The Geo-Inquiry Process
The Geo-Inquiry Process Endeavors to help students develop the skills, knowledge and tools of a geographer. It provides a systematic way to investigate and understand the world through the patterns, processes, and interactions between human and natural systems and then to act on their conclusions."
- National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process: Educator Guide
Phase 1: Ask
Phase 2: Data Collection
Phase 3: Visualize
Phase 4: Create
Phase 5: Act
All 8th graders had the opportunity to present their projects during May 2019. Mini-lessons to support the ACT phase of the process included:
- Framing this phase as using geographic concepts to see and think like a geographer and to present and use their geo-inquiry stories to inform and inspire action.
- Use of different media tools. Most students chose to use Adobe Spark to create their presentations.
All 8th graders composed narratives based on their experiences and learning of and in New Mexico Wilderness. Then, 30 students worked in collaboration with Katie Stone, producer of The Children’s Hour Radio Show, to record their narratives that were aired on May 25, 2019, on our local public radio station.
On May 14, 2019, 50 of our students formally presented their Geo-Inquiry projects in efforts to cultivate empathy, mutual understanding and influence policy. The all-day event was attended by a variety of stakeholders in NM - environmental educators; representatives from NM Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the Wilderness Society, the Cottonwood Gulch, students from another neighborhood school, and local community members including farmers, ranchers, community members, and conservationists.
On the evening of May 14, a group of 8th graders attended our school’s monthly Governing Council meeting to present their project and advocate for school funding to maintain Vamos Explorar and 8th graders’ participation in the Students in Wilderness program for two additional years. We are proud to share that the Governing Council and school administration have committed $20,000 for all 8th graders to participate in the program over the next two school years. At the end of these three years, over 270 students will have had direct learning experiences in New Mexico Wilderness.
On May 21, all 8th graders presented their Geo-Inquiry projects as part of their Passage Portfolio Presentations, a formal gathering at which students reflect on their three years of middle school learning and how they are ready for the challenges beyond middle school. In classrooms across the entire campus, students presented to their families, peers, teachers and community members.
Content and Curriculum Resources
You can access a curated list of content and curriculum resources related to this project here