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Black Lives Matter: A Message From Our Chief Education Officer

Dear Education Family,  Black lives matter.  We have witnessed ongoing injustice, violence, and deeply ingrained racism with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and many others — the gravity and weight of which are heartbreaking. Racism, violence, and hate have no place in our world. At the National Geographic Society, we stand in support of human dignity, equity, and justice. … Continue reading Black Lives Matter: A Message From Our Chief Education Officer

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Creativity & COVID: A Lesson from Art Educators on the Importance of Creativity in a Crisis

At National Geographic Education, we see the work of educators encompassing a wide range of skills: flexibility, thoughtfulness, application of the most up-to-date content and pedagogy, relationship building, and so much more. A common thread across subjects and content, in every teaching setting—and now especially in the move to digital or hybrid learning—is the importance of creativity in your work designing learning experiences. You are … Continue reading Creativity & COVID: A Lesson from Art Educators on the Importance of Creativity in a Crisis

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A Recipe for Good Storytelling: Cooking, Cameras, Community and the Power of Photography to Change the World

Feature image by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark. This post was written by educator Jenna Conner-Harris. Photography is like cooking and baking: they are forms of art. All are done with love and care, meticulously created and crafted. Each work is meant to be better than the next, and then shared with others for enjoyment. Similarly, a photograph captures a slice of life and … Continue reading A Recipe for Good Storytelling: Cooking, Cameras, Community and the Power of Photography to Change the World

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Calling on Community and Embracing a Growth Identity

This post was written by educator Jennifer Burgin. Who do I want to be during COVID-19? The question appeared in the center of a graphic I saw recently on social media and it struck me—it was the first time I saw something that helped me unpack my evolving feelings during this time. The graphic features three concentric circles, each with a specific “zone”: fear, learning, … Continue reading Calling on Community and Embracing a Growth Identity

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#TeacherStrong: A Movement Always in the Making

This post was written by educator and 2020 Education Fellow Dwayne Reed. I am in one place right now, but my mind is in a million others. My thoughts are with my family and friends, but also with all of my scholars, their families, and their caregivers. I want to make sure all of my people are good, and all of my people’s people are … Continue reading #TeacherStrong: A Movement Always in the Making

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Strategy Share: How to Make Simple Videos to Transport Your Students and Transform Their Learning

Our Strategy Share series features innovative ideas, projects, and approaches from our community of educators. This post was written by Ben Graves after his expedition to Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education. A lot of us are using digital video to connect with our students during this difficult new reality of distance learning in which we are … Continue reading Strategy Share: How to Make Simple Videos to Transport Your Students and Transform Their Learning

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It is OK to Just Do OK

This post was written by educator Dr. Kerri Westgard. There are lots of things I wish were different now, one of them being that I wish I had time to write down and process all that is happening. But out of nowhere, I suddenly don’t have time. Moving to distance learning with our students has blindsided me—the enormity of it all, on top of the … Continue reading It is OK to Just Do OK

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Celebrate Citizen Science Month: Collect, Collaborate, and Learn from Anywhere

This post was written by educator & 2019 National Geographic Education Fellow Anne Lewis. I might not be paying attention to the days or weeks anymore, but there’s one thing on my calendar that I’ve been celebrating in April and that’s Citizen Science Month. What is “citizen science”? It is when members of the public–like you!–participate in real scientific research. This could be anything big … Continue reading Celebrate Citizen Science Month: Collect, Collaborate, and Learn from Anywhere

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Seeing The World in New Ways: Conquering Failures, Moonwalks, and Exploration During a Pandemic

This post was written by educator A’ndrea Fisher. We’re all seeing the world through a new lens. We’re all, in many ways, learning. And I’ve learned something new about myself: I had no idea I could completely fail at so many things. Hear me out. A few weeks ago, we began an “extended spring break” and, ever since then, I’ve been challenging myself to learn … Continue reading Seeing The World in New Ways: Conquering Failures, Moonwalks, and Exploration During a Pandemic

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Educator Spotlight: Seeing the World Through Math

Kimberly Mizenko challenged her students to see math in the world around them and use it to make sense of big data, such as endangered species, which felt important to her and engaging for her class. Kimberly led her students in an investigation to use data and graphing to make predictions and understand the many local and global factors that influence species worldwide, and ultimately … Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Seeing the World Through Math

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Teaching in a Time of Crisis: Connection, Community, and Curiosity at a Distance

This post was written by 2020 Education Fellow Kim Young. I’ve never experienced anything like this. Disruptions in teaching are frequent, both big and small. Every day we come to school with a plan but often something totally different happens. As we find out where our students, community, and administrators are at, we adjust our plan throughout the day. But in my 16 years of … Continue reading Teaching in a Time of Crisis: Connection, Community, and Curiosity at a Distance

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Meet the 2020 National Geographic Education Fellows!

