Rounding out our celebration of Geography Awareness Week, I’d like to point you to some Google Earth and Maps educational applications that recently caught my attention:

Here in the United States, Tim Hunter of the Advanced Technology Environmental Energy Center (ATEEC) brought together over a dozen educators to develop a virtual field trip that explores political and environmental issues in the Arctic. The purpose of this National Science Foundation-supported project is to explore fossil fuels, discuss sustainable sources of energy, and explore the Alaskan wilderness.

Across the pond in the UK, middle school geography teacher Noel Jenkins created a lesson plan that combines fiction with film-making and climatology. Acting as location scouts, students use Google Earth to find ideal spots for filming the movie version of Philip Pullman's book The Golden Compass. They need to read the text carefully, but the decision-making process is also based on how they interpret the landscape.

And schools across the globe have joined forces to commemorate the 2007-2008 International Polar Year. In this initiative, environmental science, history, anthropology, and technology come together to immerse students in the world of geography. Check out which schools have launched virtual balloons to mark their participation.

We'll keep you posted on more educational resources as we hear about them. And be sure to visit the Google Earth for Educators page and the Google Earth Community for additional lesson plan ideas and discussion forums.