When a group of scientists, journalists, and explorers visits several remote Central American villages this week to investigate the inhabitants’ unusual longevity, students will be helping direct the multimedia expedition.
The second Blue Zones Quest will feature a team led by explorer and writer Dan Buettner to the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica to examine why so many of the inhabitants live to be over 100.
Students will track the team online on www.bluezones.com, through written logs, photos, and videos that the team will produce. They will also take part in online polls that will guide the team on such daily decisions as where to go next.
Teachers who register with the site will have access to free curriculum materials about the exploration and activities that promote fitness. The materials are chiefly intended for grades 4-8, said Amy Tomczyk, the director of educational outreach for Blue Zones. The expedition was set to begin Jan. 29.
Mr. Buettner had produced 10 interactive expeditions before founding the Minneapolis-based Quest Network, which runs the Blue Zones program, whose name refers to regions of the world in which people live very long and healthy lives.
The Nicoya Peninsula is the second quest in the Blue Zones program. Before leaving on the first expedition, to Okinawa, Japan, in late 2005, Mr. Buettner wrote a cover story for National Geographic magazine about blue zones and longevity.
The Blue Zones project is co-funded by the National Institute on Aging, based in Bethesda, Md., and the Washington-based National Geographic Society.
A version of this article appeared in the January 31, 2007 edition of Education Week