Each year, the National Geographic Society selects outstanding individuals to serve as Education Fellows who have demonstrated leadership and excellence in the education space. Our fellowship program is instrumental in accelerating the education strategy at National Geographic. Our fellows bring unique skills and expertise with a focus on innovative project development, project leadership, emerging issues, and idea incubation. The program provides an opportunity for fellows … Continue reading Meet the 2020 National Geographic Education Fellows!

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Educator Spotlight: Finding Solutions for Invasive Species

High school biology teacher Beth Quinones worked with a team of educators to engage students in researching invasive species, developing a management plan, and communicating the plan to their target audience. Beth and her collaborators brought in invasive species professionals to deepen students’ understanding of the issue and organized a community event where students shared their management plans and calls to action. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Finding Solutions for Invasive Species

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A Graduation Celebration to Remember

At 17,500 feet of elevation, two young scientists celebrated the graduation of a lifetime at the top of Mount Everest.  For a few months in 2019, Heather Clifford and Laura Mattas were part of a scientific expedition led by the National Geographic Society and Tribhuvan University, and supported in partnership with Rolex that was the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to Mt. Everest in history. The … Continue reading A Graduation Celebration to Remember

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Strategy Share: Using Photographs to Enhance Storytelling and Geography Skills

When I traveled to South Georgia as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, I felt compelled to read Alfred Lansing’s Endurance, about Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated attempt to transect Antarctica. Shackleton came to South Georgia to get help for the men he left on another Antarctic island. I was intrigued by his perilous journey and wanted to re-enact this epic trek on South Georgia once I got there. Unfortunately, in all the excitement of seeing icebergs, dodging fur seals, and trekking up snowy hills, I forgot to do my re-enactment. Continue reading Strategy Share: Using Photographs to Enhance Storytelling and Geography Skills

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Strategy Share: Starting and Growing a Movement

Our Strategy Share series features innovative ideas, projects, and approaches from our community of educators. This post was written by 2019 Education Fellow Rue Mapp. I am an incidental movement maker. When I started Outdoor Afro as a blog from my kitchen table in 2009, it wasn’t about creating a movement or what became a national network that celebrates and inspires African American connections with … Continue reading Strategy Share: Starting and Growing a Movement

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Strategy Share: Expanding Our Worldview, One Conversation at a Time

You could have heard a pin drop in the room, it was so silent. As the Lindblad Expeditions ship National Geographic Explorer made her way through the midnight blue, choppy waters of the Arctic Ocean near Pond Inlet, Nunavut, we all listened; absorbed, transported. National Geographic Explorer Jennifer Kingsley was sharing a recorded interview with the Elverum family from her project Meet the North, which involved interviewing people who live above the Arctic Circle throughout Nunavut, Svalbard, Iceland, Russia, Alaska, and Greenland. Continue reading Strategy Share: Expanding Our Worldview, One Conversation at a Time

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Strategy Share: Inspiring Action During Out of School Time

Our Strategy Share series features innovative ideas, projects, and approaches from our community of educators. This post was written by 2019 Education Fellow Willie Buford. I am a native and current resident of Flint, Michigan, where lead exposure has impacted most of our community. After-school and summer or Out of School Time (OST) programs can be used to inspire—and empower—students to take action on environmental … Continue reading Strategy Share: Inspiring Action During Out of School Time

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Educator Spotlight: Investigating Ecosystem Diversity

Zana Pouncey, an educator at a botanical garden, asked students to step into the shoes of botanists studying the diversity of native plants in an ecosystem. Following methods used by the garden’s conservation team, students practiced identifying plants and conducted diversity surveys. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Investigating Ecosystem Diversity

