WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Middle school students in Wausau took a field trip to Asia on Thursday without leaving central Wisconsin.
The students at Horace Mann middle school explored the continent through the National Geographic's Giant Traveling Maps program. The map includes features about Asia's oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals.
The map filled up the floor of a double classroom. It is 26 feet tall by 35 feet wide and weighs 138 pounds. The brightly colored map has a smooth vinyl surface that students can walk on as they go from Tokyo to Seoul to Kabul, Afghanistan.
“We live in a global society,” said Joe Pachal, a 7th grade geography teacher at Horace Mann. “It's a real visual way so not only the kids get the verbal but they also get the visual so they understand what they're learning.”
Pachal said the map draws the attention of every student in the classroom.
“They're so actively involved that they just want to be part of it. They're fascinated by it, they love being on it and they're learning while they're doing it,” he said.
This is the second time the Asia map has come to the Wausau school district. Other maps have helped students explore Africa and Europe.
On the Web: Giant Traveling Maps