National Geographic : 1992 Jun
THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT ON THE Education Foundation Kids Network Sends Data to Russia, With Love <G J'e won!!!!!!" J That triumphant mes SY sage from Moscow, fol lowing last summer's aborted military coup against democratic reformers, flashed on computer screens in classrooms across the U. S. Students and teachers alike were thrilled to learn their foreign partners in the National Geographic Kids Network were safe and sound. Using telecommunications tech nology and computers, Kids Net work links students in more than a thousand U. S. schools with each other-and with children in 28 other nations. The main goal is to help kids share data from science experiments they perform as part of a set curriculum, but hearts as well as minds are joined. A special bond has been forged for students at nine Russian schools, who have been teamed with young sters at schools in Iowa and other states. During the summer, there was concern about the survival of the Kids Network in Moscow. Happily, when school started again in the fall, the Russian students were on-line. Moscow School 1173 teacher Alexander Kuz netsov (above) can still show stu dents how to measure local acid rain levels and compare their readings with those of youngsters in Iowa and elsewhere. Iowa is home to the single most comprehensive Kids Network sup port program. The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has funded the pur chase of computers and Kids Net work instructional kits for 28 schools, training for 56 teachers, and access to America Online, another computer link that enables KLAUSREISINGER, BLACKSTAR teachers nationwide to share ideas. In an essential follow-up, the trust also sponsored an exhaustive evalu ation of Iowa's Kids Network effort, highlighting the program's strengths and providing valuable suggestions. I recently visited Barbara Hy man's fourth-grade class in Musca tine, Iowa (below), where along with Carver Trust chairman William Cory I tried my hand at a Kids Network lesson. Believe me, this is no shoot 'em-up video game! Besides learning science and geography, these young sters also begin to see themselves as part of a worldwide community. Heartening words about our suc cess came from Elena Migunova, a Moscow biologist and head of Kids Network teacher training there. Even as Russia sank into economic chaos this past winter, she said in one message, "It is a consolation to think that life will be a little brighter for some of our kids, thanks to Kids Network." I couldn't agree more and it is my hope that thou sands more schools will join this remarkable, globe-shrinking program. ^^| /* /lJ.^/ THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY EDUCATION FOUNDATIONWAS ESTABLISHED TO RAISE AND DISTRIBUTE FUNDS FOR EDUCATIONALAND SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS.