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Learning Exercises from

The learning exercises and experiments that follow have been prepared not only to impart knowledge but hopefully to challenge and entertain as well. We subscribe to the philosophy that people learn best when they are actively participating, engaged and even having a bit of fun!

We will continue to add new exercises and experiments over the months and years ahead so please stop by often to see what is new. We would love to hear any suggestions you may have on ideas or questions that could be developed into new learning exercises. Some of our very best ideas have come from our customers. We are also interested in hearing your experiences and how you have applied the exercises and experiments. Whether one on one with your child or in a classroom setting with a group, we hope the experience is a positive one.

In the meantime…Have Fun!

Find the latitude and longitude coordinates for where you live.
Try this experiment on your globe.

1. Find the location where you live on the globe.

2. Next decide if you are closer to the North Pole or the South Pole.
  • If you are closer to the North Pole then you will count in north latitude.
  • If you are closer to the South Pole then you will count in south latitude.
3. Next decide if you are closer to the prime meridian if you travel east or west on the globe.
  • If the distance to the prime meridian is shorter by moving west on the globe then you will count your longitude in “east” measurement.
  • If the distance to the prime meridian is shorter by moving east on the globe then you will count your longitude in “west” measurement.
4. Now estimate your location using latitude and longitude coordinates, write your answer down and ask your parents or teacher to verify your answer. (You may even find that you know something they don’t!)

Helpful hints for parents:
After working through the previous experiment with your child you may be concerned about whether or not you found the right answer. As a quick check you can go to this helpful site.
  • Click on the globe at the location you were trying to identify. (In the experiment above, this would be where you live.)
  • The site will display the latitude/longitude coordinates in degrees and minutes for the location you selected. (For example, clicking on the Great Salt Lake will return coordinates of approximately 112° 42' West, 41° 16' North.)
  • This information is found in the “Map Center:” field, directly below the globe.
  • You can simply round off the result to 113° West by 42° North. (When working with measurements on a globe, there are 60 minutes in an hour. Since 30 minutes means you are at the halfway point to the next longitude degree, you would round 30 minutes up to the next whole degree.)
  • This site will give you a quick way to validate your results as you help your child learn to explore the wonders of the world upon which we all live.

Understanding meridians.
Try this experiment on your globe.
You can very easily define a meridian on your globe. All you need is a piece of string, thread or yarn, which will stretch from the North to the South Pole of your world globe.

1. Hold or fasten one end of your string at the North Pole of your globe. (If you are careful you can use a piece of “masking tape” to secure the end of the string. Do not leave the tape on the globe for an extended period of time as the adhesive can transfer to your globe and may damage the surface. Tape should only be used with the permission of your parents or teacher.)

2. Pulling the string tight as you go, hold or fasten the free end of the string to the South Pole of your globe.

3. The straight line shown by your string is a meridian. As you can see, a meridian can be anyplace on the globe as long as the starting and ending points of the “straight line” are the North and South Poles.

More information for parents:
The definition of a meridian is “An imaginary great circle on the earth's surface passing through the North and South geographic poles.” It is important to realize that a meridian does not have to align with a longitude line on your globe. Here are a few additional points to remember.
  • While all longitude lines are meridians, not all meridians align with a “full degree” longitude line.
  • All points on the same meridian have the same longitude.
  • Keeping these two points in mind, we can draw the conclusion that a meridian can be defined in very precise terms. As an example, if we could measure accurately enough, a meridian running through the Great Salt Lake Basin could be defined as 114° 17' 21” West. (This would be read as 114 degrees, 17 minutes, 21 seconds West.) As described in the FAQ about the prime meridian, this meridian, or longitude would be measured in distance west from the prime meridian. While we were able to define the “precise” location of the meridian in terms of its longitude, it is rather obvious that it does not align with any of the longitude lines marked on your world globe.

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