Huntington High School Uses GigaPan to Capture West Virginia State History

Teachers at Huntington High School are combining GigaPan technology with West Virginia history to engage students and help them understand the unique culture that surrounds them.  

Coal and coal mining in West Virginia has had perhaps the biggest impact on shaping the history and now the future of our state. Coal is found in 53 of its 55 counties with 43 of them having minable reserves. Even though coal has played such an important role in developing WV and the future of our state depends on its use as an alternative fuel, few WV students know much about it. School teachers from Cabell County are embarking on a unique project this summer to develop the skills necessary to bring place-based curricula dealing with WV coal to their own classes. These teachers traveled throughout West Virginia utilizing GPS, scientific probeware, blogs, still/video cameras, and a host of software to develop a "virtual Tour" to many of the mining sites, both past and present, that have helped shape our WV history. Cabell county teachers learned about deep coal mining, surface mining, stream run-off, and the history of coal mining in general during their trip. 


Below is a video created by Josh Ratliff showing how GigaPan was used to document historical sites in West Virginia history.  

Marshall University 2011 Freshman Class Captured Via GigaPan!

Marshall University's June Harless Center trained a group from University College to capture GigaPan images for the freshman convocation that took place on August 18th.  Numbers on Convocation are not final however, turnout was estimated comparable to last year with 1800-1850 freshman students attending Convocation.( Please note, this is not the entire freshman class.)  

In addition,  Dr. Harold Blanco of the College of Education introduced new Marshall faculty to GigaPan technology and how to integrate it into their curriculum.  Departments included theatre, social work, math, education and pharmacy to name a few.

Gigapan as an Elective

Last school year in the spring I offered a Gigapan class as an elective.  It proved very interesting.  The kids that signed up for the class were kids who struggled in academic classes due to reading and writing challenges.  This was a great opportunity to get them engaged in reading and writing through gigapan. 

As the trimester started, I showed them lots of gigapan pictures to get them excited about the actual gigapan camera.  Then I taught them how to use the camera around school, both inside and outside.  Eventually, some of the students wanted to take the gigapan camera home and try out their skills.  Having kids actually take the pictures, post them, and write comments and questions enabled them to grow academically and socially.

My particular class had kids who otherwise would not talk to each other.  Gigapan became an avenue of collaboration for them.  They began to work together in the set up of the camera, deciding what to take pictures of, and working on the final presentation by posting questions and writing comments.  These gigapan "conversations" within our classroom helped them develop respect and concern for each other.  The gigapan brought us together as a class.  Lastly, the kids in the elective began to feel privileged because they knew how to do something that other kids didn't know how to do.

Overall, the gigapan elective was a great experience for the kids and myself. I would love to do it again and get the kids involved in documenting their community service projects.  Gigapan opens doors for kids and adults through panoramic pictures and conversations.

Ms. Johnson
Propel Braddock Hills High School

Summer Dreamer's Academy- Peace Rally

One of Hear Me's favorite organizations in Pittsburgh, the Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation, is preparing for the Peace Rally!  This is the culminating event for their Summer Dreamer's Academy students.  Make sure to stop by Market Square on Tuesday, August 9th to see the amazing performances by these students!!

The Charge Car: First Impressions on my First Ride

I didn't know what to expect for my first ride in "the charge car." It was definitely QUIET as others have reported.  It is so quiet you don't even realize when the car is running unless the driver announces that it has started. I was one of a group of teachers touring the "Electric Garage" as part of an Educational Robotics Graduate Course that was offered this summer at CMU.The Electric Garage was a sight to see in itself. It's an exhibit of the different stages of the car's development. Having a peek under the hood finding open spaces where you would expect to see the engine,  seeing an electrical outlet where the gas cap would be, and noting that this vehicle has some "junk the trunk," or batteries, made this a surreal experience.  I was in the second group of riders, so I got to see and hear the first group of riders drive away from the Electric silence.  For some reason, the Electric Garage sign made think of the "Electric Slide" but we didn't do any line dancing while we were waiting for the car to return. You do need to be alert when the car is backing up, because you really can't tell when the car is going to move.  The only sounds you can hear from the outside are the wheels gently rolling over the pavement, like when a car is in neutral and you have to get out and push it.  So, no noise pollution and since there are no exhaust fumes - no air pollution either! When the car returned, I took the front passenger seat and used a Flip Camera to document the ride. (Illah Nourbakhsh, Professor of Robotics is the driver.) You can ride along virtually with the rest of's a smooth ride ...check out this video.

