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Elizabeth Hillman, Discovery Education

— Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition Will Culminate With Exclusive Virtual Field Trip on October 8 —

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 8, 2015) – On September 24, an international team of scientists, teachers, and students will embark on an eight-day expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the world’s Seven Summits and the tallest mountain on the African continent.  The Kilimanjaro Learning Xpeditition, led by GLOBE teacher and partner Michael O’ Toole, is a joint project between The GLOBE Program, a worldwide K-12 science and education program, GLOBE Africa, Colorado’s St. Vrain Valley School District, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.

GLOBE students and teachers from Benin, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Oman and the United States will work side by side with research scientists, Dr. Hamid Sulaiman (scientist – Department of Biology Sultan at Oman's Qaboos University), Mr. Sylvester Chaisamba (research scientist – Tanzania Meteorological Agency), and Yliass Lawani (graduate research assistant – University D'Abomey-Calavi, Benin) collecting data on the shifting biomes and shrinking glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

During the Xpedition, participating students, teachers, and scientists will investigate the terrain, culture, and wildlife of Mount Kilimanjaro.  The team will collect data using GLOBE protocols on each of the mountain’s six different biomes and major communities of plants and animals, study the region’s climate and weather, and describe their journey to a worldwide audience through a variety of digital resources.  Data are entered into GLOBE’s international science database, where students and scientists can access them for visualization and further research.

Students around the globe are encouraged to virtually participate in this event by following the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition team’s journey at and via #Discoverkili. Conditions permitting, the team will answer questions each day, display the data they collect during their journey, and post photos and videos of their ascent and descent.

Discovery Education will further support the expedition by hosting a Virtual Field Trip on October 8th at 1:00 PM (ET). Broadcasting live from St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, the Virtual Field Trip will provide students the opportunity to hear firsthand experiences from educators who hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro. Students will also be able to explore the findings of the learning expedition and find out more about real-world applications of the research. Schools worldwide are invited to attend this event at no cost.  For additional information and to register, visit:

“St. Vrain's students, teachers and staff continue to reach the pinnacle of success in every aspect of their roles and responsibilities,” said Don Haddad, Superintendent of Schools at St. Vrain Valley School District. “We're very honored to partner with the GLOBE Program and Discovery Education with this type of endeavor, which has become the standard of excellence that defines our district's dedication to student achievement.”

“During GLOBE’s 20th anniversary, the 5th Kilimanjaro Learning Expedition is a wonderful example of the power of bringing students, teachers, and scientists together to investigate local environments while connecting and sharing the data and experience globally,” stated Dr. Tony Murphy, director of the GLOBE Implementation Office. “While observing firsthand the diversity of the six biomes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the team will challenge those GLOBE schools following from around the world to answer the question: What is it like where you live?” (To enter data into the database, students have to be in a GLOBE school with a GLOBE trained teacher.)

In addition, on this particular trek, students and teachers will assist with data acquisition for NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP).  This satellite measures soil moisture from space, while students collect the same information on the ground.  Both scientists and students can then compare these measurements in their research.  “Working with Discovery Education expands the reach of the Kilimanjaro Learning Xpedition and GLOBE’s involvement with this science education and cultural experience” Murphy said.    

“Discovery Education is excited to partner with St. Vrain Valley School District and The GLOBE Program on this unique expedition,” said Jason Barnes, vice president of educational partnerships at Discovery Education. “We are pleased not only to be supporting this once-in-a-lifetime journey, but also to be demonstrating the power of digital content and educational technologies to take students beyond their classrooms to visit people and places they might otherwise not see.  I am thankful to our partners at The GLOBE Program and the St. Vrain Valley School District for the opportunity to support this exciting event.”

Following the expedition, Discovery Education’s expert team of content professionals will use the digital artifacts and data gathered during this journey to create a variety of standards-aligned digital resources.  These resources, which may include images, oral interviews, articles, videos and more, will be incorporated into Discovery Education Streaming, Streaming Plus and Discovery Education Science Techbook



The GLOBE Program is a science and education collaboration that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the global environment and climate through data collection, analysis and research. It connects students, teachers, scientists and other citizens from around the world to learn the practices of science through hands-on investigations in their own communities, sparking their curiosity and interest in science and other STEM fields. GLOBE is jointly sponsored by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and supported by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Department of State, and is carried out at the local level worldwide by partner organizations, governments, teachers and students. The GLOBE Implementation Office at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) implements the Program.  To learn more, visit

About St. Vrain Valley Schools

St. Vrain Valley Schools District is Colorado’s 7th largest school district serving more than 32,000 students in Dacono, Erie, Firestone, Frederick, Hygiene, Longmont, Lyons, Mead, Niwot, and the City and County of Broomfield north of Highway 7. The mission of St. Vrain Valley Schools is to educate each student in a safe learning environment so that they may develop to their highest potential and become contributing citizens.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at