Explorer Classroom

Join the Explorer Classroom
Paul Salopek, Journalist  
March 2, 10:00 a.m. EST
Teachers and their classrooms can join us for another Explorer Classroom, either as a participating livestream classroom to ask questions to the explorer, or simply using the link to view.

Journalist Paul Salopek has been en route since January of 2013. He’s walking across three continents to follow the path of our first human ancestors. He started in Ethiopia, the birthplace of humankind, and will end at the southern tip of South America by 2020. Along the way, Paul is writing stories not only about the major issues of our time – such as climate change, technological innovation, and cultural survival – but he’s also seeking out personal, lesser-known stories from the unique individuals he meets.

Register a classroom by Monday, February 27.

Nat Geo Grants Website

New Nat Geo Grants Website Is Live   
Our new grants website is finally live and ready for applications! Here is the current information about our new education grants.

National Geographic education grants will support projects that aim to teach people about the world and how it works, empowering them to make it a better place. Funded projects must align with one of the Society’s three focus lenses: The Human Journey, Wildlife and Wild Places, and Our Changing Planet. These lenses are described in more detail on the new grants website.

We are looking for educators who have new ideas for effective strategies in teaching and learning – at any age level, with any audience, and in any location – in the U.S. and internationally. We aim to support educators in formal and informal settings, in community education and outreach, and educator professional development.

We also seek projects that aim to measure what works in teaching and learning – educators who want to research and measure how learning takes place. This dovetails withNational Geographic’s Learning Framework: the set of attitudes, skills, and knowledge that embody the explorer mindset.

Grants will be awarded on a quarterly basis. Upcoming submission deadlines are:

  • April 1, 2017, for decision by August 21, 2017
  • July 1, 2017, for decision by November 30, 2017

Find grant guidelines and submit applications at http://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/.

Big Cat Week Is Here
Big cats such as lions, cheetahs, and cougars are in decline across the globe. National Geographic has developed resources to help students understand the biology of big cats, their significance in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and the threats that they face today. Classroom resources are available here.

Find out more about Nat Geo WILD’s seventh annual Big Cat Week programming.

Space archaeologist

Dr. Sarah Parcak Launches Her TED Prize Wish: GlobalXplorer    

Dr. Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist, has officially launched GlobalXplorer, a citizen science and archaeology platform that is enlisting people around the world to discover sites unknown to modern archaeologists.

Dr. Parcak is the 2016 TED Prize winner, a National Geographic Fellow and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. GlobalXplorer is the result of Dr. Parcak’s TED Prize, which is generated each year to one exceptional individual, offering them $1 million and the resources of the TED community to create a world-changing project. Dr. Parcak wanted anyone with an Internet connection to “discover and protect the millions of unknown archaeological sites across the globe.”

GlobalXplorer was built in collaboration with the TED Prize, National Geographic, satellite imagery and analytics firm DigitalGlobe, Inc., and platform developer Mondo Robot. While GlobalXplorer has ambitions to span the globe, it is launching in Peru, where Sustainable Preservation Initiative will serve as the on-the-ground partner.

You Decide: Presidential Decisions Brings Interactive Experience to the Classroom      
Check out You Decide: Presidential Decisions, an interactive experience in which students take on the role of the President of the United States and make complex decisions based on real situations faced by President Gerald R. Ford during his 1974-1977 presidency: the signing of the Helsinki Accords, the condemnation of South African apartheid, and Operation Babylift. The interactive experience also includes an educator guide to engage students in grades 6-12 with the interactive both in and out of the classroom. The guide includes information about the role of the facilitator, as well as game play setup for independent play, small group play, and whole class play. Activity ideas and discussion questions are organized into before, during, and after play.

You Decide: Presidential Decisions is an excellent companion to the social studies classroom, particularly any study of the Cold War era. It also highlights the importance of human rights to President Ford, and can lead to discussions about these rights and how presidents can advocate for issues that are important to them. The focus on decision-making in this interactive offers a way to introduce a powerful process that can be used in students’ own decision-making, or in analyzing decisions they may read about in historical context or in current events.

Gender Revolution: with Katie Couric

Host Free Screening of Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric
Every day all around the world, gender is making headlines, weaving its way into conversations big and small, in settings from government to households, from schools to places of employment. The two-hour National Geographic documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, approaches the topic of gender through the lenses of science, society, and culture, all woven together by personal stories and experiences.

To extend the life of this important documentary beyond its Feb. 6th television broadcast, National Geographic and Picture Motion are partnering on the Gender Revolution Tour, allowing any high school, college, university or nonprofit to sign up to host a free screening and discussion.

Requests to participate in the Gender Revolution Tour can be made by filling out the request form. Screening hosts will be sent a DVD of the film and an extensive discussion guide (PDF), created by Journeys in Film, that provides additional resources on understanding gender.

Tool Kit-Voting



Inspire WV, a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose goal is to inform students about the importance of voting and to get them registered, would like to have any of you who teach or have taught Civics/Government, review a Teacher Toolkit they have put together. The toolkit includes three modules with different types of activities in which students can engage to learn about civics, voting, civil discourse and even how to contact a legislator (includes info on calling, preparing for a meeting, how to present themselves etc.)


If any of you are interested in looking over the  booklet (I estimate about 2-3 hours) and providing comments they would be very grateful. They aren’t able to pay anyone, but I think you will find the toolkit useful and your feedback can help them make the product better for our students and teachers across the state.


If you are interested in reviewing the Toolkit please contact —

Olivia McCuskey
Program Coordinator, Inspire West Virginia
304-382-1497 | olivia.mccuskey@inspireus-wv.org | www.inspireus-wv.org |
1506 Kanawha Blvd W, Room 109, Charleston, WV 25312


Feel free to share this information with any colleagues who might be interested.


Thank you.


Allegra K.