WASHINGTON (Sept. 13, 2006)–The search has begun for some of America’s most eager kid explorers and the teachers who inspire them. Fifteen young explorers and two teachers will win the field trip of a lifetime — a 10-day South African safari expedition to the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and Grootbos Nature Reserve in 2007. Winners will fly South African Airways to explore some of the most amazing wildlife and ocean wonders in the world, with National Geographic and local experts as their guides.
It is all part of the National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge, a national essay and photo competition sponsored by National Geographic Kids magazine and the makers of Purell; Instant Hand Sanitizer to promote hands-on exploration among America’s youth.
Fifteen kids submitting entries that the judges believe best meet the judging criteria, including demonstrating a passion to explore and describing why they want to go on assignment to South Africa, will be selected for the second annual National Geographic Kids Expedition Team. Earlier this year, 15 young explorers were part of the inaugural National Geographic Kids Expedition Team that visited the Galapagos Islands. They were selected from more than 3,200 contestants who shared their passion for exploration with National Geographic Kids.
New this year is the National Geographic Hands-On Explorer Teacher Challenge. An extension of the Kids Challenge, this separate competition exclusively for teachers is being launched in conjunction with Geography Action 2006!, a conservation and awareness program designed to educate and excite young people about natural, cultural and historic treasures. Africa is the focus of this year’s Geography Action program.
The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve will take the Expedition Team on a one-of-a-kind safari, introducing team members to Africa’s fabled wildlife in its natural habitat. They will learn about 300 bird species and 200 animal species, including the “big five,” the term used to describe South Africa’s most popular and exciting animals — elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, lion and Cape buffalo.
At the Grootbos Nature Reserve the Expedition Team will discover the fascinating relationships among the insects, birds, mammals and flowering plants of South Africa’s diverse ecosystem. The Reserve boasts more than 650 species of indigenous plants and conserves 1,700 hectares of pristine fynbos, the Cape’s unique vegetation type. The Reserve is also home to the awesome great white shark.
Expedition Team members will learn from experts how to observe and not disturb the amazing places they visit. As part of their prize, all explorers will be equipped with their own digital camera and will receive tips from National Geographic experts on capturing their discoveries in pictures.
“I don’t think I’ll ever see adventure or exploring the world in the same way ever again,” said Caitlin Zera, now 15, a member of the Galapagos expedition. “The trip was really moving.”
The inaugural 2006 team is already making its mark. Team member Leah Dial, 14, will open a photo exhibit at the University of Oklahoma in October that features photos of her Galapagos trip; Elena Mpougas, 11, had a multipage spread in The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., and has been asked to join the staff as a freelance photojournalist for their teen section, INK, next spring; and Ella Beaudoin, 12, was honored in June at the Minnesota governor’s mansion as part of the annual “Memorable Minnesota Women” dinner hosted by the state’s first lady.
“Kids are natural explorers, and protecting wildlife and the environment are very important to them,” said National Geographic Kids Editor in Chief Melina Bellows. “Each month we dare our readers to explore, by opening their eyes to the larger world around them, including animals, kids in other places, science and happenings around the globe. This year’s expedition to the Galapagos was a huge success, and we can’t wait to take 15 more kids to explore South Africa.”
“It’s a germy world out there, and when kids go exploring, they pick up germs on their hands just about everywhere they go,” said Dawn Kidd, senior product manager for Purell; instant hand sanitizer. “We want parents to feel comfortable that by teaching their kids good hand hygiene, including using Purell when soap and water are not available, they can kill the most common germs they may pick up while keeping the fun and adventure of hands-on exploring alive.”
The Hands-On Explorer Challenge runs through Nov. 30. Students should explore their local communities, taking a picture that shows how they are a hands-on explorer, and write a 100- to 200-word essay describing how they explored and what they discovered, why it’s interesting, and what they’d like to explore in South Africa. They can write about the things they find in their backyard, on their street, at the park or zoo, in the woods, in the local creek or pond — anywhere in their communities. The contest is open to kids who will be between the ages of 9 and 14 during the South Africa safari expedition (scheduled for Aug. 6-15, 2007). A panel of National Geographic experts will select the 15 winners. Each winner will bring a parent or guardian on the expedition.
For the Teacher Challenge, educators are asked to conduct a hands-on activity related to South Africa, in an innovative manner that actively engages students, and then write an essay of 500 words or fewer describing best practices used to increase students’ knowledge and appreciation of African geography, as well as specific hands-on strategies used to engage the students in the teaching of South Africa. Activities can be original ideas or one of several suggested by National Geographic on its EdNet Web site at nationalgeographic.com/geographyaction. Additionally, detailed instructions for carrying out the activity, a photograph of students engaged in the activity and a letter of support from the teacher’s principal should be submitted. A panel of National Geographic experts will select the two winners.
No purchase is necessary to enter either contest. Complete rules and details can be found online at www.hands-onexplorer.com.
National Geographic Kids, a multitopic, photo-driven magazine for 6- to 14-year-olds, empowers its readers by making it fun to learn about the world. It has received numerous industry awards, including the Periodical of the Year award in 2005 and 2006 from the Association of Educational Publishers. Published 10 times a year, National Geographic Kids has a circulation of 1.3 million and is available by subscription for $19.95 a year and on newsstands for $3.95 a copy. Its Web site is at nationalgeographic.com/ngkids.
Headquartered in Morris Plains, N.J., Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is the world’s second-largest consumer healthcare company, with a portfolio of market-leading brands that includes Purell, ListerineNeosporin, Benadryl, Sudafed, Visine, and Rogaine.
Founded in 1978, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is situated in the world-renowned 65,000-hectare Sabi Sand Wildtuin in the southern section of the Kruger National Park. Sabi Sabi Game Lodges are located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which is adjacent to the Kruger Park. Sabi Sabi’s conservation philosophy is based on two principles: the need to conserve rapidly dwindling areas and to provide a sanctuary for fauna and flora as part of South Africa’s heritage and the belief that their business must be a true example of eco-tourism effectively linking tourism with conservation and the community.
The Grootbos Foundation was established in 2004 in order to manage and implement environmental and social development projects for Grootbos. The Grootbos Foundation strives for the conservation of biodiversity of Grootbos and its surrounding areas and the development of sustainable nature-based livelihoods through ecotourism, research, management and education. The Foundation’s implementation strategy is based on three pillars: conservation, research and development of sustainable nature-based livelihoods.
National Geographic Kids Magazine
Ethan Fried, National Geographic Society, (202) 857-7037, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Seitz, National Geographic Society, (202) 828-6678, email@example.com
Natalie Adler, Porter Novelli, (202) 973-5865, Natalie.Adler@porternovelli.com
Erica J. Johnson, Pfizer Consumer Health, (973) 385-0708, Erica.Johnson@pfizer.com
Subject to Official Rules, available at www.hands-onexplorer.com NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
[Kids Contest] Open only to legal residents of the U.S. (excluding residents of Puerto Rico) who are age 9-14 as of 8/15/07. You must have your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission to enter. Employees of Sponsor, Pfizer, Inc., Grootbos Accommodation Enterprises: Pty, Ltd., Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, African Cultural Tours Party Ltd., South African Airways, JWT, Porter Novelli, Einson Freeman, and their respective parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members or persons living in the same households of such individuals are not eligible. To enter, take a picture or have someone take a photograph of you that shows how you are a hands-on explorer (“the Photograph”) and then write an original, personal essay in English between 100-200 words telling a) what you discovered, b) why you find it interesting, and c) what you would like to explore in Africa. (“Essay”). Send your “Entry” along with official entry form available at www.hands-onexplorer.com or with a 3″ x 5″ card that includes your name, address, phone number, birth date, email address, and parent/guardian signature to: NG Kids Hands-On Explorer Contest, National Geographic Society, 1145 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Contest ends 11/30/06. Entries must be postmarked by 11/30/06 and received by 12/7/06. Limit one entry per person. Fifteen (15) Grand Prize Winners will each receive a place on the South Africa Safari Expedition from August 6-15 (including a place for a parent or guardian) and a digital camera (total ARV of each Grand Prize; $20,000); VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor: National Geographic Society, 1145 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688.
[Teacher Contest] Open only to legal residents of the U.S. (excluding residents of Puerto Rico) who are full time teachers in grades 3-8 on any subject matter during the 2006-07 school year and who plan to teach during the 2007-08 school year. Employees of Sponsor, Pfizer, Inc., Grootbos Accommodation Enterprises: Pty, Ltd., Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, African Cultural Tours Party Ltd., South African Airways, JWT, Porter Novelli, Einson Freeman, and their respective parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members or persons living in the same households of such individuals are not eligible. To enter, in your classroom conduct a hands-on activity related to South Africa (original idea or from a list available at www.nationalgeographic.com/geographyaction) and then write an essay of 500 words or less telling a) what best practices you used to increase students’ knowledge and appreciation of the geography of Africa and b) what specific hands-on strategies you used to engage in the teaching of South Africa. Include detailed instructions for the activity conducted and the outcome of the activity and also include a photograph of the students engaged in the activity. Additionally, submit a letter of support from your principal (“Entry Requirements”). Send your “Entry”, along with a 3″ x 5″ card that includes your first and last name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and school name and address to: NG Hands-On Explorer Teacher Challenge, National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. Contest ends 11/30/06. Entries must be postmarked by 11/30/06 and received by 12/7/06. Limit one entry per person. Two (2) Grand Prize Winners will each receive a place on the South Africa Safari Expedition from August 6-15 and a digital camera (total ARV of each Grand Prize; $10,000); VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor: National Geographic Society, 1145 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688.