K-12 Workshops‎ > ‎

2013 Green Schools Conference

Google Earth

Google Earth is a free download (there is a pro version you have to buy or apply for a grant to get it). Although it pulls imagery from the internet (you need to have a wifi or cable connection) it stores student work on their desktops.

To save your work you highlight the file in the left sidebar and click File>Save>Save Place As and download the file as either a KML file or a KMZ file (this is a zipped KML file) to your desktop. This is how you can save student work. It helps to put things in a folder and save the folder (you create a folder by clicking Add>folder and then dragging paths, icons, etc. into the folder).

Google Earth is great for teaching science and math. For example, students can explore different habitats and predict where they will find various plants or animals on a field trip click here. Another example, for either a science or math class you can use the measurement tools to do a simple GIS (Geographical Information System) activity- the free version of Google Earth only gives you the length of a path, not the area, but you can use formulas from basic geometry to calculate approximate areas for squares, circles, etc.

The example that was used for the presentation was Farley Elementary in Topeka. If you search for Farley Elementary, Topeka, Kansas and zoom in, you can use the time slider to "disappear" the school (its only a few years old). You can even see it as a construction site.


Scratch is a computer programming language developed by MIT for Middle School students-- but it is fun for High Schoolers and even College students. Scratch allows students to learn the framework for programming without getting bogged down in writing code (that can come after they are hooked). The Scratch website provides easy step-by-step instructions suitable for kids, and a wonderful project gallery. You download the program (it is free) onto your computer and your work is housed on your desktop-- making it suitable for students who are not allowed to post to the internet (under 13, or because of parental or school district policies).


SketchUp is another free download (they have a pro version you have to pay for or apply for a grant to get). This is a 3D visualization program that is a "lite" version of AutoCad. Like Google Earth and Scratch, it stores student work on their computer desktops, so you don't have to worry about students posting to the internet.

Google URL shortener and QR code generator

This is a handy tool you may not know about-- it generates QR codes if you click on "Details." Here's an example of a QR code that is used as a link to a Google Presentation student "Poetry Magazine" that can be viewed on a smart phone.

Google Tools Crash Course

Overview of Google Apps for those with some familiarity-- stresses techniques for integrating different tools (Sites, Maps, Drive, etc.) and strategies for getting the most out of online collaborations and workshop instruction.

K-12 Curriculum and Student Showcases

Curriculum and how-to guides developed by Dr. Annett, Virginia Annett, Nasbah Ben, Heidi Mehl, Ron Hall and Dr. Mike Hotz

You will find a lot of workshop materials in the left sidebar of this website (http://cynthiaannett.org), including Project Learning Tree activities adapted for Google Maps, Google Earth and other Google Tools.

This next site is under construction, but you will find lots of how-tos that are useful for Green Schools

Here are the links for Middle School and High School activities developed for students in the KCK Saturday and Summer Academies. You can find student work on these websites, including e-Portfolios developed by High School students using Google Sites and other Google Tools.

Friends of the Kaw watershed curriculum