The UK-based Geography Collective, who are on a mission to help young people see our world in new ways, have just launched a new web-based geography game that builds on their series of Mission:Explore children’s books. The Mission:Explore website has a series of missions where participants explore a map-based interface to solve a challenge, map points along the way, and collect rewards. The rewards are in the form of a whimsical merit badges, that are aligned with the purpose of mission. Central to the each challenge is the need to get outside and explore your parks and neighborhoods, completing fieldwork that is then entered back into the site in order to earn the reward. If you’re good, you’ll even be featured on the site’s leaderboard on the home page.
Here’s a sampling of some of the hundreds of creative missions that urge children to see the world in a new way:
Alien invasion — photograph evidence of where a non-native plant or animal has invaded a local ecosystem
Award sustainable businesses — explore your local stores and record those with the most sustainable products
Become a remote sensor — turn a digital camera into a satellite by hovering it above the ground and taking a picture
- Find an anomaly — visit a place and record anything that makes it depart from the normal
- Rediscover everything — imagine your the first to explore a place, and create new names for everything
- Walk for your life! — carry all the water and food you need to survive
- Walk your footprint — estimate the size of your ecological footprint
Welcome Map — make a map that can be given to kids who are new to your area
The Geography Collective is made up of educators, geographers, artists and explorers that are interested in raising geographic awareness among children. The new interactive website launches in plenty of time for Geography Awareness Week, which takes place every year during the third week of November.