Winners of the 2014 Inspire! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award

April 24, 2014

Dear Friends of Georgia Geography!

We are pleased to announce three outstanding Georgia teachers as recipients of the 2014 “Inspire! Creative Geographic Education in Georgia Award” Competition funded by The Georgia Geographic Alliance and the National Geographic Education Foundation.The awards are designed to support 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. This year’s winners include:

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.

We congratulate the winning teachers and their talented students! We look forward to sharing the results of these inspiring projects with all of Georgia once they are complete later this fall. We plan to offer another round of funding in October 2014, so please continue to check the website at and the Facebook site at for more information. Be sure to join our mailing list (and share with your friends) at

Let’s continue to put Georgia Geography on the map! Please drop us a line to tell us more about your inspiring geographic work around Georgia, and we will work to feature you and your students on the sites.


With best wishes and in support of Georgia Geography,

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne, State Coordinator and Director of Research

Dr. Christy C. Visaggi, State Co-Coordinator and Director of Education and Outreach






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