
This page will remain available to you to browse through the rest of the summer, so keep the link!
First, what do we do every year on the last Friday of Horizons?
That’s right, we have a carnival! In honor of our beloved tradition, here are some virtual rides for you to go on, so fasten your seat belt! As usual, the first few are targeted more toward our younger students but can also be appealing to older students.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (best for younger kids)
Millennium Force Roller Coaster
Valravn….not for the faint of heart!
This one is computer-generated graphics so not real, but see if you can tell which way is up, it gets confusing!
PICK & CHOOSE AS-YOU-LIKE SECTION!
Take a tour, go underwater, see some incredibly colorful fish in these three aquarium tours!
SAD YOU DIDN’T GET TO THE ZOO THIS SUMMER? DON’T WORRY, WE’RE HOOKING YOU UP WITH LOTS OF ANIMALS!
If you’re lucky, you’ll see bears fishing in Alaska, animals roaming in Africa, and playful pandas! Remember, some of these cams are in a different time zone than we are, so if you don’t see them, come back at a different time to try again!
For other live animal cams, including wildlife, birds, puppies, kittens, any cam you can imagine, go to https://explore.org/livecams/.
Visit some of the most famous and interesting museums in the world without leaving your chair!
National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, D.C. Click on photos in their Collections Sampler to get details about each item pictured.
National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. Scroll to the Collections Sampler to view their collection of interesting artifacts.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. This site has two online exhibits, plus you can click on each of five collections to view amazing works of art.
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil’s first modern museum.
British Museum, London: Explore two million years of human history & culture.
The Louvre, Paris: Explore the world’s largest art museum and one of the most famous landmarks in Paris.
And last, but not least, the International Spy Museum! Watch three episodes of the museum’s SpyFromHome series, released during quarantine.
Here are some at-home activities from the spy masters at the International Spy Museum….but first get permission and help from a parent!
Stuff For Kids & Teens: here are more activities you can explore on your own during August, brought to you by the Smithsonian Institution.
Space Update: Mars Rover Perseverance launched!
In our Week 3 virtual space trips, remember the section about the Mars Rover Curiosity? How it’s been exploring Mars for nine years now, and is going to be joined by a brand new updated rover called Perseverance?
Well, as you were eating breakfast July 30th, your last day of Horizons 2020, Perseverance had a picture-perfect launch into space at 8:20am! It will arrive on Mars not next week, or next month….but next year, in February 2021.
Here’s a video of the launch. If you want to only see the launch, fast forward to about 10 minutes, 20 seconds in. Then, at 15 minutes, 12 seconds, there’s a really cool live image of boosters (or something) being jettisoned, with the earth visible below. Spectacular.
Other Places Not To Be Missed
In case you’ve been repeatedly asking yourself, “what was the most significant archeological find of modern times?”….
This video is amazing. Six thousand statues, known as the Terracotta Warriors, were found in the Xian Tombs of the Qin Dynasty of China from about 2,500 years ago. Just imagine creating 6,000 life-size clay figures, all slightly different, without the modern tools we have today.
Top 100 World Heritage Sites
World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been added to the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
There are actually 1,121 World Heritage sites in the world, but below is a slide show of the top 100 sites on the list that represent some of the most spectacular natural and human-created wonders. It’s a long list, so take your time! No worries, you’ve got all of August to wander through!
A few of these locations were included in some of our Virtual Friday content, so you might be familiar with some of it.
Feel free to pause the slide show to write down places you’d like to learn more about online after the video!
Have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between a castle and a palace?
Now that you know what a castle is, here is a good example of a palace, the Royal Chateau de Versaille.
Built first as a country hunting lodge by King Louis XIII, then expanded and further developed over the reigns of subsequent kings, this 17th century palace outside Paris is a spectacular example of royal opulence (if you don’t know what it means, look it up!). With magnificent architecture, massively grand scale, gold walls and ceilings, and exquisite and detailed craftsmanship, it came to represent the excessive lifestyle of kings and their failures to provide for their subjects. It was a symbol of the inequality that led up to the French Revolution, which caused Versailles to be abandoned and ended the French monarchy.
With over 2,300 rooms, at one point there were up to 10,000 people living there in service to the king….if you do the math, they lived in a giant palace but still had to share a room, likely with multiple roommates!
If you watched the video and are interested, click HERE to read more about the Chateau de Versaille.
The One, The Only, Mr. Keith!
If you’re sad that Horizons is over because you miss Mr. Keith, or you just feel like moving, here are some videos so you can experience his awesomeness throughout August! If you’re in PreK through 2nd grade, you have had the pleasure of meeting him, so here’s your chance!