Zee Ann Poerio
Teacher, St. Louise de Marillac School

Teachers Teaching Teachers or: How much fun I had at CMU

Another adventure to the world outside of the Museum...I recently got the chance to visit the lovely campus of Carnegie Mellon University to learn more about their program: Educational Robotics for the Classroom. Honestly, I was not sure what to expect at all, but the idea of learning about robots and hanging out with fellow educators sparked my interest.
Basically, what I attended was a graduation for several teachers who completed a course at CMU utilizing the Robot Diaries program. The Robot Diaries program allows someone to use simple robotics to help tell a story or express an emotion. Teachers are able to use these "robot kits" to better help their students understand the importance of technology. its the kind of program that opens up a whole new world of exploration for people, teachers and students alike. I was seriously jealous for not being able to take this course myself.
Each of the teachers who had partaken in the class gave a presentation on how they planned on using robotics and technology to better their classroom. They also presented robots that they themselves created. These presentations and demonstrations were full of so much enthusiasm. It was great to see that this group of individuals could come together and learn something wholey new to themselves but all embrace new ideas as a group.
There were some recurring themes in each of the presentations that struck me as an observer. Most of the teachers involved in the program were Art teachers, English teachers, teachers with no backgrounds in robotics. They were willing to learn something new. The question was brought up, "what do teachers do on Summer Vacation?" Well, this specific group decided to learn a whole lot about robots and how technology can influence their current curriculum. Its always good to learn something new everyday and at the same time teach something new everyday.
It was very interesting to see and hear how the teachers were going to incorporate robots into so many various projects. Expressing poetry, teaching history, explaining organ systems, telling stories, etc. One can only wonder what else can be done with the use of simple robotics. The teachers were very enthusiastic about the fact that technology could be used to bridge gaps in certain subjects in school. "Robots as a bridge between Art and Science;" I'm certainly on board with that.
Twice during the presentations we were allowed to actually work on projects created by the teachers to either add to their robots or at least learn some simple basics about the program itself. One of the teachers presented a Beatles themed robot (she taught an art class at school that was entirely Beatles themed). She designed and programmed a Ringo-bot that played the drums; but she needed some hands designed for him. I jumped right in and created two quick hands; one robot themed and one Beatle themed. So much fun...
Once again, it was too much fun sitting in on these presentations. all of the teachers involved were so willing to learn knew things and adapt them to existing lesson plans. The idea of expressing Edgar Allen Poe literature through robots is awesome...The idea of teaching history by using robots is perfect...the idea of teaching art by using robots is amazing...Thankfully these aren't just ideas. This is curriculum that is going to be implemented into several schools in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.
Thanks again to CMU for inviting me to sit in on these presentations. Its always great to see teachers working together; collaboration is so important. It was also great to see that everyone is using the same robotics program in different ways. As always, I love exploring new things for the Museum and this was easily one of the best. I got to hang out with some of my favorite things; teachers and robots.
-Kevin Goodwin 
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Magna Pictura: Classics Teachers Introduced to GigaPan At ACL Institute

On June 26, 2011, I presented GigaPan as part of a joint technology panel with the Excellence Through Classics Committee and the National Committee for Latin & Greek at the American Classical League Summer Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I enjoy sharing ideas using technology in the classroom especially with Classics teachers.  Using GigaPan is great way to integrate technology and bring the study of the ancient past to life.

Conference attendees, learned how to explore panoramas using the website and the process of taking snapshots and leaving comments. The display of a large gigapan print of the Roman Forum generated lots of interest and allowed attendees to participate in dialogues throughout the conference.  They were invited to attach sticky notes to the print in English or Latin, creating a truly interactive exhibit.

