Find an Explorer in Your State

Look for one of National Geographic’s Explorers from your state and find out how you can help with projects in your region.

Host a Contest

Celebrate the diversity of interesting ideas in your community by organizing a poster, art, photo, or poetry contest in your school that challenges students to capture the essence of that year’s Geography Awareness Week theme. Some suggestions:

  • Develop a contest specific to the theme, choosing just one specific aspect of the theme to focus on.
  • Host a school-wide or grade-wide contest. Display participants’ work in classrooms, hallways, lobbies, etc. Winners may be selected by a panel of teacher judges or by popular vote of the students.
  • Show the winning submissions, along with runners-up, in your local newspaper or on your school’s web site.

Are You Smarter Than a ____ (teacher, geography major, town official)?

Host a trivia night at a college or local school. Reach out to members of the community and get creative with picking teams. Pit professors against students or teachers against parents, and encourage teams to choose geography themed names. Come up with your own geographic questions, emphasizing different aspects of the year’s theme. Get local businesses to provide prizes, and donate a portion of any entry fees collected to a charitable organization.

Community Clean-Up

Rural, suburban, and urban communities all have a history of development and environmental change. At some point in the past, the land underneath your feet was untamed wilderness, and look at it today! Organize students to explore and research the geographic history of their own community.

Explore Local Environmental Change

Rural, suburban, and urban communities all have a history of development and environmental change. Organize students to explore and research the geographic history of their own community. Some suggestions:

  • Ask students to imagine what their neighborhood may have looked like 10, 25, 50, or even 100 years ago, and to draw what they think.
  • Have students explore their backyard or local area for clues of past residents, wildlife, and other artifacts.
  • Do students know older people who have lived in the neighborhood for many years? Suggest that the students interview such people, asking how the landscape and structure of the town have changed over their lifetimes. Ask if they have any old photographs depicting the community, and if they may be photocopied.
  • Have students check local libraries for historical photographs and information. The Internet may also be a good source for information and old photos.
  • Juxtapose old photographs with ones at the same location today, and note the changes.
  • Discuss the different elements of environmental change and development in the community over time. As a class, try to create a narrative throughout history of their town or city.