Here are a list of topics and some notes on how to use them in a K12 setting
A work in progress to be added to
(1) how long does it take to walk from Africa to Miami
an intro to speed time and distance, since they row at walking speeds. intro to maps, experiment in measuring walking speeds. how fast forward, how fast backward. time a measured distance. algebra speed time distance. note that even if you get 60 days, or longer, note how really short this is... how small the earth really is. even if it takes 90 days. This has always been the most impressive thing to me on sailing across the ocean in a 30- 40 ft boat in 2 weeks. it is a small world.
(2) magnetic variation and compass use. here is a nice variation map:
note unusual pattern dakar to miami. 18w to 16w, then flat ,then back to 8w at the same rate.
on land variation is called declination. note big difference on how ships compass works compared to hiking compass. study deviation by placing iron objects near a compass. lines of force. magnetic fields... solar wind, northern lights... etc
north magnetic pole... (nowhere near the geographic pole) opens all new series of topics. see travels and talks of Helen Thayer, esp her book Polar Dream
(3) maps versus charts... install and play with free echart programs. ie memory-map.com see www.starpath.com/getcharts a wide open topic. lat lon nautical miles, directions, measuring distances, units, etc... almost anything can evolve from a study of charts. if a picture is worth 1000 words, a chart is worth a book. can order Training Charts at a fraction of the cost of regular charts for student plotting practice.
(7) compare dakar to miami route with columbus route... role of trade winds.
(8) Wreck of the Brig Commerce in late 1800s off coast of W. Africa. Why was the book about the slavery of Capt Riley so popular with Abraham Lincoln.... this is a wonderful story. See Rileys Narrative and Robbins Journal, both at Starpath book catalog. And you can even use Google earth to see that tracks across the desert that these poor souls were dragged across so long ago... and you will see that life in the deserts of Western Africa have not changed that much over the centuries.
(9) Christopher Columbus. Time to start breaking the myth. He was a charlatan.You will need to do your research on this one, as you are up against The Establishment!