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Chris Aldrich

Today, I got an email update from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI, http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive) which has some generally excellent free teaching materials in science/technology related areas. (I recommend everyone spend some time on their site when they have a block of free time.)

In particular today, they have some nice looking materials for thresholds 5 and up:
Exploring the Anthropocene
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/anthropocene-human-impact-environment
Summary: How are our activities affecting the planet? This engaging interactive brings our popular poster (http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/poster-anthropocene-human-impact-environment) to life, letting you explore data on human population growth, air pollution, agriculture, mining, water use, and other factors. Turn layers on and off, identify trends and correlations, and discover the impact of human activities on the environment.

They've also got an accompanying set of 6 stream-able lectures

Biodiversity in the Age of Humans
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/biodiversity-age-humans
Summary: Are we witnessing a sixth mass extinction? What factors threaten ecosystems on land and in the sea? What are researchers doing to try to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems?

Most of their materials have online videos, animations, virtual laboratories, and poster-type components for helping to illustrate their points.

Primarily the HHMI's mission is to help move cutting edge research forward, though they also spend some significant time trying to help educate the public on the importance of their research. Given the wealth of free educational materials and funding along with the overlap of major areas of science which underpin Big History (in particular evolution, earth science, chemistry, biology, physics, etc.) it may also be worthwhile for the larger Big History movement to work along side of this part of HHMI to pool resources and education materials for improved pedagogy. Perhaps the Big History Project could partner up to help extend HHMI's reach into classrooms? :)