FAIRBANKS — Alaska joins the nation in celebrating Geography Awareness Week this week
Festivities kicked off Nov. 10 in Juneau with the second annual GeoFest. The Fairbanks version is from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in the Wood Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The free event features hands-on geography-related activities for children, including the Giant Traveling Map of North America and the Geophysical Institute’s Planetarium. Parking is free on campus for the weekend. For more information, contact Wanda Tangermann, 474-7496 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is hosted by the UA Geography Program and the Alaska Geographic Alliance.
UAF student volunteers are visiting Fairbanks-area fourth-grade classrooms this week with the activity “Geography of a Pencil,” which teaches children where the parts of a pencil come from and where they are assembled and how they are shipped. Hosting teachers receive a gift bag from the Alaska Geography Alliance.
Geography Awareness Week, established by presidential proclamation in 1987, is an annual public awareness program led by National Geographic that celebrates the importance of geography education. Each year, more than 100,000 Americans take part in Geography Awareness Week activities through programs in their schools, local communities and even their own backyards. National Geographic chooses a theme for Geography Awareness Week; this year’s them of “Geography: Declare Your Interdependence” investigates the idea that we are all connected to the rest of the world through the decisions we make on a daily basis, including what foods we eat and the things we buy.
“This year’s theme explores the fact that every place on Earth is connected to every other, directly or indirectly,” said Danny Edelson, National Geographic’s vice president for education. “For example, a drought in Mexico could affect the availability of fresh produce in the United States, especially in the winter and spring. To make good decisions in today’s world, people have to understand the connections that link places together.”