National Geographic : 1991 Dec
THE PRESIDENT'S REPORT ON THE Education Foundation Dear Members: There's no substitute for firsthand experience. That's what teachers rediscovered this summer at advanced training programs sponsored by the Society. Whether they were exploring computer keyboards or hiking trails, we were proud to help these educators, who promise to become the future lead ers of the campaign for geography education. Gilbert M. Grosvenor President and Chairman How MANY drops of water will fit on a penny? Such a ques tion may seem strange for a geography teacher. But it was all part of an experiment in predictions for Laurie Molina of Tallahassee, Florida (above, at left). Now for the rest: learning how to use a telecom munications program called NGS Kids Network, developed by the Society, to share results with others across the country (top). The most common answer: about 20 drops. Laurie was one of 32 teachers at our first Educational Technology Leadership Institute, in Atlanta. Co-sponsored and generously supported by IBM Educational Systems, the institute introduced educators to the latest classroom technologies. Upon graduation they were given equipment from IBM, laser-disc players from Pioneer, and software from 16 companies. In return they will train some 2,000 of their colleagues. "I'll never teach the same way again," said Rick Farney of Evens ville, Tennessee. "I can't wait to hear my kids ooh and ah." WHEN JIM GOODMAN, head of the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education, stopped by the sheep ranch of Mae Yazzie John near St. Michaels, Arizona, in June, he was accompanied by 20 teachers ready to share in the daily chores of a Na vajo family. They were on a field trip-one of 49 across the country sponsored by state geographic alli ances-to study Anglo, Hispanic, and Indian cultures of the South west, as well as its geology and geography. The teachers also got some practical experience: As three held down a reluctant sheep in a dusty corral, a fourth sheared the squirming animal with hand clip pers. Said Linda Beckham of Tulsa: "Nothing compares to field experi ence like this." THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETYEDUCATIONFOUNDATIONWAS ESTABLISHEDIN 1988 TO HELP RAISEAND DISTRIBUTEFUNDS FOR EDUCATIONALANDSCIENTIFICPROGRAMS.