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Max Garon

Max Garon is a sophomore at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. He won the D.C. GeoBee three times and finished tied for seventh nationally in 2017. He traces his interest in geography to watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup and reading National Geographic books growing up. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: What was it like competing in the national finals? Max Garon … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Max Garon

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Strategy Share: Stop Motion Filmmakers in the Classroom

How does one even begin to process the professional development of a lifetime as an educator explorer in Arctic Svalbard? Every waking minute was extraordinary, exhilarating, beautiful and captivating. My experiences included witnessing polar bears curiously checking out the humans, blue whales showing off their flukes, and juvenile Arctic foxes playing with their food. Continue reading Strategy Share: Stop Motion Filmmakers in the Classroom

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Shriya Yarlagadda

Shriya Yarlagadda, a high school junior from Grand Blanc, Mich., credits the GeoBee with helping her develop self-confidence and a “more nuanced perspective” on world events. She finished second in the 2015 GeoBee national finals, and more recently appeared on the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: How has studying geography made you more of a global citizen? Shriya Yarlagadda (SY): … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Shriya Yarlagadda

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Educator Spotlight: Supporting Monarch Butterflies

Shernina Nichols led her second-graders through an exploration of monarch butterflies, including their life cycle and migration routes. Learning about the challenges monarchs face to survive inspired students to plant milkweed on their school campus and advocate for community members to support the butterflies. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Supporting Monarch Butterflies

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald is a high school freshman from West Orange, N.J., which he calls “the best town in the whole state.” He won the 2019 New Jersey state GeoBee and is considering a career as a civil engineer or city planner. He spoke with us for our series “Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion.” Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: You qualified for GeoBee … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Matthew McDonald

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Strategy Share: Coding and Innovation for Our Planet’s Future

On my Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship expedition to Norway, I saw first-hand evidence of our changing global climate and developed the passion and desire to ask, “What can we do?” In my classroom, I have developed a culture of innovation and technological design. Was there a way I could work with my students to develop innovative, technological solutions to increase their awareness of our global impact? Continue reading Strategy Share: Coding and Innovation for Our Planet’s Future

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Grace Rembert

Grace Rembert, a high school senior from Bozeman, Mont., qualified three times for the GeoBee national championship and finished fourth overall in 2016. In this installment of “Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion,” she reflects on her experience and offers some tried-and-true study tips. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: What’s one memorable moment from your time at nationals? Grace Rembert (GR): In my … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Grace Rembert

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Educator Spotlight: Advocating for Wildlife Conservation

Charlie Pettitt empowered his English as a Second Language (ESL) students in China to advocate for an issue they cared about: wildlife conservation. When Charlie connected his lesson to a topic relevant to his students, they were more willing to speak up, practice their environmental vocabulary, and explore solutions. Charlie implemented this project with eighth-graders. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Advocating for Wildlife Conservation

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Nihar Janga

Nihar Janga is the reigning National Geographic GeoBee champion. His victory came with a $25,000 scholarship and a Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands. We caught up with Nihar in his hometown of Austin, Texas, during the annual conference of the National Council for Geographic Education. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: What got you interested in geography? Nihar Janga (NJ): After I did … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Nihar Janga

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Strategy Share: Environmental Stewardship Through Field-Guide Drawing

While on an expedition in southeast Alaska, I had the privilege of sharing the ship with several young naturalists. These enthusiastic participants in our expedition, ages 6-13, were especially passionate about identifying wildlife. I worked with them to observe, draw, and classify plankton captured with a small trawl net on one of our stops. In my own observations, I was also drawn to our shipboard Sibley’s Guide to Birds, an extraordinary resource for identifying various gulls, puffins, and other birds. Continue reading Strategy Share: Environmental Stewardship Through Field-Guide Drawing

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Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Lucy Chae

Lucy Chae, a high school senior from Newton, Mass., won the 2015 Massachusetts state GeoBee and finished eighth nationally. She is the first subject of our new interview series, “Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion.” Edited excerpts of our conversation follow. Q: How has studying geography made you more of a global citizen? Lucy Chae (LC): I definitely think just being aware of the details … Continue reading Five Questions With a GeoBee Champion: Lucy Chae

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Overheard: A high school quest for a fallen meteorite

