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Monday, April 20, 2015

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Arlington, Virginia- April 20th

38° 52' 10" N
77° 05' 51" W
Learn more about Lat/Long (including how to look them up by address)
Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!

The Earthview team is happy to be returning to Arlington Public Schools to start off Earth Week! Our visit this year is to Thomas Jefferson Middle School on South Old Glebe Road. The road passes through this historic city, and is actually named for the Glebe House, where Dr. Hayes-Bohanan remembers visiting his great-aunt as a child.

The Jefferson School is an ideal location for an EarthView visit. Not only is it sponsoring a variety of exciting events for Earth Week, it is a school that has dedicated itself to global education through the adoption of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years program.

Our previous visit was in April of 2010 when Dr. Hayes-Bohanan and Dr. Domingo visited Long Branch Elementary School, which is located at 38° 52' 28" N, 77° 05' 23" W. Knowing the absolute location of each school allows us to compare their relative locations. Which is farther north and which is farther west? By how much?

Our previous visit coincided with the national meeting of the Association of American Geographers, which is headquartered in nearby Washington, DC and which was meeting in the nation's capital that year. This year's visit also coincides with the annual meeting of the AAG, which is being held in Chicago, Illinois this year. Aside from the EarthView team, many faculty members and students from Bridgewater State University are in Chicago with thousands of other geographers this week.

Dr. James Minor
At today's visit, we will have a special guest visiting us, Dr. James T. Minor, The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education of the US Department of Education. Before working for the DOE, Dr. Minor worked as the Senior Program Officer and Director of Higher Education Programs for  the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.

We are thankful to Sarah Beaton of the U.S. Department of Education and Patrick Murphy, superintendent of Arlington Public Schools, for their enthusiasm for geography as a 21st-century field of study, and for arranging this visit. We are also grateful to Jefferson Middle School leaders Keisha Boggan and Ellen Smith for hosting this event.

While we are near to the Nation's Capital, we invite friends of geography to support the "Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act" that National Geographic, AAG, and affiliated Alliances throughout the United States have been working on for years. Our nation has no dedicated federal funding to advance geography education. As a result of this, we are facing a crisis in geographic literacy which is jeopardizing our global competitiveness, our position of diplomatic leadership and much more. This act would authorize grants to universities and nonprofit organizations for programs to expand geographic literacy among American students and improve the teaching of geography at the K-12 level.

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