Are You Ready to “Trek the Planet”?

Darren and Sandy Van Soye are ready to embark on a 424-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students. They are calling this adventure “Trekking the Planet” and they want your students to come along with them. In less than two weeks this “incredible journey” will begin and it is not too late for you to sign up to follow their progress, receive updates and lesson plans, and even ask questions as they travel.

They want to raise geography education awareness by sharing information with students about the places they will visit and the activities they will be doing. Their hope is to instill a greater curiosity about the world in others, especially in young people. This video provides an overview of their purpose and how the whole idea came about.

Their materials, which are totally free to educators, students, and parents, will include 60 four-page geography education modules relating to their location and based on the framework of the Geography Standards of 1994 developed by the US National Council for Geographic Education. They will also send out weekly supplemental emails sharing thoughts, images, and videos as they travel. All materials will be iPad compatible. See a sample of the free education module. The first pre-trip module is Basics of Geography.

This map shows their itinerary across six continents and through approximately 50 countries, with blue lines indicating travel by ship, red for bus or train, and green lines for air travel. They hope to minimize their carbon footprint and travel as much as possible on the ground using local transportation.

The Van Soyes also did a webcast in November  using Spreecast.  In a Spreecast social video stream, “up to 4 people can be live on camera at a time. They can view and talk with one another on the air and also interact with all the people who are watching by responding to their comments and questions, joining them in the chat room, or tweeting with them. If you’re the producer of a spreecast, you can bring as many people as you want on and off camera, and back again. Spreecasts are recorded live, but are then immediately made available for playback.”

Check out their YouTube channel for all their pre-trip videos.
Follow them on Facebook/Trekking Planet or Twitter  @trekkingplanet

Read their pre-trip monthly newsletters and check out their links to great geography games and quizzes such as TravelPod’s Traveler IQ.

And of course, don’t forget to register to receive all the updates and teaching materials and experience the world and its people along with them. By following this journey, which officially kicks off on January 28, your students can increase their understanding of geography and develop an appreciation for the the cultural and natural significance of places in our world. Happy trekking!


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  1. Darren Van Soye said:

    Hi Patti,
    Wow! What a wonderful article!!! Thank you so much for helping us to get the word our about our trip!


    Darren Van Soye
    Co-founder, Trekking the

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