National Geographic Grant Programs

We invest in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, conservation, education, and storytelling. Our goal is to identify, cultivate, and develop the world-changers of today and tomorrow. Our grant recipients are—and have always been—the heart and soul of what we do.


National Geographic grants aren’t just for explorers who are tracking lions, saving whales, or are deep in the Amazon.  The National Geographic Society is encouraging K-12 educators to apply for grants.  What are they looking for?  Creative teaching plans/strategies that:

  1. Address NatGeo goals/priorities
  2. Engaging ideas
  3. Evidence of capability
  4. Sound methodology
  5. Active, experiential, authentic learning
  6. Compelling story!

Can YOU become a National Geographic Grantee and become an emerging educational explorer? Absolutely.        


Understanding Islam for the Classroom

“This seminar will provide a brief history of Islam, a review of its teachings, current politics, and a list of local resources for teachers. PDPs are available (email for specifics) and Elms students are welcome. Materials and resources provided, and lunch is included. Presenters are Todd Lewis, professor of world religions at College of the Holy Cross; Martin Pion, professor of religious studies at Elms College; and Michael Butler, associate professor, Department of Political Science, Clark University. This seminar is geared toward middle and high school teachers; registration fee is $25, lunch is provided.”


Saturday, April 1, 2017
Faculty Dining Room, Mary Dooley College Center, Elms College


National Geographic Educator Certification

Join a professional development program for K-12 educators inspiring the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and global citizens.


Does the idea of becoming a National Geographic certified educator sound like something you would like to include on your resume?  Would you like greater access to NatGeo resources and to collaborate with like-minded educators across the country?  This fantastic program is open to all educators (not just Geographers with a capital G) at all grade levels. 

2017 Giant Asia Map

“This year, we will be receiving the Giant Map of Asia which comes with an excellent set of resources.  The world’s oceans are so much more than just the empty spaces between land…and this map brings that to life.  This trunk with lessons and materials can show you how to interactively teach, explore, learn and play with this specific map as a part of your curriculum. This map will soon be coming to Rhode Island; it will be available for schools and teachers to use from March 7th to April 9th.” 


For those interested, please send your request to Amy Tibbetts (


2017 Rhode Island State Bee

“All National Geographic State Bees will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.  The Rhode Island State Bee’s opening ceremony begins at 1:30pm with the final round starting at 5pm.  The Rhode Island champion will qualify to compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 15-17, 2017.”

Scottish Rite Masonic Center
2115 Broad Street
Cranston, RI  02905

Creating RI’s Wind Farm

“Today, to the southeast of Block Island, there are five new structures rising from the ocean. These are the towers of the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind energy installation in the United States. The turbines will generate 30 megawatts of energy; providing electricity to 17,000 households on Block Island and coastal Rhode Island (McCann, 2016), and replacing the diesel generators that previously powered the town New Shoreham.”


One of the overriding, major take-home points of this ESRI StoryMap, is that a project of this scale, scope, and magnitude requires geographic data across many disciplines (to see the largest off-shore wind farm in the world, click here).


Tags: mapping, Rhode IslandESRIStoryMap, GISresources, water, coastalenergy, environment depend.

Providence area sees biggest shift away from manufacturing jobs in US

The share of local workers with jobs in manufacturing plunged from 40% in 1980 to 11% in 2014, a Fed researcher reports.


A new study illustrates just how drastically employment has plunged in Rhode Island’s historic industrial base over recent decades. Since 1980, the Providence metropolitan area has experienced the largest shift in the country away from manufacturing jobs and into work requiring college degrees, according to a paper by Stephan Whitaker, a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “In 1980, 40% of workers in the Providence metro area worked in manufacturing and 25% worked in degree-intensive fields,” Whitaker writes. “By 2014, manufacturing had dropped to just 11%, and degree-intensive jobs had risen to 47%.”


Tags: urbanindustrymanufacturinglabor, economic, Rhode Island.


RI Map Competition

As a part of a national map competition sponsored by ESRI, Rhode Island is having it’s own statewide map competition for students.  All Rhode Island public, private, or home-schooled students (grades 4-12) are eligible to enter the contest. Maps can be submitted individually or as a team of two students. Limit of one entry per student or team.

Challenge: Your challenge is to create an original Rhode Island based map on a topic of interest or concern to you. The area mapped can range from the entire state to a smaller area, like a county or city. As an ESRI competition, you must use ArcGIS Online to create your original map.  See the promotional flyer here and access more information on the competition website.


RI Giant Map Lesson Plans

I am excited to see the full kit that National Geographic and Alliance leaders have put together.  There are some fun lessons and plenty of room to individualize the activities and be as creative as you want to be.  Here are some of files to explain the supplemental materials that are in the trunk (besides the map of course!). 

I hope you enjoy bringing the map to your school!! Please email to get the map to your school.