Joining National Geographic Kids’ Explorer Academy!
by Waverly W. and Ahiri G., 10 years old
The Mom here with some great news! National Geographic has just launched the first book in its new Explorer Academy fiction series for kids called The Nebula Secret (By Trudi Trueit). The seven books are inspired by the real adventures and exploration of actual National Geographic Explorers! Not surprisingly, National Geographic chose to celebrate this launch in the most exciting and adventurous way possible – by setting up a one day Recruitment Center that put guests right in the middle of the action, encountering a live snake, conducting top secret experiments, and more…Did our two fearless reporters have what it takes to train at the Explorer Academy? See for yourself!
Waverly here! Did you ever read a book and really feel like you were living inside that book? Well, National Geographic has a new book series out called Explorer Academy and to celebrate, they created a real Explorer Academy for everyone to experience! When we first walked in, we got our pictures taken and chose what team we wanted to be on. I chose “Galileo” and received my really cool ID card shortly after. It felt like an honor to hold that in my hands! Then the workers there opened up the bookcase – not a boring old door – and we went inside, ready for adventure! There were tablets where we took a test to see what kind of explorer we would be. I found out I would be a Wildlife Photographer! The lady who worked there gave me a decoder sheet, a pen and a sheet that tells you what the job is like. There were sheets there explaining all the jobs. For example, you could also be an inventor!
Even the food was an adventure at The Explorer Academy! When we got to our first station, we saw people passing around plates with delicious food displayed on them! A man walked up to me with a platter of mini colored pancakes and odd-looking holders…which actually had syrup in them! You held the syrup squirter in your hand and whenever you wanted more, you just squirted it! If this is the life of a National Geographic Explorer – count me IN! After that, we went to our first station – Professor Coronado’s Field Study! It was an archaeology project, and if you found a gold nugget, you won a prize.
Unfortunately, we did not find one but we found some really cool rocks that we got to take home! I felt like a real Archaeologist and it was so cool and fun! Next up was C.A.V.E. where we got to put on VR Goggles and when we looked around it was like we were actually butterflies, when you looked down, it looked like you were actually flying like a real butterfly! Ahiri here! This was my favorite part! We saw so many butterflies that looked really cool. When they flew right into our face it was super awesome!
Back to Wave! After that was the part that I personally was super excited for – the Synthesis Lab! We worked with dry ice and colored water to create a smoke explosion! Well…close enough…lol. This actually made me excited for Science class!
After that we met the Editorial Director Becky Baines, the Explorer Zoltan, and the Author of Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret, Trudi Trueit, who told the crowd, “You can be an explorer when you grow up, or you can be one now.” We chose NOW! Reading the book will definitely help us with that. She also said, “The one great thing about writing for National Geographic is Inspiration.” Well, we were definitely inspired to read the Explorer Academy Series!! She also read some of the book to us and it really made us want to read it right away!
Explorer Zoltan told us about snake venom and how it used to cure many illnesses like Diabetes. It was his adventures that partly inspired Trudi Trueit to write this amazing book!
Speaking of snakes, shortly after their speeches, we encountered real live snakes! After the talk with Zoltan, I wasn’t as afraid as I was of snakes since I learned they actually do good things, and when I was face to face with it…
That fear was gone like the wind! Of course, I’m never going to play with snakes and neither should you! But now I know that even though some types are definitely dangerous, they actually do some good things for the world and for humans.
We got to ask Trudi and Zoltan some questions! Ahiri asked Zoltan how many countries he traveled to as a world traveler. He told us he has visited 187 countries – I didn’t even know there WERE 187 countries! I asked him how it felt to have a book based on himself. He said it wasn’t really based on him and that it was half fiction, half reality. I say it’s one hundred percent cool!
I asked Trudi if she could imagine her characters meeting other characters from other books, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid? She said she imagined her characters being a good influence for other characters in other books. Ahiri asked what type of people would best like to read her books. She said, “People who like adventure and science fiction.” That is definitely us!
If the book is anything as exciting as my day was – and from the sample chapter Trudi Trueit read to us- I can tell that it definitely is, and if you love exploring and adventures like we do, then you should “explore” Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret right away! Ahiri here again! I can’t wait to read the books to feel like a real Explorer!
Haven’t been to National Geographic’s Ocean Odyssey yet? Check out our post here!