Navigation Teacher Resources

Find Navigation educational ideas and activities

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Students examine nautical navigation and discover the differences between nautical charts and other types of maps or charts. Students practice setting a course, taking a bearing, and dead reckoning. This gives students an example of how vectors and other physics related material is used in the "real world".
High schoolers determine distance and direction on a nautical chart. In this nautical lesson, students identify obstacles and characteristics of common aid to navigation on a nautical chart.
Middle schoolers learn navigational techniques change when people travel to different places. They understand differences between navigation on land, water, air and in space. They explain the concept of dead reckoning as it applies to navigation estimation. They understand beacon nomenclature, symbols and information as found on nautical charts.
Students investigate marine navigation. Students access nowCOAST on the Internet and explore marine navigation in modern society. Students obtain and explain the importance of accessing real-time oceanographic and meteorological data.
Students identify and research navigational tools used in deep sea explorations. They are introduced to a compass, the Global Positioning System and sonar technology and then describe their uses in underwater exploration.
Sudents examine the types of instruments that can be used for marine navigation and position-finding. They practice using an astrolabe to solve trigonometric problems.
Students participate in a scavenger hunt and a drawing activity to examine the use of Global Positioning Systems including a handheld GPS receiver for personal navigation. They practice using the GPS receivers while collecting data from which they decide how to navigate to set points.
Middle schoolers examine how navigation is based on mathematics and how making a mistake in measuring an angle could have an impact on a target. They observe a teacher-led lecture, use a calculator to complete two worksheets, and participate in a hands-on navigation demonstration on the field at school.
Students culminate a measurement unit by linking measurement and geometry to create maps and charts to show spatial relationships, and to apply the principles of location, navigation, and direction by describing routes.
Students discuss benefits of global positioning systems (GPS) and practice using them on the school grounds. A personal navigator, such as, the Garmin eTrex is necessary for this lesson.
Sixth graders examine the purpose of the keelboat used by the Corps of Discovery on the Lewis and Clark expedition. They assess its strengths and weaknesses for navigating different rivers, and describe its overall purpose for the Expedition.
Students are shown the very basics of navigation. The concepts of relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude and cardinal directions are discussed, as well as the use and principles of a map and compass.
Students explain ways marine navigation is important in modern society.  In this map study lesson students use a retrieval tool to obtain real-time information on weather forecasts. 
Students read a scale on a map, use dimensional analysis and calculate velocities.  In this navigation lesson students complete an activity and worksheet. 
Extensive background on marine navigation is provided for you as the teacher. Assign groups to research marine navigation techniques and construct astrolabes. Resource links are listed for extension ideas. If you are teaching an oceanography course, this will be a valuable addition to your curriculum.
Students investigate error. As shown in earlier activities from navigation lessons 1 through 3, without an understanding of how errors can affect position, one cannot navigate well. Students explore how computers can help in navigation. By using the power of computers to do calculations and repetitive tasks, they see how changing parameters likes angles and distances and introducing errors will affect their overall result.
Students determine how navigators of ships predict and compensate for the effect of coastal ocean currents. Students use an online database to retrieve data on water movement for selected areas. Students gather information about currents, winds, and tides to solve problems related to coastal navigation.
Students define data, recover data from the Internet, and use information they obtain to solve problems.  In this investigative lesson students answer questions on a worksheet and demonstrate the use of a maneuvering board in solving problems involving ocean currents and navigation. 
Young scholars explore google earth and its functions.  In this navigation lesson students create their own tour of google earth using all the navigation tools.
Middle schoolers investigate how engineers navigate satellites in orbit around the Earth and on their way to other planets in the solar system. They study vocabulary words and participate in studying a satellite by learning about times and dates on a NASA website.