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Dedicated to the Teaching of Geography in the State of Illinois

Our purpose is the promotion and enhancement of geographic knowledge in the schools and among the general populace of Illinois. To achieve this purpose, the Alliance maintains a strong grassroots organization of geographic educators from schools and universities, participates in educational reform at the district, state, and national levels. We engage in an active program of preservice and inservice teacher education, develop curriculum materials based on the National Geography Standards, and foster public awareness of the importance of geography in our society.


2015-2016 Illinois Geographic Alliance K-12 Teacher Grants and University Geography Club Grants

The Illinois Geographic Alliance is pleased to announce a new competitive grant program for 2015-2016 to assist Illinois K-12 Teachers and Illinois University and College Geography Clubs in obtaining geography education resources (e.g., books, lessons, maps, and games) for use in their classrooms and/or communities. For more information and to access the online grant application form (due Friday, December 4, 2015), click here.

World of 7 Billion Video Contest

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either Deforestation, Public Health, or Water Scarcity. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 25, 2016. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at

Geography Awareness Week 2015

Celebrate and explore the power of maps November 15 - 21, 2015. The theme for 2015 is "Explore! The Power of Maps." Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more.

See how National Geographic is celebrating 100 years of cartographic history. Check out a suite of resources all about geography as a field and discipline, and even more tips and tools to plan your own GeoWeek celebrations!

Read more about the history and purpose behind Geography Awareness Week. Looking for even more resources? Check out the Geography Awareness Week Archive for material dating back all the way to 2000!

Join the GeoMentors Community: A Nationwide Effort to Improve Geography and GIS Education

As part of the ConnectED initiative, Esri is donating free ArcGIS Online organization accounts to every K-12 school in the U.S. (account sign-up is available here). This gift introduces GIS software and geographic concepts into classrooms, allowing students to map and analyze data with the same technology used by government and businesses.

GIS is a powerful educational technology, but K-12 teachers already face considerable time constraints that can make it difficult to learn and implement a new resource. To address this need, Esri and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) are working together to develop a nationwide volunteer network of GeoMentors, knowledgeable GIS users who volunteer their time and expertise to help educators and administrators meet their classroom goals using GIS. The GeoMentors program maintains online maps and databases for collaborators to connect with each other, a curated collection of ArcGIS Online educational resources and curriculum materials, as well as several online groups and social media streams for community engagement and interaction.

To learn more about the program, visit, or register today to work with a GeoMentor or be one yourself! Contact AAG staff with any questions at

The GeoMentors community is ready and able to help make a difference in K-12 education with GIS!


Join others across the country in celebrating Geography Awareness Week 2015

This year the theme is The Power of Maps. Consider participating with others across the country through daily themed activities.

Mapping Monday 11/16

Noted NGS cartographer Juan Valdez will be blogging about the power of maps and soliciting your feedback about their effects on your classroom. Read more at our Educator Blog:

Twitter Tuesday 11/17

Share your favorite map failures and flubs on social media with the hashtag #GAW15

GIS Wednesday 11/18

Explore the power of GIS with your students through various activities at

Throwback Thursday 11/19

Share your unique historical map finds on social media with the hashtag #GAW15.

Map-Fix Friday 11/20

Wrap up the week with some cartographic community service. This year NGS is partnering with the Peace Corps, U.S. State Department, and others to contribute to the OpenStreetMap Initiatives. By adding information to this open source map, you will be directly contributing to Peace Corps community health initiatives. Mapping parties require only computers and Internet access. Details and instructions can be found at

Check out for additional resources.

National Geographic Bee: Early Bird Registration

Bring the exciting competition of the National Geographic Bee to your school! Log on to to register today.

Each year, thousands of schools in the United States participate in the Nat Geo Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.

All Workshops and Institutes 

2015-11-14T04:45:00.275-06:00 2015