Giant Traveling Maps in Indiana


November 20-23, Indiana State Fairgrounds



Geography & History of the World Summer Institute 2007

June18-22, IUPUI

Just as peanut butter and jelly go together, geography and history are like two peas in a pod – the two subjects are as closely related as disciplines can get.  One isn’t the same without the other.  That’s why twenty-five high school educators from across Indiana attended the one-week, “Geography and History of the World” Summer Institute, held on the campus of IUPUI, hosted by the History Educators’ Network of Indiana , GENI, and the IUPUI Departments of Geography and Education; sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education. This exciting workshop emphasized the integration of geography and history in the classroom.  Opportunities to share successes and challenges with colleagues and gain exciting new ideas abounded.  Sessions focusing on the history of maps, the social, economic, and political situations that influence the spread of AIDS/HIV, digital resources, immigration, real-life geo-spatial applications (GPS and GIS) and career possibilities, urbanization, human-environment interactions, and physical geography concepts were presented.   Important connections were made between on-line resources, text books, trade books, Power Points, videos, additional materials, and classroom learning objectives.  Participants made connections with experts in diverse fields providing content information and personal support.  Visit the GENI GHW web site for results from the GHW Summer Institute, in the form of lesson plans, short reaction papers, evaluations, and resource connections.  Please visit the site often as it a “project in progress”.  Any input that you may have would be greatly appreciated, and any curriculum or resource ideas that you would like to share would be greatly appreciated!     Photos



November 15-18, Indiana State Fairgrounds


"The Urban Landscape...Pages of History"
July 12-16, 2004
It was a whilrwind tour around the Indianapolis area for participants of GENI's Urban Institute.  They hit the ground running with the history of the origination of Indianapolis and a classroom GIS application.   This was just the first of many activities that helped these educators understand urban geography concepts and apply them to Indianapolis.  Through a multitude of guest presenters, they dove into the vast stages of immigration and cultural changes the city has gone through.  The Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield along with the German-American Center at the Deutsche Haus-Anthenaeum hosted field experiences for the group.  To add to the cultural experience for the week, they were treated to some traditional dining, including German, Peruvian, Ethiopian, and Scottish meals.  In wrapping up the week, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana introduced the teachers to Historic Architecture and took them on a tour of some historic museums and the Lockerbie Square Historic District.  A special thanks goes out to all who helped make this another successful summer event for GENI!

VIEW ITINERARY, Urban Summer Institute Pictorial

Thinking Geographically About Cities (PowerPoint Presentation) by Dr. Owen Dwyer

Friday, April 2, 2004

See Peirce Article

November 16-22
See National Geography Awareness Week


September 18th, 2003

June 16-20, 2003

Eighteen adventurous Indiana teachers found themselves surrounded by nature and tried to envision life as part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 200 years ago.  The first three days of the Institute were spent in the field canoeing and camping along the St. Joseph river in northern Indiana.  Field experiences included flora and fauna of the region (species collction), land navigation (oreinteering and triangulation),  GPS data collection on the river and through numerous transects, animal tracks exercises, and several challenging portages.  By Wednesday evening, all were very appreciative of the incredible hardships faced by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Thursday and Friday were spent in the classroom and computer lab, making use of the data collected after an introduction to GIS and how to use it in the classroom.  Participants were also exposed to Mission Geography and NASA's resources and imagery on Lewis and Clark.  It was a dynamic group of people who truely looked to maximize their experience and gain valuable resources for their classrooms.  We look forward to sharing their fantastic ideas through the lesson plans they are required to submit.  A special thanks goes out to our great partners in the South Bend area, IUSB and St. Joseph County Parks.
VIEW ITINERARY, Lewis and Clark Summer Institute Pictorial

April 11, 2003

GENI once again helped K-8 teachers (and pre-service teachers) bring geography into their curriculum through children's literature.  Thirty-two teachers joined us at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis for a day filled with great activities and resources.  Once again, Melissa Martin (director of the workshop) shared her vast knowledge of children's literature and fun ways to use it to teach geography.  Participants were given two children's books along with an extensive bibliography and lesson plan handout.  This time we also had the expertise of Mary Nicolini with the Indiana Teachers of Writing and Penn High School to lend support and provide some great writing activities for teachers to use when incorporating geography.  A special thanks to both Melissa and Mary for all of their hard work, as well as our wonderful host, the Indiana Historical Society.

October 3, 2002

What better way to bring Geography into the classroom than through children's literature.  And that is exactly what our participants experienced for an intensive one-day workshop, including over 100 different books.  This particular workshop was provided for K-8 teachers from around the state.  Melissa Martin, director of the workshop, brought what seemed to be endless boxes of books for teachers to preview, as well as an extensive bibliography/lesson plan handout.  She took the participants through numerous lesson plans and activities and provided a wealth of information regarding resources available for this subject.  Dr. Chris Airriess, of the Geography Department of Ball State presented on the "Geography of China" and provided teachers with a helpful resource list.  A special thanks to both Melissa and Dr. Airriess as well as our wonderful host, the Ball State University Geography Department who offered 1 graduate credit hour for participants.

