Handhelds help turn kids into marine biologists

CNET reports that in March, a group of Hawaiian fourth-graders went on a special school project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in which they observed the behaviors of humpback whales from the shore. They recorded what they saw through a handheld wireless device called an Indigo, which resembles a Palm Pilot. NOAA scientists taught the students how to identify various whale behaviors, which the students feverishly recorded using the devices. The data collected through the project went to assist NOAA’s program to track the humpback population, and will be included in its 2007 Whale Survey. Florida-based LearningSoft developed these devices, and has run pilot tests of the technology, placing them in schools in both Georgia and Hawaii. Since then, schools in California, Indiana, Ohio, and Arkansas have adopted the technology, with more schools across the nation expected to follow suit…


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