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Giant National Geographic Traveling Map Of North America In Estes Park

Students at Park RE-3 in Estes Park will be exploring North America in a giant way this week-with one of the world’s largest maps of the continent. The map, measuring 26 feet by 35 feet and weighing 102 lbs., gives student explorers a geographic experience like no other through rich content and exciting activities that enliven the study of geography. It will be at Estes Park Middle School as part of National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.

The North American Map, designed for grades K-8, comes to Estes Park schools with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive games, geography adventures, atlases and books that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history and varied cultures. The activities include “Let’s Get Physical Features” in which K-8 students learn to identify twelve common land and water forms by simulating their shapes with their bodies; “People on the Move,” in which students (grades 4-8) explore the growth and geographic movement of the U.S. population from 1900 to 2005; and “A Watershed Moment” in which students visit and compare four major river systems on the continent and compare their size, population, water quality, and agricultural and industrial stresses.

Experiencing a map of this size can really awaken a student to the power of maps and the limitless depth of geography,” said Dan Beaupré, National Geographic’s director of education partnerships for National Geographic Live. “Whether they are using the map to learn place names or to compare state-to-state CO2 emissions, students are physically involved in a hands- and feet-on way that makes geography a lasting impression.”

Mrs. Sunday is excited to have the opportunity to bring this to Park RE-3 schools. She would like to thank the administration for funding such a wonderful experience for the students of Estes Park Schools.

National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa, and has since expanded to include 13 maps total, including Asia, North America and South America (in 2010). Each of the maps are 26’ x 35’ and are loaned to schools and other hosts with an assortment of activities. In the 2010-2011 school year it is estimated more than 300,000 students will interact with one of these maps. In addition to school visits, they appear at National Geographic Live events featuring explorers, scientists, and journalists around the country. The brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface accurately illustrates North America’s oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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