Students, scientists team up to probe the secrets of longevity


On Jan. 29, students and teachers will be able to follow along as the Quest Network begins its second Blue Zones Quest, a three-week, inquiry-based online learning project. Founded by explorer and National Geographic writer Dan Buettner, who has produced more than a dozen interactive expeditions, the Quest Network offers free curricula that cultivate collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, while meeting state and national standards. The Blue Zones Quests aim to locate areas around the world where people live well into advanced age–and explore why. The next Blue Zones Quest will search for clues that explain why people in a remote location in Central America are living longer than anyone else in this hemisphere. Along with accessing the expedition team’s daily content of dispatches, videos, and photographs from this region, students can direct the team’s exploration and help distill a cross-cultural formula for living a long, healthy life. The Blue Zones web site also gives teachers additional activities to extend the quest beyond the internet. For instance, students can take charge of their own health through the Blue Zones Challenge, a four-week fitness program in which they apply what they find in the quest to their own lives, creating roadmaps to a healthier life. The Blue Zone Quests and curriculum guides are available free of charge to teachers, thanks to corporate sponsors Allianz and Davisco Foods.

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