Ossabaw E-Exploration

Check out the new Ossabest video on our YouTube channel.

Twenty miles south of Savannah, jutting above the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, lies Ossabaw Island, a pristine outcrop of pine, oak and marsh spanning 26,000 acres and teeming with turkeys, herons, egrets and hundreds of other species native to the Georgia coast.

Ossabaw is Georgia's third largest barrier island and was designated as Georgia's first Heritage Preserve in 1978. The Ossabaw Island Foundation, in partnership with the state, manages the island as a living museum of Georgia coastal history with a focus on providing educational, scientific and cultural programs.

In the summer of 2008, one educational program involved 40 students and 30 teachers from Chatham County schools who explored the island as part of OssaBest, an initiative spearheaded by AASU and funded in part by a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Ossabest is supported by AASU faculty and students in computer science, information technology and education who have been working with teachers and students in Chatham County to create a virtual guide to the island that can be used by school systems across the country.

Armed with personal GPS navigation systems, laptop computers, and digital cameras Chatham students, assisted by their teachers, have been documenting wild life sightings, taking GPS readings, and downloading environmental data from various sensors and a weather station installed on the island. The data they collect is transmitted to a processing center at AASU to become part of online multimedia guide of Ossabaw Island that will include photography, video, power point presentations and real-time environmental information.

Teachers and students in schools throughout Chatham County, the state and the nation are utilizing the online guide to generate interest in careers in computer science, information technology and education. A total of 90 teachers and 120 students in grades seven through 10 will be involved over the three-year duration of the project ending in 2010. The Ossabest portal can be found at http://www.ossabest.armstrong.edu