Join naturalist and television personality David Attenborough in exploring the beautiful but endangered world of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef. Stretching 2300 km down the eastern coast of Australia, and covering 344,400 square kilometers (an area the size of Italy), it is more than twice the size of the next largest coral reef. This interactive allows you to witness the variety of life supported by the Great Barrier Reef as well as how coral grows, the migration routes of animals that rely on the reef, threats to the health of the reef, and the incredible research being done to understand it.
The site uses immersive experiences, cutting-edge science, and many short films to help you understand the world of this fascinating ecosystem. The interactive starts with a short video introduction from Attenborough. From there, you click "Continue" and are taken to an interactive map showing the area of the Great Barrier Reef. You can choose to go to any of the five chapters on the map by clicking on the circle for that chapter. Once inside a chapter, you can scroll through it to get from section to section, but make sure you explore the interactives associated with each part, because they contain a lot of interesting information. Or you can click on the menu icon at the top right to choose from three options: The Alucia, where you can learn about the research vessel; Crew Bios, to find out more about the researchers and crew involved in this project; and VR Dive, a virtual reality experience in which you can join Attenborough as he explores the Great Barrier Reef aboard the Triton.
You can use this interactive to inspire your students to learn more about endangered ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. Its visual appeal, along with its use of immersive experiences, video, and cutting-edge science can help students learn without feeling like they are learning. For those who may never get a chance to journey to Australia or the reef, this interactive provides an excellent opportunity to allow them to get an idea of what this remarkable ecosystem is like.
You could encourage your students to explore the resource on their own. Or you could choose to use it to supplement a lesson by assigning chapters to groups of students and asking each group to report back on what they learned from that chapter. Students also could use this resource to help them research the Great Barrier Reef.