“A fireball from outer space crashed into one of Earth’s biggest lakes. Scientists didn’t know how to find it. So they called in just the right people for the job—an actor and a bunch of teenagers.”  That’s how Overheard at National Geographic host Peter Gwin opens season 2, episode 6, a journey into taking a chance even when the odds may not always work in your … Continue reading Overheard: A high school quest for a fallen meteorite

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Educator Spotlight: Exploring Social Inequities Through Storytelling

Laura Chase’s 11th-grade biology students investigated social inequities that impact their local communities. Collaborating with a humanities teacher, Laura asked her students to draw from the analytical skills they learned in science, the persuasive methods they learned in English, and the technical skills they learned in film in order to communicate their stories in a thoughtful way. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Exploring Social Inequities Through Storytelling

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GIS in the Classroom: A Conversation with Ali Pressel & Kyle Tredinnick

In October 2019, Teacher Advisory Council members Ali Pressel and Kyle Tredinnick hosted a breakout session titled “StoryMaps: Building a GeoHabit” at National Geographic’s Education Summit. ArcGIS StoryMaps is a system that allows users to tell digital stories with text, interactive maps, imagery, and more. The two high school teachers value this skillset and geographic information systems (GIS) in the classroom as they prepare students … Continue reading GIS in the Classroom: A Conversation with Ali Pressel & Kyle Tredinnick

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Strategy Share: Employing Map Talks in the Classroom

Maps provide opportunities to look into the experiences of other people and consider what life may be like in other places. They are unique windows onto the rest of the world’s stories. I use Map Talks in my classroom to help my students read the stories that maps offer us and allow them to draw conclusions based on clues from the maps. Continue reading Strategy Share: Employing Map Talks in the Classroom

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How a team of fifth graders is helping to clean up New York’s Hudson River

This post highlights the 2018-19 GeoChallenge nationals winners, The Navigators: Natanel Rozic, Jeremiah Pierre, Alex Jun, and Victor Jimenez  Students in grades four through eight can tackle real-world issues just like National Geographic Explorers by participating in the National Geographic GeoChallenge. Teams between four and six students engage in a project-based, multilevel competition focused on developing creative solutions to today’s urgent environmental problems. Those with the … Continue reading How a team of fifth graders is helping to clean up New York’s Hudson River

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Strategy Share: Celebrating World Cultures in the Elementary Classroom

Our Strategy Share series features innovative ideas, projects, and approaches from our community of educators. This post was written by educator Julie Yeros. Hi! I’m Julie Yeros, an elementary educator and creator of Globe Trottin’ Kids—a global learning website for students and educators. While my home base is in the beautiful state of Colorado, I have family scattered across three continents. Last spring, I wrote … Continue reading Strategy Share: Celebrating World Cultures in the Elementary Classroom

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Literacy Moves: Online reading with Explorer magazine

by Jim Bentley, fifth-grade teacher, National Geographic Fellow and Explorer “Hey! It’s moving!” a student called out. “Which page?” asked an elbow partner. With a flurry of mouse clicks, my fifth graders were frenetically exploring their first online version of Explorer magazine. Some were vocal, excitedly sharing with partners the cool features they found on their screens, like a looping video of a lizard scurrying … Continue reading Literacy Moves: Online reading with Explorer magazine

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Explorer magazine announces second annual Women in Science issue

A conservationist who protects elephants harmed by Mozambique’s civil war. A geoarchaeologist who conducts underwater excavations in the Mediterranean, looking for evidence of past tsunamis. An ecologist who works to save sea turtles in Central America by outwitting egg poachers. What do these people have in common? All are women. National Geographic Explorer magazine returns with its second annual Women in Science issue, sharing the … Continue reading Explorer magazine announces second annual Women in Science issue

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Meet the Team: The Bayou Protectors

During the 2018-19 school year, teams of middle schoolers tackled the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways with the National Geographic GeoChallenge. First-place teams from sixteen regional competitions traveled to the 2019 Geo Championships in Washington, D.C. in May 2019. This blog series introduces you to each of those teams in their own words.* Registration for the 2019-2020 #NatGeoChallenge opens soon! Learn more at NatGeoEd.org/GeoChallenge. … Continue reading Meet the Team: The Bayou Protectors