There are 16 videos, use the forward and back arrows on either side of the play button to scroll through them!
That’s it for Virtual Fridays. Hope you enjoyed it, learned something new and saw something you won’t forget. Have a great rest of the summer.
Don’t forget, we’re with each of you every step of the way.
Be strong. Be smart. Be brave.
WELCOME TO WEEK 4: A Hodgepodge of Interesting Things
Let’s start underwater!
Below are videos for all ages about fish, colorful coral reefs, awesome dolphins, and we end our exploration underwater with sharks!
Continuing with our hodgepodge of interesting things, let’s get out of the water and check out some animals that live on land (or in trees). Below are videos about one of the cutest animals in the world, some of the biggest in the world, and one that occupies a historic place in U.S. history.
NOTE: The first four videos are appropriate for all ages, the final video about bison is geared toward older students.
Have you ever heard of a “bucket list?” A bucket list is the collection of experiences, accomplishments, goals, dreams, or aspirations a person wants to achieve during their lifetime. An experience that is on about 50% of peoples’ bucket lists is an African safari. You don’t have to wait, you can go on a virtual safari right now!
Shifting gears….we’re now going to Ancient Egypt!
Ancient Egypt is one of the most significant civilizations in the history of the world. Did you know the Egyptians invented the calendar? And somehow, with just simple tools, their physical strength, and a willingness to work hard, they built huge structures that exist 4,500 years later! Learn all about them in the videos below!
NOTE: The first three videos are geared toward younger students (although all ages might enjoy them) and the final three are geared toward older students.
Click HERE to go to a resource page if you’re interested in learning more about the history, culture, traditions, and daily life of Ancient Egyptians!
As today’s final hodgepodge, here’s a video with 15 places in the world that are so incredible it’s hard to believe they actually exist!
That’s all for Week 4, hope you enjoyed it! If you keep scrolling down, you can check out content from previous weeks you might have missed.
WELCOME TO WEEK 3: Space, The Final Frontier
NASA Virtual Tour: Why does this man look so excited? Watch the video to find out!
The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is where most manned space flights have blasted off. Countless launches have occurred there, and if you’re into this kind of thing, you can view all their missions over the years. While most launches take place in Florida, astronaut training takes place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Florida.
Click HERE to go on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.
Perhaps the most famous launch from Kennedy Space Center was Apollo 11, the mission that put a man on the moon in 1968.
True or False: The nickname for this logo is “the worm.”
P.S. If you answered “true” to the question above about the NASA logo, you’d be RIGHT!
Have you heard of the International Space Station? Astronauts live there for months and months!
In the video below, NASA Commander Sunita Williams takes you on an in-depth tour of the International Space Station and talks about what it’s like to live and work 250 miles above the surface of the earth. This video is about 25 minutes long and chock full of really interesting information! Not to mention Commander Williams herself, who has spent 321 days, 17 hours and 15 minutes in space with 50 hours and 40 minutes of that outside the space station!
Have you ever wondered what slime would do in space?? Watch and find out!
Can’t go to the movies? How about going to Mars instead!
In November 2011 a vehicle roughly the size of a small SUV, the Mars Curiosity Rover, was launched into space. Eight months later (the following August!) it landed on the surface of Mars and has been exploring and sending back incredible photos and scientific information about the planet ever since. Click HERE to watch a video about this amazing explorer!
Meanwhile, later this summer a new rover, the Perseverance, will begin its trip to Mars for …. a rover convention? Watch the video below to go behind the scenes and see the preparations for the Perseverance launch.
Earth’s Galaxy: The Milky Way
The above pictures show what stars in the sky look like when you have clean air, clear weather and no lights from cities or towns. The lighted strip is the Milky Way, the galaxy we live in. Isn’t it beautiful?
What else is in our galaxy besides Earth? ALOT!
In case you want to become an astronaut after watching these videos, here’s how you do it!
Do you think living on other planets would be the same as living on Earth? Watch and see!
That’s all for Week 3, hope you enjoyed your virtual field trip to space!
WELCOME TO WEEK 2: Wonders of the World
The Galapagos Islands
Located off Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, this island chain is where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution. Although the islands are a stark and harsh environment, animal species nevertheless found their way there, adapted, survived and flourished.
For our younger viewers:
For older students:
Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza is an ancient city located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico, and is one of the most well restored Mayan sites in Mexico. El Castillo is a famous pyramid of Chichen Itza, but there are many other ancient ruins. Each structure was designed and built to align with specific planets and stars!
