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Students attending the GeoTech Safari hosted by Bishop Dunne will be exploring Africa in a big way — with the world’s largest map of the continent. The map, measuring 35 feet by 26 feet is designed as a geo-game board to introduce students to the power of maps and the diverse geography of Africa.

The map’s brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface accurately illustrates Africa’s oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals. Designed for grades K-8, the map comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive activities and props and photo cards that teach students about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history, marvelous wildlife, and varied cultures. Working in teams, students will mark the equator with ropes to learn about climate and latitude. A relay race will help them learn all the countries; scavenger hunts and safaris will introduce them to the continent’s famed wildlife and varied environments.
“Children have a whole new perspective on Africa after they’ve walked on this map,” said Dan Beaupré, director of education partnerships for National Geographic Live. “The hands- and feet-on experience brings the geography of Africa to life in a meaningful way and helps the students understand the connections between people and places.”

The map was first featured as a standard pull-out map in the September 2005 issue of National Geographic magazine, a special issue devoted entirely to Africa. National Geographic’s map division enlarged the map — the biggest map ever created by the Society — for educational tours through National Geographic Live.

To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, for borrowing information or to download map activities, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/giantmaps.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,600 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.