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Geography is more than places on a map. It's global connections and incredible creatures. It's people and cultures, economics and politics. And it's essential to understanding our interconnected world.
But sadly, our kids aren't getting enough of it. A recent National Geographic-Roper survey shows half of young Americans can't locate world powers like Japan and India. Twenty percent can't even find the Pacific Ocean. Without geography, our children aren't ready for the world.
That's why we helped start My Wonderful World". It's a National Geographic-led campaign - backed by SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and a coalition of other major national partners - to expand geographic learning in school, at home, and in the community. We want to give our kids the power of global knowledge.
Every year since 1987, National Geographic and other organizations have celebrated "geography awareness" during the third week of November, promoting the importance of geography in the U.S. and Canada. (Geography Awareness Week also includes GIS Day.) This year, "My Wonderful World" is kicking off a multi-year, around-the-world program to engage everyone in learning about the diversity of our planet's people, places, and natural wonders. The first stop? Africa!
During the week of November 12-18, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens will be supporting a national radio promotion challenging listeners across the country to test their geographic knowledge and win tickets to any SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park. In addition, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be challenging in-park guests, students and teachers to brush up on their geography with African-animal quizzes, interactive games, and hands-on animal encounters throughout the week. For our online guests, take the challenge right now!
To learn more about Geography Awareness Week and other Africa-related events and resources for educators, parents, and kids, visit www.mywonderfulworld.org/gaw.html.
Launched in September 2005, "Saving the Wild: Conservation Around the World" is a collaboration between National Geographic Society and the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Adventure Parks. This unique, co-branded field trip program was created exclusively for school groups in grades 6-12. Blending science, geography and conservation, the fee-based program is offered at the two Busch Gardens parks (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Busch Gardens Williamsburg) and all three SeaWorld parks (SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld Orlando). During their park visit, students experience an interactive show with a live host, live animals, and video "field reports" from researchers and conservationists around the world. The conservation projects highlighted are supported by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and the National Geographic Society's Conservation Trust. Students also have the opportunity to explore the parks' award-winning animal habitats and challenge their geographic skills. Teachers receive a classroom curriculum guide aligned with state and national standards to supplement their in-park experience.