Heroes

EXPLORERS AS HEROES / CHILDREN AS EXPLORERS

Western civilization's biggest heroes for 500 years (if not longer) were those people who ventured into the unknown to gain knowledge for the benefit of humankind. The adventures, expeditions, and discoveries of explorers like Magellan, Darwin, and Shackleton inspired generations to know and see the world differently. Before there were rock stars, there were explorers, and this fascination continued well into the 20th century. 

 

In the 1960's, for example, it was impossible to avoid the media footprint and influence of NASA's Gemini and Apollo programs. After the moon landing, didn't every child want to be an astronaut like Neil Armstrong? In the 1970's, how many kids (and adults) wanted to explore the ocean's depths like Jacques-Yves Cousteau? In the 1980's, how many looked up to the stars with wonder thanks to Carl Sagan? And it wasn't just male explorers, as Amelia Earhart, Nellie Bly, Rachel Carson, Sally Ride and many other women also captured our imaginations.

Today, the media landscape is far more complex, and children can find it challenging to discover STEAM heroes among a sea of professional athletes, reality show stars, actors, and musicians. Explorer At Large strives to rekindle children's innate fascination with explorers and exploration by highlighting the great work of so many unsung heroes in the field.

In doing so, Explorer At Large exposes students to areas of interest and career paths they may otherwise miss. Passions start young, and by encouraging more children and young adults to see that exploration is still alive and happening today, Explorer At Large will foster in students a desire to get outside the classroom and explore the world for themselves––as champions of STEAM and heroes for humanity.

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