Virtual Tours of Macchu Picchu
Built nearly 600 years ago at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains, Machu Picchu is a symbol of the Incan Empire and is famous for being the Lost City of the Incas. It is believed that this is where the Incas went to escape the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.
Besides its historical significance, Machu Picchu also showcases the Incas’ incredible mastery of stone. The stones used to construct the beautiful structures in Machu Picchu were cut so precisely and wedged so tightly that a credit card cannot be inserted between them. Incredibly, the structures were designed to survive earthquakes because no cement was used so the stones were free to move but then fall back into place. This is the amazing reason Machu Picchu still stands today.
Christ The Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro
Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 98 feet high, excluding its 26 foot pedestal. The arms stretch 92 feet wide. It serves as a popular religious and cultural icon overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park. Located mostly in Wyoming but also in Montana and Idaho, the park is one of the world’s greatest wildlife refuges.
CLICK HERE to visit the National Park Service Yellowstone website (all ages).
Younger students can CLICK HERE to learn about Yellowstone and its hotsprings and many species of animals.
Older students might be interested in the narrated tour below as well as the story of the reintroduction of wolves into the park in 1995. After a sixty year absence of wolves in the park, their reintroduction had widespread and surprising impacts on the ecosystem, fundamentally altering it in what is called a trophic cascade.
Kenai Peninsula in Alaska
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Despite its name, this national park is not a canyon but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters. Still, you can see the beautiful red and orange hues, and the changing hoodoos of this desert landscape from the comfort of your home.
Their virtual tour centered on Sunset Point lets you enjoy the star-filled night sky. This night sky 360 view is gorgeous, and you can even learn about the visible constellations!
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
One of Hawai’i’s most famous national parks is also accessible online. Their virtual tour lets you fly over an active volcano, enjoy the stunning view from the volcanic coastal cliffs, and see the effects of a volcanic eruption from 1959.
You can also explore the Nahuku Lava Tube, which is a cave formed by flowing lava and is used to drain the lava during an eruption.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park – New Mexico
Located in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is famous for its over 100 caves.
On their virtual tour, you can take a walk through their fascinating caverns, take a look at the incredible rock formations, and even see the bats who live in its cave system. You can also experience their “life as a bat” simulation.
Dry Tortugas National Park – Florida
Virtual Tour Dry Tortugas (all ages!)
This remote and way underrated park is located 70 miles west of Key West, but thanks to this virtual tour, it is now more accessible than ever. Visit the Civil War-era Fort Jefferson, dive into a shipwreck from 1907, and swim through the third largest coral reef in the world.
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park in California. Click on red icons on photo to go to points of interest, then click back to select another.
AROUND THE WORLD
‘Game of Thrones’ fan? Take a trip to the rugged Northern Irish coast, where much of the series was filmed, and tour the striking basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Africa
While not the tallest nor the widest waterfall on our planet, the combination of its height and width make Victoria Falls the largest waterfall in the world. NOTE: When watching the video below, remember to click and move your mouse to get the best views of the waterfall!
Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis
In the northern latitudes, a spectacular show of colors is sometimes visible in the night sky. In the southern hemisphere, it is called Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis.
Best for YOUNGER STUDENTS as well as older students:
Best for older students:
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system extending over an area of over 130,000 square miles.
Younger students will enjoy this video!
Older students: explore the Great Barrier Reef and the impact of climate change in this virtual tour led by David Attenborough, a famous natural historian.
Mt. Everest, Nepal
At over 29,000 feet high, Mt. Everest is the highest point of land above sea level on earth. Everest straddles the Nepal-China border in Asia. The mountain is renowned for earthquakes, avalanches, and quickly changing weather. Yet people come from all over the world to attempt to climb it, a daunting multi-week task that requires extreme training and discipline.
Below are two videos: one has fun facts for kids about Everest, and the other is footage from a rescue helicopter giving viewers an amazing view of the mountain.
Top 10 World’s Strangest Natural Wonders!
This video will make your jaw drop and includes amazing natural phenomenon from around the world!
That’s it for Week 2, hope you enjoyed browsing and learning about some of the most amazing natural places around this splendid earth of ours!
WELCOME TO WEEK 1: A Virtual 4th of July & the History of Independence Day
FOR OUR YOUNGER STUDENTS:
(older students, scroll down!)
CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR FUN HOLIDAY RECIPES AND ACTIVITIES!
YOUNGER STUDENTS: scroll down this page to watch videos of fireworks!
