A wide age range of students got a geography lesson from inside Earth Monday at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake.
The GeoSphere, a 20-foot inflatable globe used by The Geographic Society of Chicago was the setting for some inside-of-this-world learning Monday as the society's director, Steve Jansen, talked with both MCC students and visiting elementary school students about things such as natural vegetation, mountains, water bodies and latitude and longitude.
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The hand-painted GeoSphere highlights geographic features such as deserts, mountain ranges and ocean depths to help students learn about the planet. The smallest of the students to visit Monday were from the MCC Children's Learning Center on campus, and 4- and 5-year-olds sat gazing up at the inside of the globe as Jansen taught them about geographic facts of Earth.
Jansen taught the children about the percentage of the planet which is covered with water, and also tried to help them understand how deep the oceans can be, Using Mount Everest -- the world's tallest peak -- as an example, Jansen explained to students that the 29,000-foot mountain would still be roughly 7,000 feet from breaking the surface of the water if it could be placed at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, in the western Pacific Ocean. At its deepest point, the trench is approximately 36,069 feet deep, according to Wikipedia.