June 10-14, 2002

GENI's Summer Institute of 2002 brought teachers from around the state to IUPUI in Indianapolis for a week packed with technology for teaching Geography (and given the opportunity to earn 3 graduate credits through the University).  An emphasis was placed on implementing the new Indiana Social Studies Standards, particularly Geography, in the K-12 classroom.  Although a large part of the week was spent in the Social Science Laboratory in Cavanaugh Hall, participants were also given the opportunity to experience the Lilly Arbor Project on the White River in downtown Indianapolis.  An introduction/overview of the project was given by Dr. Lenore Tedesco, followed by a guided field experience with Bob E. Hall and Bob Barr of the Geology Department from IUPUI.  Several different types of GPS units were introduced and then given to participants to explore the Project area with.  A trip to the Brownsburg Challenger Space Center proved to be a fantastic experience for the teachers who were subjected to a space travel adventure to the planet mars in which each crew member depended on the rest of the group in order to complete a successful mission.  Two fabulous cultural experiences were provided by the "Queen of Sheba" Ethiopian Restaurant for dinner one night and the "Sakura" Japanese Restaurant for take-out to wrap up the week.  For a detailed look at the institute schedule, see below.  See the lesson plan section of this web site for the lessons incorporating technology with teaching geography (especially GIS and GPS) created by our participants.

November 11-17

See National Geography Awareness Week


July 22-27, 2001

This year, The Exploring and Teaching Institute series led twenty-three educators from around the state on a grand, six-day traveling adventure. Participants explored art, literature/folklore, historical sites and archives, physical environments, architecture, economics, politics, and cultures associated with the Underground Railroad and Indiana. The structure of the institute allowed participants to work closely with site interpreters, archivists, researchers, and other specialists, as well as staff specifically chosen to bring skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to ensure a successful experience. The institute traveled from Kentucky to various sites in Indiana, Michigan, and Ontario. Each participant created thematic lesson materials related to Indiana and national social studies standards. The material was compiled on a CD-ROM for use and distribution to all participants, collaborative partners, and sites through web sites, newsletters, and archives.  A special thanks to the six dedicated staff members who made the trip a great success!  And thank you to IUPUI for offering participants an opportunity to earn 3 graduate credits.  See the lesson plan section of this web site for the lessons on Indiana and the Underground Railroad created by our participants.

November 12-18

See National Geography Awareness Week

GIS DAY 2000
November 15

See National Geography Awareness Week

June 19-30

     Twenty-two teachers from the elementary, middle and high schools in the Lafayette area came to McCutcheon High School to participate in the Lafayette Geography Institute.  Teachers met in the school library to partake in two weeks of Geography instruction.  College professors and teacher consultants from around the State of Indiana enlightened them.
     They studied topics on conservation, climate and weather, the built environment,
economic geography, ocean currents and El Nino.  They ended their first week with mapping music through the migration of the dulcimer.   During the Second week our Institute explored the travels of our TC's to Costa Rica, China, Russia and the Peruvian Andes.  Hunger and Famine in our Affluent World was studied along with population trends and numerous interdisciplinary lessons in world history and world religions.
    The group traveled to Chesterton, IN to participate in the Indiana/Illinois Sea Grant workshop called "Exotic Aquatics on the Move."  The biogeography workshop was a wonderful treat for all of us.  Some participants have written lessons on the indigenous species of the Great Lakes.  We hope to have them published by next year.
     We ended the Institute with the study of soils and water in Indiana.  The Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation Department did a great job on local soils/mapping/geomorphology and GPS Systems used in Tippecanoe County.
    Purdue University offered three hours graduate credit to 16 of our 22 participants.
Not all of the teachers were licensed to teach geography.  They took the course as an interdisciplinary resource for their teaching. Geography is everywhere and in all disciplines.  The course was highly successful with plans of having a Human Geography course offered from Purdue University next year.

June 30-July 21

In the summer of 1999 12 intrepid travelers from GENI flew to Cancun, Mexico to begin the geography field trip of a lifetime.  These educators, led by Dr. Denis Mudderman and sponsored by both GENI and National Geographic Society, would travel throughout the Yucatan Peninsula conducting field experiences on a myriad of classroom related projects.  The teachers represented a variety of grade levels from elementary through university level courses.  These geographers would investigate current urban and rural Mexican and Maya society as well as tour archeological sites throughout the peninsula.  The participants traveled by motor coach and stayed in Yaxachen, a traditional Maya village.  Teachers (Maestros y Maestras!) were also welcomed into a typical middle-class Mexican family's home, as well as bunking down in a broad range of hotel accommodations.  The Institute covered much of the peninsula from the Caribbean’s blue water of Playa Del Carmen to the rainforests of Palenque to the mountain towns of San Juan Chamula, Zinacatan, and San Cristobal Del Las Casas.  Over ten archeological sites were studied from Chichen Itza to Uxmal in the north, and Palenque, Becan and Kohunlich in the south, to Tulum and  Coba in the northeast.  Although each teacher worked on individual projects, all would agree that the peoples of Mexico, both Maya and Mexican, were most gracious hosts that were eager to help us learn as much as we could about their splendid country.
For more information and photos see