WASHINGTON (Sept. 23, 2010)—Promoting hands-on exploration among America’s youth, National Geographic Kids magazine is currently looking for the future generation of great explorers for the 2011 National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge. National Geographic Kids magazine will select 15 young explorers to experience the field trip of a lifetime — a seven-day expedition to the Cayman Islands — with National Geographic and local experts as their guides.
National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge is a national essay and photo competition for kids ages 9-15 and is in its fifth year. Nearly 12,000 entries have been received since the program’s inception, with past expeditions taking winners to the Galápagos Islands (2006), South Africa (2007), Australia (2008) and Peru (2009). This year’s expedition, created in conjunction with the Cayman Islands, is scheduled to embark next summer.
“We are excited to be working with such a credible brand as National Geographic and thrilled that they recognized the uniqueness of the Cayman Islands to be the host destination for this year’s National Geographic Kids Hands-On Explorer Challenge,” says Shomari Scott, acting director of tourism, the Cayman Islands. “We look forward to sharing the vast array of experiences that our islands have to offer with the next generation of great explorers.”
Fifteen kids who submit entries that best meet the judging criteria will be selected for the 2011 Expedition Team. Winning submissions will creatively incorporate the topic of water in essays that describe what inspires or excites the kids as they explore their world. Winners will fly Cayman Airways to explore the wild wonders of the islands, including snorkeling in world-renowned Stingray City, visiting the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park to see fabulous flowers and rare butterflies found nowhere else in the world, and hiking along the nature trails of Grand Cayman — home to the blue iguana, which is being brought back from near extinction by the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. As part of their prize, all explorers also will be equipped with their own digital cameras, courtesy of Nikon®. The Hands-On Explorers will learn about the amazing places they visit and will receive tips from National Geographic experts on capturing their discoveries in photographs and words.
“National Geographic Kids magazine is pleased to partner with the Cayman Islands on the 2011 Expedition. This family-friendly destination is rich in wildlife on both land and sea, making it the perfect match for this year’s water-themed contest,” says Melina Bellows, chief creative officer, National Geographic Kids and Family.
To enter the Hands-On Explorer Challenge, kids must write an original personal essay of no more than 300 words, telling National Geographic Kids magazine how they actively explore their world. Essays should creatively incorporate the topic of water while explaining what inspires and excites them as they explore their world. Entrants should consider how water is essential to life everywhere — from dew on a leaf to the sea that surrounds the Cayman Islands. To complete the entry, students also must submit a photograph that they have taken that illustrates their essay. The contest is open only to legal residents of the United States (excluding residents of Puerto Rico) and Canada (excluding residents of Quebec) who are ages nine to fifteen (9-15) as of July 1, 2011. A panel of National Geographic experts will select the 15 winners. Each winner will bring a parent or guardian on the expedition.
No purchase is necessary. The Cayman Islands expedition is scheduled for July 2011. Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 1, 2010, and received by Dec. 7, 2010. Complete rules and details are online athttp://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/contests/explorer-trip-2011.
About National Geographic Kids Magazine
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. Its numerous industry awards include Periodical of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from the Association of Educational Publishers. Published 10 times a year, National Geographic Kids has a circulation of 1.1 million and is available by subscription for $19.95 a year and on newsstands for $4.99 a copy. Its website is at kids.nationalgeographic.com.
About The Cayman Islands
Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is the premier destination for discriminating travelers, honeymooners and families. World renowned for its idyllic beaches and diving spots, and recognized as a sophisticated, diverse financial center, the Cayman Islands offer spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, visit www.caymanislands.ky or www.divecayman.kyor call your local travel agent.
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. For the second consecutive year, Nikon D Series digital SLR cameras are recognized as “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with digital SLR cameras, Two Years in a Row, Tied in 2008,” according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 and 2008 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction StudiesSM. Nikon Corporation, parent company of Nikon Inc., recently celebrated its 75th anniversary of NIKKOR optics and announced the production of over 45 million NIKKOR SLR interchangeable lenses. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-UX or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web’s most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.