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Free Learning Resources


Real-world problems call for critical thinking and real-world solutions and afterschool programs are a great place for kids to learn, collaborate, and figure out how to make their communities better. The Mott Foundation and National Geographic want to help afterschool programs open the world to young people.

National Geographic has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge, exploring the planet from its highest peaks to its deepest depths for more than 130 years. Now you can bring this spirit of exploration to your afterschool program!

Join Explorer Classroom #LightsOnAfterschool Special

Looking for new ways to inspire and connect young people to STEM careers and role models in your afterschool program? Take them aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus  or take them to Machu Picchu! Make the experience all or part of your Lights On celebration, showing the worlds that open to kids in afterschool. It’s called Explorer Classroom #LightsOnAfterschool Special! and it’s free.


In an interactive experience, explorer Dr. Robert Ballard will share how his team explores the never-before-explored ocean floor. Participants can send questions, even asking how they found the Titanic! All you need is an internet connection and access to YouTube.

Tuesday, October 23rd 3:15pm – 4:15pm ET
Thursday, October 25th 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET.

Register now!

What Will You Do to Save the Planet? Take the GeoChallenge!

Did you know that 500 million plastic straws are used every day? Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year. We need creative and actionable ideas from young people to literally save the planet. Afterschool programs are invited to take on the 2018-19 GeoChallenge—Tackling Plastic! Teams of students (grades 5-8) will investigate the urgent issue of plastic pollution in our waterways. If your team is ready, you can submit your solutions by January 15th to join the national competition.

The GeoChallenge is free to register and download all of the activities you will need to help your kids engage, think, act, and impact! Students gain skills in research and storytelling, collaboration, videography, innovative design, and mapmaking. Empower your students to change the world! Register here: