Meet the Team: The Navigators

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 is open! Register at

Meet The Navigators!

The first-place winners of the 2018-2019 GeoChallenge, the Navigators from New York (photo provided by the team)

The grand prize for the 2019 GeoChallenge was awarded to The Navigators team. The Navigators received a $25,000 team prize coupled with support and guidance from National Geographic staff to implement their project. Their winning solution focused on the effects of plastic pollution on aquatic life in the Hudson River watershed. The team built a model of a device that would clean the Hudson River with filters to collect plastic debris. 

From: Flushing Christian School, New York

Team Motto: Plastic River Cleanup, Impacting Together

A funny thing about your team: We are always making jokes while working, which makes it fun.

List one way you’ve changed your single-use plastic use:

Natanel: I avoid using single-use plastic and recycle any plastic that I use.

Alex: I don’t use plastic straws anymore.

Jeremiah: I avoid using plastic disposable water bottles and use reusable glass water bottles.

Victor: I use reusable bags instead of plastic bags.

Favorite moment at the regional competition: Our favorite moment at the regional competition was when the judges announced our team won 1st place. It was a great feeling to see all our hard work pay off.

A part of the world I’d like to explore is…

Natanel: Australia

Alex: Asia

When I think of National Geographic, I think of…

Jeremiah: Exploration and adventure. I also think about the wild and exotic animals.

Victor: Helping nature and saving it.


Registration for the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoChallenge is now open! Will your team be the 2019-2020 winners? 

*Team responses have been lightly edited for grammar.

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