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February 3, 2016
Press Release

Students at Oak Orchard Elementary in Medina NY will soon be exploring North America in a big way - with one of the world's largest maps of the continent. The map, measuring 35 feet by 26 feet, gives student explorers an interactive experience through rich content and exciting activities that make geography fun. It will be at Oak Orchard from February 29- March 11th as part of National Geographic's Giant Traveling Maps program. It will be featured in our monthly family night, March Map Madness, on March 9, 2016 from 6-7:30PM.

The brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface of the map accurately illustrates North America's oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals. The map, designed for grades K-8, comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive games, geography adventures, atlases and books that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history and varied cultures. One of the activities is "A Tale of Twenty Cities," in which students explore the physical and economic reasons behind the locations of North American cities.

"Experiencing a map of this size can really awaken a student to the power of maps and the limitless depth of geography," said Dan Beaupre, vice president of National Geographic's Education and Children's Media group. "Whether they are using the map to learn place names or to compare state-to-state CO2 emissions, students are physically involved in a hands- and feet-on way that makes geography into an event."

Nicole Goyette, a teacher at Oak Orchard Elementary, added "we are excited for the students to learn and explore our country. The traveling map allows our students to learn the geography of our country in a fun interactive way."

National Geographic's Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa and has since expanded to include giant maps of North America, Asia, South America, Europe and the Pacific Ocean. In the 2015-2016 school year, hundreds of thousands of students will interact with these maps. In addition to school venues, the maps appear at museums, festivals, fairs and corporate and educational conferences. The maps reinforce National Geographic's commitment to increasing geography education through teacher professional development, K-12 curriculum, live events and academic competitions like the National Geographic Bee.

To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, for borrowing information, or to download map activities, visit


About National Geographic
National Geographic is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. It funds hundreds of research and conservation projects around the globe each year. With the support of its members and donors, it works to inspire, illuminate and teach through scientific expeditions, award-winning journalism, education initiatives and more. For more information, visit and find National Geographic on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. For more information about resources and experiences for educators to inspire young explorers, and find educator updates on Facebook and Twitter (@NatGeoEducation).

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