Our Programs and Courses

Certificate Programs and Curriculum-Based Courses

Certificate Program in Geography and Geo-Literacy (7-10 weeks)

In this program, students explore the various facets of our world, through political, economic, physical, and environmental lenses. Topics covered include U.S. physical and political geography, world cultures, mapping technologies, transportation infrastructure, continents and plate tectonics, global issues (like climate change), transportation infrastructure, and global extremes. The program is built to last anywhere from 5-10 weeks, and the curriculum is certified by National Geographic/California Geographic Alliances. Once students complete this program, they will receive certificates signed by those organizations. All sessions in this program are activity-based and career-focused, with dedicated discussions to career applications of the topics being taught. This program is also meant to be complemented with a complete student packet for each student, with vocabulary, note-taking space, activity handouts, and homework questions. Read a sample curriculum and view a sample of the student packet.

Students Receive Official Certificates from the California Geographic Alliance upon Completion
Target: Elementary/Middle/High Schoolers | Offered in Schools and Libraries

Certificate Program in Space Sciences and Geography (5 weeks)

In this program, students explore the exciting realms of space, going on interstellar adventures to learn about and engage with the science behind everything in the universe. Topics covered include the Solar System, Earth's behavior in space, stars and their formation, asteroids and comets, matter and chemical reactions, black holes, the big bang theory, and more. The program is built to last 5 weeks, and the curriculum is certified by the California Geographic Alliance. Each student receives a student packet with vocabulary, note-taking space, activity handouts, and homework questions, and all sessions are activity-based and fun for all. Read a sample curriculum.

Students Receive Official Certificates from the California Geographic Alliance upon Completion
Target: Elementary/Middle Schoolers | Offered in Schools and Libraries

Certificate Program in GeoCoding and Mapping Technologies (5-10 weeks)

In this program, students explore the fundamentals of mapping technologies and understand how powerful maps can be for visualizing global trends, analyzing data, and presenting information in an easy-to-understand manner. Students will use a tool called MapMaker Interactive to visualize diferent trends and understand what those trends signify. Then, students will transition into the main project of the program: creating a unique story map application using Esri's ArcGIS Story Map builder. A variant of this program for younger students involves tracking the students' favorite sports teams as they play away games, and subsequently creating a map tour of all the locations the team played. This program is very hands-on and caters to a wide variety of students. Students also build basic technology and research skills, including searching for descriptive images, researching the aspects of a place, and handling URLs. The curriculum is certified by Esri and Google Maps. Read a sample curriculum.

Students Receive Official Certificates from the California Geographic Alliance upon Completion
Target: Elementary/Middle/High Schoolers | Offered in Schools and Libraries

Certificate Program in Thematic Geography (5 weeks)

In this program, students explore geography through the thematic lense. This course places an emphasis on understanding the 5 main themes of geography: location, place, human interaction with the environment, human interaction on Earth, and regions. Each session covers one of these 5 themes; students will be able to explore these themes and interesting topics related to them, watch cool videos, and engage in hands-on activities that bring out the spirit of the theme. This program is best for younger students, serving as an introduction to geographical thinking. The curriculum is certified by the California Geographic Alliance, and each student will receive a student packet with vocabulary, note-taking space, activity handouts, and homework questions. Read a sample curriculum.

Students Receive Official Certificates from the California Geographic Alliance upon Completion
Target: Elementary Schoolers | Offered in Schools and Libraries

Activity-Based Programs

Activity-Based Geo-Literacy Program (10-15 weeks)

In this program, students are able to engage in geographical concepts informally through activities with inflatable globe balls, maps, games, and competitive quizzes. For example, one activity involves standing on a giant map of the United States and passing the globe ball over to someone while naming the state that he/she is standing on. Another activity involves reading out geography bee questions to a group of students, who answer them in a competition-style environment. This is a non-certified program that is more fun and interactive, especially for younger students.

Students do not receive certificates, but are able to immerse themselves in geographical concepts
Target: Elementary/Middle Schoolers | Offered at Sunday Friends and, on occasion, elsewhere

Google Maps Virtual Reality Field Trip Program (3-5 weeks)

As part of GFT's partnership with Google Maps, GFT is proud to begin using Google Cardboard virtual reality devices as teaching tools in the classroom. Paired with an application called Expedition, these devices enable students to visit exotic places around the world (and even in space/underwater) and feel as if they are really there. This virtual reality experience enhances any classroom lesson and presents the student with a direct perspective of various different places. Over the 3-week program, students will be able to engage extensively with the Cardboards and learn about the inner mechanisms behind virtual reality and geotechnologies.

Students do not receive certificates, but are able to immerse themselves in geographical concepts
Target: Elementary/Middle/High Schoolers | Offered Upon Request by Students, Parents, and/or Teachers

Other Programs

National Geographic Bee

Geography for Tomorrow is excited to be working with National Geographic to bring the Geography Bee to its partner schools. The National Geographic Bee is a nationwide geography competition for elementary and middle schoolers, where students answer questions in a fun, competitive atmosphere progressing through rounds of increasing difficulty and exclusivity. Using fee waivers provided by National Geographic, GFT is able to organize the Geo Bee at no cost for a select number of schools. Last year, GFT organized the bee formally at Clyde Fischer Middle School (ARUSD, San Jose) and informally at Lee Mathson Middle School (ARUSD) and the Sacred Heart Nativity School (Downtown San Jose). The Bee is an amazing learning experience for students and teachers alike. If you are interested in hosting the Bee at your school and think you may be eligible to receive one of GFT's fee waivers, do not hesitate to contact GFT at contact@geofortomorrow.org. If interested, GFT can also provide Geography Bee training for highly motivated students.

GeoDay: GFT's Annual Geo-Literacy Event

GeoDay is a unique annual educational event organized by Geography for Tomorrow, aiming to immerse youth and their families into the exciting world of geography and the geographical sciences. Both students and parents are able to participate in fun, exciting workshops to expand their worldview: walking on a giant map of the world, taking virtual reality field trips to exotic places using Google Cardboard, creating story map tours, building and blasting bottle rockets into the air, and cultivating career skills/awareness through keynote talks. Within the fun of these activities lies the learning: whether it's learning about mapping technologies or how rockets work. Those of all ages who are eager to learn are welcome. GeoDay 2016 took place on May 31, 2016 at San Jose's Roosevelt Community Center, and was highly successful. See pictures here.

All of GFT's programs are offered at no cost to the hosting site or to the students/parents