Near and Far

For an educational twist, there are two websites that provide an interactive exploration experience that almost reaches the level of an adventure on Ms. Frizzle’s bus! Scale of Universe allows the user to zoom in and out and visually compare the size of objects from the smallest particle known to the expanse of the known universe and beyond. Although it isn’t created to-scale (for obvious reasons), the experience is still educational and allows the user to draw perspective on the size of things and how to compare them. Plus, the added ambient music also creates and existential or other-worldly feel as the user zooms in and out of the various objects listed.

Another similar experience is the Journey to the Center of the Earth. Although this experience is similar to the Scale of the Universe program, it focuses on teaching the user about phenomenons occurring between the surface down to the exact center of the earth. Even though there is as extent to the kind of events, objects, and life forms that can exist beneath the service, the programs provides the user a perspective of what it might be like in theory. The program incorporates scientific facts and real life examples to the parts of the earth not within the reach of any life form. This is a very useful teaching program for those that wonder, “what really is at the center of the earth?”

Even though some of these findings are not completely accurate or proven, the creators of these programs did take into account the hypothesis behind the science and mention it within the program. Limits like these include the assumption of the extent of the universe, the inability to accurately measure anything smaller than an electron, and the inability to actually travel to the earth’s outer core. These programs provide an experience and information for the general public to access and learn from. Although it may not be like Ms. Frizzle fieldtrips from the Magic School Bus, it’s still an exciting and worthwhile experience.

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