At My Wonderful World, our mission is to give students the power of global knowledge. We emphasize that “we are not alone,” a slogan backed up by statistics from the Roper Survey showing that half of young Americans can’t find India or Japan on a map, or that 8 out of 10 students can’t locate Iraq. Although we feel strongly that students need to know world geography, what about Americans’ knowledge of our own country?
In a Spring 2009 Arc News article, Vice President for Education at NGS, Daniel Edelson, described our goal of advancing geo-literacy by 2025. In this article, Edelson pointed out that half of Americans ages 18-24 can’t find New York on a map–let alone anywhere else in the world–and even fewer (4 out of 10) can find Ohio.
Many surveys show that Americans just don’t know the geography of their own country. Of those surveyed, one-third couldn’t calculate American time zones and two-thirds couldn’t locate Louisiana (in a post-Katrina world)! It’s time for this to change, so this week, I’ll be sharing five great (non-political) things about my home state–Vermont!
Vermont isn’t called the Green Mountain State for nothing. A part of the Appalachian Range, Vermont’s mountains are the most prominent feature in its topography, with the tallest, Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet. In the summer, it’s hard not to find a hiking trail (I can find at least three closer than the nearest grocery store), and in the winter, Vermont boasts over 20 places to ski and snowboard!