OLDER STUDENTS: What is Independence Day? If I wasn’t born in America, do I celebrate?
In July 1776, during the second year of the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), representatives from 13 North American colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain voted to declare themselves independent from the crown, forming the United States of America. Two days after the historic vote, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted – and each year since, Americans have celebrated.
For those living in the United States who are from other countries, July 4th might not have the same meaning. It can be difficult for people to celebrate Independence Day when they feel more attached to their own cultural heritage and celebrations. Here’s great advice from a young man born in Liberia, West Africa and living in Virginia:
If it weren’t for my friends that are American, I don’t think I would celebrate the 4th of July. Because I wasn’t born here, the holiday has never really affected me. After living here for a while, I’ve come to realize that America is a melting pot of so many different cultures, and I take comfort in knowing I would not be the only non-American celebrating the day. I try to engage in the holiday by being around people that I care about. I feel like if you aren’t celebrating America’s independence, you should be celebrating life, family, and the ones you love.
The History of Independence Day
Explore the Capitol Fourth website to learn the history of Independence Day and how the celebrations got their start.
Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
If you’re VERY interested in the history of the Declaration of Independence, watch this video of Thomas Jefferson talk about his role in the formation of our nation. Caution: this for sure won’t be the most exciting video you’ll ever watch, but maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know!
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of freedom. Take a tour of the Statue of Liberty to learn about its history and symbolism. See the views from the torch, crown, inside the copper statue, and elsewhere on Liberty Island. You control your experience, choosing from panoramic views, ranger talks, pictures, video clips, and audio clips.
Please Note: You will need to have Adobe Flash Player installed and enabled on your browser in order to view the eTour.
Close to the Statue of Liberty is Ellis Island, which was the entry point to America for more than 12 million immigrants between 1892 & 1954. Here are two links to explore this historical site that was the key to freedom and opportunity for so many.
Virtual Tour of Washington, D.C.
Tour of the White House
Fun Facts About Independence Day
Two Men and One Date in July
Thomas Jefferson (above, left) and John Adams (above, right) were first friends, then enemies, then friends again for over 50 years. They had opposite political views, and ran against each other for President of the United States twice. Adams defeated Jefferson by just three electoral votes to become the 2nd President of the United States. But in 1800, Jefferson defeated Adams to become the 3rd President. Adams became bitter and things got nasty and did not even attend Jefferson’s inauguration. The two did not speak for the next 12 years.
Another signer of the Declaration of Independence wished them reunited so wrote to both Adams and Jefferson saying to each that the other wanted to reconcile. Very tricky! They fell for it and the two exchanged 185 letters for the next 15 years, until their death. Strangely, the two men died within just hours of each other and even stranger, these statesmen, who devoted their lives to building this nation, both died on on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Was the Declaration of Independence Signed on July 4th?
It might make for an iconic painting, but this famous image of all the Founding Fathers and Continental Congress huddled together presenting the first draft of the Declaration of Independence for a July 4, 1776 signing isn’t quite how things really went down. As famed historian David McCullough wrote, “no such scene, with all the delegates present, ever occurred at Philadelphia.”
The Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence formally dated, finalized, and adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, but only two people actually signed it on that day. Most of the 54 signatures were placed on the document on August 2, 1776, nearly a month after it was adopted.
John Adams believed that American independence should be celebrated on July 2, as that’s the actual day the Continental Congress voted for independence. Annoyed that Independence Day wasn’t celebrated on July 2, Adams reportedly turned down invitations to July 4 celebrations throughout his long life (he lived until he was 91). This stubbornness might in part explain his relationship difficulties Jefferson!
Ice Cream & the Man Who Wrote the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson spent time in France in the 1700s as a diplomat, where he was introduced to a dessert now known as ice cream. Jefferson’s intense fondness for ice cream helped grow its popularity in America. Because there was no refrigeration at the time, it was made in small batches and typically kept in ice houses and brought out to guests, who were surprised by a frozen dish during hot summer parties. He also left behind what may be the first ice cream recipe in America: six egg yolks, a half-pound of sugar, two bottles of cream, and one vanilla bean.
Americans eat an astonishing number of hot dogs on July 4th! Americans consume about 150 million hot dogs while celebrating Independence Day. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, that number of hot dogs can stretch from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles more than five times! For anyone interested, D.C. is 2,669 miles from L.A., so do the math…..five times 2,669 is how many miles of hot dogs??
4th of July Celebrations
Here are a few short videos with fireworks and music in the nation’s capital. Pro tip: expand to full screen in a dark room!