When you think of geography, what are the words that come to mind? When I was in elementary school, I remember it as being boring, meaningless and tedious. As a child, it didn’t connect to my small world. Other than family vacations to other states, I had no real concept that the geography of a country could vary so widely. Why could we pick apples in our backyard but not oranges? Why did the water in our lakes taste so different than the salty ocean? Don’t get me wrong, we learned the answers to these questions, but the maps filled with words were so far removed from the concrete realm of childhood that they just didn’t mean much.
So, when I saw the Smithsonian Young Explorers: 50 States, I knew I was