Bioprospecting, looking for microorganisms that have potential to
contribute to human endeavors, is an important step in many companies
research. In this activity, students are cartographers and have
been asked to make a map of unusual places that the researches might
travel to "prospect" for bacteria (a microorganism). By
the end of this activity, students should have an understanding
of mapmaking and working together.
1. Investigate map-making as initial research.
2. Research the use of symbols on maps.
3. Use other maps as a springboard to plan own map.
4. Create a map--could use computer generated topography. The map
should include many different landforms, climates, altitudes, etc.
Students need to provide a title, scale and key.
5. Display maps.
Assess comprehension by a discussion of what has been included on
the maps and accessing the maps themselves.
Standards and Benchmarks
The World in Spatial Terms
Standard 1: Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes,
and other geographic tools and technologies
1. Knows the purposes and distinguishing characteristics of different
map projections, including distortion on flat-map projections
2. Uses thematic maps (e.g., patterns of population, disease, economic
features, rainfall, vegetation)
3. Understands concepts such as axis, major parallels, seasons,
rotation, revolution, and principal lines of latitude and longitude
4. Knows the advantages and disadvantages of maps, globes, and other
geographic tools to illustrate a data set (e.g., data on population
distribution, language-use patterns, energy consumption at different
times of the year)
7. Knows the characteristics and purposes of geographic databases
(e.g., databases containing census data, land-use data, topographic
Standard 2: Knows the location of places, geographic features,
and patterns of the environment
1. Knows the location of physical and human features on maps and
globes (e.g., culture hearths such as Mesopotamia, Huang Ho, the
Yucatan Peninsula, the Nile Valley; major ocean currents; wind patterns;
land forms; climate regions)
Places and Regions
Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of
1. Knows the human characteristics of places (e.g., cultural characteristics
such as religion, language, politics, technology, family structure,
gender; population characteristics; land uses; levels of development)
2. Knows the physical characteristics of places (e.g., soils, land
forms, vegetation, wildlife, climate, natural hazards)