It’s more than maps. Geography’s about knowing what’s where, why it’s there, and why it matters. Knowing geography will make your life more interesting, more exciting, and more fun. Geography opens doors. Get it.
It’s out there.
Geography is near AND far. It’s in your backyard and across the globe. Get to know your community and the people in it, and plan trips with your family to new places you’ve never been. Want to go overseas someday? Get a passport. Learn a new language and check out foreign exchange and other study-abroad programs for students. Travel the world virtually. Read stories from world travelers.
It’s what you know.
How’s your Global IQ? Test it, then try to outsmart GeoSpy and the GeoBee Challenge. If you’re in fourth through eighth grade, you can compete in the National Geographic Bee.
It’s what you listen to.
Regions have rhythms, and the sounds you like may echo cultures a world away. National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and iTunes are all good places to look for great new world music.
It’s what you eat.
Ever explored the world with a fork and a spoon—or with chopsticks? When you eat out, visit restaurants that serve ethnic foods. Find the region your food is from on a map when you get home. Try ethnic recipes and cook an international meal for your friends and family.
It’s what you buy.
Everything comes from somewhere. A walk through the mall or the grocery store can be a journey around the world. What’s in your closet? Your kitchen? Your living room? What are you wearing right now? Check the labels. Find out where things come from and how they got here.
It’s what you do.
Slap a map up on your wall. Or get a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and take part in the game of geocaching or EarthCaching. It’s high-tech, real-life treasure hunting—locating items hidden around the world by other gamers.
When you get to pick your classes, choose ones that have “geography” in their titles or focus on learning about the world. Choose research topics that let you learn about exotic places and geographic issues like cultural differences and environmental challenges. And sign up for the AP Human Geography class.
It’s your future.
Geography can take you anywhere and everywhere. One of the hottest fields now is Geographic Information Systems. And it’s about understanding and tackling challenges—globally and close to home. Check out this Geography Career Guide for more. When applying to college, make sure to choose ones that offer geography courses and a major. (Here’s a list.)
You know how important geography is. Now make sure your teachers, parents, and friends aren’t out of the loop. Point them toward MyWonderfulWorld.org so they can get geography, too.