For the past 25 years, the third week of November has been proclaimed Geography Awareness Week. Geography Awareness Week is organized by National Geographic Education Programs and encourages citizens to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect/are affected by it.
The GAI hosted Dr. Dick Boehm and Dr. Carmen Brysch from the Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education (Texas State University). Dr. Boehm and Dr. Brysch co-led sessions at the inaugural IA Department of Education "Best Practices in Social Studies Institute" in Des Moines. Institute topics included "Teaching With the Stars" and on-line mapping.
The GAI co-hosted a geography/literacy workshop at North Polk HS with the Mid-Iowa School Improvement Consortium (MISIC). The workshop provided the resources and expertise to develop a model "text set" that links geography content with the Common Core E/LA. Model text sets will be posted on the GAI site in the coming months and examples include US westward expansion and evaluating Brazil's World Cup and Olympic investments considering the nation's socioeconomic gap.
UNI's beloved mascot, "TC", fully supports National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative! Big Cats is an action committed to saving lions, tigers, panthers (like "TC"), leopards, jaguars, and other big cats in the wild. The goal of the initiative is the long-term survival of big cats by reducing threats, such as poaching and snaring, keeping the peace between cats and local farmers, and community outreach and engagement.
UNI undergraduate Social Science Education/History students, Annalee Hollingsworth, Jennifer Jorgensen, and Sydney White presented their INSPIRE-related curricular materials in November 2013 at the National Council for the Social Studies conference in St. Louis, MO. Along with Dr. Alex Oberle, they co-presented a poster describing high-altitude ballooning and related lesson plans that focused on the use of aerial photography in relation to economic geography (Cedar Falls, IA); geopolitics/immigration (Lukeville, AZ and Sonoyta, Mexico); and rural decline (Shannon City, IA).
UNI undergraduate Social Science Education students, Alyssa Holt and Mollie Ullestad, presented their INSPIRE-related curricular materials on August 3, 2013, at the National Council for Geography Education conference in Denver, CO. In conjunction with their INSPIRE professor, Dr. Alex Oberle, Alyssa and Mollie presented a poster describing the INSPIRE program, as well as two lesson plans they created in relation to using High-Altitude Ballooning in secondary education.
The GAI hosted nine summer workshops in four Iowa communities, including all on-line and international offerings. We provided credit-bearing professional development for over 60 educators in topics ranging from technology to human rights to globalization and water resources. The workshop pictured here was in collaboration with the Mid-Iowa School Improvement Consortium (MISIC) and integrated geography and literacy for K-6 educators, focusing on the Common Core E/LA.
The GAI was awarded the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium 2012-2014 UNI Base Program (led by Dr. John Ophus (PI) in UNI Science Education). The project uses high-altitude ballooning to engage geography/social science and science education students in a multidisciplinary undergraduate research project. Through this, cohorts of Secondary Social Science Education majors will develop and test lesson plans that integrate geography, science, and technology.
The GAI is collaborating with the National Geographic Society and several other state alliances to align the new National Geography Standards with the Common Core "Literacy in History/Social Studies". By about Spring 2013, we expect to distribute an easy-to-use "crosswalk" that will assist Iowa teachers, curriculum coordinators, and AEAs with identifying specific ways that geography curriculum can advance students' reading and writing skills. You can now view and provide feedback on a draft version of the
Congratulations to GAI member Eric Schulz (middle school geography teacher; Anamosa Community School District) who received a prestigious Keizai Koho Fellowship to travel to Japan for approximately ten days in July 2012 to learn about Japanese society and enhance their teaching of global perspectives. Eric visited Japanese schools, toured disaster preparation facilities related to the 2011 tsunami, stayed with a host family, presented a seminar, and participated in other tours and activities. Mr.