The 2014 INSPIRE! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award Competition

Check back in the September, as we announce the 2015 Competition! The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University is pleased to announce this competition to inspire and promote creative approaches to geographic education and place-based learning across the state of Georgia!  This program would not be possible without the generous financial support of the National Geographic Education Foundation.


Program Description: The Georgia Geographic Alliance at Georgia State University supports the 2014 “Inspire! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award” Competition with three awards at $500 each.  The competition supports creative activities/lessons/approaches to geographic education and/or place-based learning that engage K-12 students in understanding core geographic concepts and principles as they connect to the Georgia Performance Standards.  The goals of this award program are to: 1) inspire future geographers, youth, educators, and educational partners around the state to explore geographic concepts; 2) highlight the creativity of Georgia’s best geography teachers and students; and 3) promote innovative approaches to geographic education that can serve as models for other Georgia educators and students.

2014 Recipients:

Jonathan Byrd, Midtown International School, Atlanta, GA. Jonathan and 24 of his second grade students will utilize the funds for a field visit to the Carlos Museum at Emory University to map out the processes involved in archaeological excavations. The students will address challenges such as: soil stratigraphy, taphonomy, artifact preservation and mapping procedures. The grant activities will allow students to address several GA Performance Standards, including SS2G1: The student will locate major topographical features of Georgia and will describe how these features define Georgia’s surface.

Paige Flores, Stephens County High School, Toccoa, GA. Paige will work with her 9-12 graders in Earth Systems classes to learn about how the Earth’s systems (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere) interact through time to produce the Earth’s landscapes, ecology, and resources. She aims to use the approach of place-based learning to help students learn about the interactions of these four systems on a local and regional level and how this has impacted the natural and social history in Stephens County. The grant activities will allow students to address several GA Performance Standards, including: SES2. Students will understand how plate tectonics creates certain geologic features, materials, and hazards and SES3. Students will explore the actions of water, wind, ice, and gravity that create landforms and systems of landforms (landscapes).

Susie Holloway, Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville, GA. Grant funds will allow Susie, a 9th grade World Geography and AP Human Geography teacher, to purchase several geographical magazines to increase geographic literacy in her 9th grade students as they prepare for the AP exams and learn more about world geography and human geography concepts. She will engage students in critical readings of these texts, jigsaw activities, photographic analysis, map literary, and project-based learning. The grant activities will help students address several GA Performance Standards, including SSWG1: Physical aspects of geography and SSWG2: Cultural aspects of geography.

Questions:  Questions about this award competition can be directed to Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research for The Georgia Geographic Alliance.  Email: or phone at 404.413.5771.

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