Congratulations to Connie Ratcliffe, the winner of our first sweepstakes—a trip for four to the Galápagos Islands, provided by My Wonderful World coalition member Lindblad Expeditions.
Ratcliffe, principal of Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Roanoke, Virginia, is excited to be able to bring the Galápagos to her students through this trip. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to link learning and real life together,” she says. “Many of my students have never had the chance to experience anything like this before, except in picture books.”
Ratcliffe and three companions will travel from May 4-13 through the 3,000-square-mile Galápagos archipelago. During the voyage Ratcliffe and fellow educators will come face-to-face with some of the world’s most unusual flora and fauna. The Galápagos archipelago, made up of 13 large islands and over 100 smaller ones, is home to giant tortoises, marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, penguins and boobies, among other species. Charles Darwin’s study of the wildlife of the Galápagos helped lead him to his theories about evolution and biology.
Ratcliffe’s students are designing scientific experiments for their principal to perform during the expedition. In addition, Ratcliffe also will develop activities to link ecology issues to analytical thinking and writing skills, and several of her teachers are creating geography, science and Spanish-language lesson plans around the islands. Rafcliffe will chronicle the voyage with photographs and a diary, and her traveling companions will help with the educational projects.
“We are thrilled an educator has won this expedition; it is a great opportunity to show students that there’s more to geography than just places on a map,” said Jill Monk, acting executive director of the National Geographic Education Foundation and vice president of Education and Children’s Programs. “We thank Lindblad Expeditions for this reminder that learning about the world can be a fun adventure, as we help our children gain a better understanding of our complicated world.”
Thank you to all who entered the sweepstakes, and keep an eye out for our next opportunity!