There were comments about objects in the panorama, observations about the weather, plant life and architecture. There was even a recommendation on a place to eat near the Forum.  Above an image of young girl, someone wrote, “Ecce! In pictura est puella.” (Look! In the picture is a girl.) Attendees would read the post and laugh. They recognized the famous first line in Ecce Romani – a Latin textbook. Notes also included drawings; someone had “rebuilt” the deteriorated sculptural form on the top of a column to restore Rome to all its glory. is a wonderful resource for teachers of all disciplines!

Special thanks to the Committee on Latin in Elementary Schools of the National Committee for Latin & Greek, Frank Neuperger, photographer, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University - with special thanks to Clara Phillips.

This is an animoto with images, audio and video clips from the event:


Zee Ann Poerio, Teacher-St. Louise de Marillac School
Chair for the Committee on Latin in Elementary Schools, National Committee for Latin & Greek 

Gigapanning in our Perimeter: 6 Young Women Experience Using the Gigapan Cameras


Ellis School is located between Shadyside and East Liberty in Pittsburgh, PA. Every year in May the Upper School (grades 9-12) has 10 days of special classes that we call “Mini-Courses” after exams are finished. Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab generously loaned us 4 Gigapans to creatively explore our immediate environment around our campus. Students made decisions about which direction to walk for each shoot. They photographed in Mellon Park, the new shopping center nearby, and East Liberty. As it was quite hot, we ended up photographing cool church interiors at least twice. Students were definitely inspired by the impressive architecture of these structures. They also experimented with sky gigapans, 360˚ views, extremely narrow views, and Escher-like staircases. We tried manipulating big tiff files and hit the limits of our computers’ ability to compute!

Rather than assign a theme, it was interesting to see what areas the students would chose to explore themselves. Some of the funky accidents and outcomes hinted at possible creative possibilities for future projects. The girls loved having their images on the public forum of the Gigapan website, and they loved looking at what other people posted all over the world. Students sometimes saved their stitched images as tiff files, sized them down, tweaked them in Photoshop and made fairly large prints. In short, they had a wonderful introduction to this unique medium.

Here are the website addresses for the student gigapans:

Hannah’s:    East Liberty Presbyterian Church    Bakery Square, East Liberty    Fountain, Mellon Park, adjacent to the Annie Seamans Memorial    Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty


Shae’s: East Liberty Presbyterian Church (360˚)   “Industry” (old Nabisco Factory)



Morgan’s:   Gated Courtyard at Mellon Park  Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh   Ellis Arbothnut  House


Ashna’s:  East Liberty Church   Mellon Park


Chelsea’s:  Sky Gigapan  (Mellon Park)  Stairway  Inside Church


Campbell’s:   Sacred Heart Church  Sacred Heart Church

Posted by Karen Kaighin
Photography and Video Instructor, Ellis School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Gigapan as a learning tool

During may 2011 I had the opportunity to join project Kelluwen and I
implemented a didactic unit in Language subject (spanish) with my
students of the seventh grade (12 years old) at Teniente Hernán Merino
Correa School in Valdivia, Chile.
We formed several groups of 4-5 students each and each group worked
reading a different tale, analizing the narrator types, the physics,
psychological and social characteristics of the characters and the
narrative space.
It was very interesting for the students and me that they, organized
in groups, had to represent a scene of the tale they read and
analyzed. Each student was playing the role of one character and all
the student within a group worked together to build scenery stuff.
Each scene was taken in a panorama and then uploaded and linked to
Remarkable is the possibility of making zoom to the details that we
use to ignore or use to be invisible in conventional photographs.
Also, using snapshots, students made conversation and funny comments
regarding the tale and the panorama session.
For my students it was a very positive and unforgettable experience
because it encouraged reading, team work and fellowship. Everyone
collaborate within their groups for taking a good panorama. Also, they
showed satisfied and proud when they saw the outcome of their work.
published in Gigapan web site.
I want to thank to Kelluwen and Gigapan Schools Dialogs projects to
allow my students to reach learning in different subjects, interacting
with innovative techologies in a very amusing, original and attractive
Some of the gigapan took below:
The project in

Carolina Stuardo Cavada
School Teacher
Teniente Hernán Merino Correa School