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Geography Awareness Week

Igniting the spirit of exploration

November 10–16, 2019

Photograph by Alexandra Perrotti, National Geographic

Program Mission and History

Too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens. National Geographic created Geography Awareness Week to raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education and excite people about geography as both a discipline and as a part of everyday life.

Each year more than 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week. Established by presidential proclamation more than 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders. Geography Awareness Week is supported by access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists, and all geographically minded global citizens.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is geography?

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time. 

When is Geography Awareness Week?
Does Geography Awareness Week have a theme this year?
Who is involved in Geography Awareness Week?
Where does GIS fit in?
How does Geography Awareness Week help?
How can I host a Geography Awareness Week event?
Can I use old Geography Awareness Week materials?

Tools for Planning and Promotion

This Geography Awareness Week, gather your friends, family, coworkers, and everyone in between to help you celebrate! Use these downloadable and customizable files during Geography Awareness Week to show your love for geography and/or promote your event. 

Event Planning How-to: Instructions from gathering your planning team to sending thank-you cards, with event ideas big and small. 

How to Fund-Raise for an Event or Organization

How to Host a Webinar

How to Host a Geography Quiz Night: Complete with 100 prepared National Geographic Geography Bee questions!

How to Meet with Local Representatives: A guide for planning a trip to visit local elected officials who should be supporting better geography education.

How to Use Social Media: Tips for how and when to use each platform, and suggestions for what to post. 

How to Engage Your Local Media: Get back to basics with our suggestions for leveraging your local print, radio, and television media.

Sample Letter to the Editor: Tell your area papers how important you think geography and geography education are and why with this fill-in-the blank template.

Proclamation: Ask you local leaders to officially proclaim Geography Awareness Week as important to your community/ county/ state, etc. Just make sure to fill in the right blanks!