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Start your flippers!

Gather your classroom around the computer this fall as Sea Turtle Conservatory tracks endangered sea turtles in the third annual Tour de Turtles Migration Marathon.

For three months, Tour de Turtles will follow 11 individual sea turtles, using satellite-tracking technology, as they travel from their nesting beaches to unknown feeding grounds with the goal of being the first turtle to reach the 2,620 km (1,627 mi) distance.

With as few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings surviving to adulthood, conservation efforts must focus on combating human-caused threats through education and research. By tracking migratory patterns, scientists learn more about sea turtle life cycles and can identify threats that turtles encounter in their travels. Teachers and students can follow the turtles along with researchers by visiting www.tourdeturtles.org.

From a dedicated webpage for each racer, students will be able to get to know these determined swimmers, learn more about threats to their survival and hear periodic interviews with the marathon participants. The turtles will be monitored on a regularlyupdated Leader Board that keeps track of each turtle's progress and shows which turtle is in the lead.

Similar to a human marathon, each turtle will also be swimming to raise awareness about a particular "Cause" or threat to sea turtle survival. This secondary competition, known as the Causes Challenge, is designed to see which turtle can generate the most support for their Cause. Classrooms can help one or more of the competitors in the Causes Challenge by adopting a turtle online.

Tour de Turtles includes a full suite of customizable activities focusing on the biology and habitats of sea turtles. Teachers have free access to educational materials, quizzes and lesson plans that easily incorporate environmental education into classroom activities and lesson plans.

Tour de Turtles will also feature educational contests just for classrooms. Starting in September, the Turtle Quilt Contest will challenge students to create a shell-shaped quilt highlighting threats to sea turtles. Then in October, classrooms will be able to create and submit custom Public Service Announcements for the website using the interactive Turtle Player, which records animations using characters from the marathon.

To start tracking sea turtles in the classroom, please visit www.tourdeturtles.org. And don't forget, saving sea turtles is a marathon, not a sprint!

Subscriber Spot

To find out more details about the Turtle Quilt Contest and the Public Service Announcement activity, visit us online at www.curriculumreview.com (click on Subscriber's Spot; password = fall).

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Title Annotation:Grade 2-8
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:412
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