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Students in Kansas Get Special Tour Inside the Globe

The Earth Balloon is a twenty foot giant globe. It gives kids a new perspective on the planet.
(TROY, Kan.) You may have seen a globe before, but have you ever seen a 20-foot globe?

That was what greeted elementary students in Troy, Kansas Tuesday morning.

The giant globe is called an Earth Balloon.

"The idea of teaching with the big balloon is to teach a full global perspective to the kids, so they understand the size and enormity of [the Earth, and] water.  Also we want to give them ideas of how to take care of the earth," said Chris Griffin from the Doniphan County Conservation Department.

Griffin brought the balloon to the school - she takes students on a tour inside the globe.

She shows them geographic features, including the shapes of the continents.

"I did not know that the entire world was connected at one point," said fifth grader Sydnee Vanwey.  "You could see where at one point they were connected because you could see where they fit into each other."

The students stand with mouths agape in awe at just how massive their planet is.

Some of them say they prefer learning like this, better than a text book.

"You get to walk into it and you can see the big globe and you can see the towns," Vanwey said.

Griffin even shows some kindergarten students around the globe.

"With the younger children I'll talk mostly about the amount of water on the Earth, the idea of continents, where they live," she said.

With a laser pointer Griffin can show them North America, and where Kansas is right in the middle.

Coming from the Department of Conversation, Griffin just wants the students to have a big appreciation for the earth.

"[It's all about] stewardship," she said.  "We want to take care of it, and then we get them started thinking this way."

And thinking this way can mean getting a global perspective.

Griffin plans on also showing her display to high school students in Troy, and then bringing it to other schools in Doniphan County.

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