Kerri Westgard has taught eighth grade geography for nearly two decades at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Middle School in Dilworth, MN. Her passion is geographic education and she has recently discovered the power of project-based learning, which empowers students to develop meaningful answers to today’s global issues. Recently, her students investigated human migration, then went in-depth on the topic of refugees using the Lost Boys of Sudan as a case study. To show empathy towards others and develop content understand, students created a stop motion animation public service announcement answering the question, “How can we welcome new Americans?” Kerri is hopeful this current journey to Svalbard, Greenland, and Iceland will help her develop a polar-themed, project-based learning experience where students will ultimately answer, “Why should we care about polar regions?”
Kerri finds traveling abroad helps her connect students to the greater world. She was named a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher scholar in 2007. Active with the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education, she has created workshops for teachers on a variety of geographic topics in the Red River Valley, is the state coordinator for the MN National Geographic Bee, and is a National Geographic Educator Certification Ambassador. When not teaching, she enjoys gardening and has a “mild” obsession with the band U2.
Kerri holds a PhD in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota.
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