Instead of asking students what they want to be when they grow up, fifth-grade teacher Bryan Johnson has them consider the problems they want to solve.
Johnson ’96, MAT’97 teaches at the Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, part of Tacoma Public Schools, and emphasizes “geo-literacy” in his classroom; he uses Google Earth, for example, to help students understand concepts like the Earth’s movement around the sun. “Students can see a satellite image of the Eiffel Tower and tell me when it was taken based on the length and direction of the shadow,” says Johnson. In 2017, he was named a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow—along with Kacy Lebby ’11 in Seattle—and made a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos. His students later used his iPad footage to create a mini documentary about the islands.