The Carolina Navigators, a group of undergraduates at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, are using video to share scenes from around the globe with K-12 students. For the past 20 years, these UNC students have been studying abroad, traveling the world, and collecting materials and photographs from their journeys, which are used to help K-12 teachers add real-world global education to their classrooms.

Style: Animoto Original
Song: “Take Me With You” (Instrumental) by Jesse Plater and the Alter Ego

We spoke to Liz Brucrek, program head and instructor for Carolina Navigators, about the program. She shared that, in addition to online presentations, students are expected to create videos and work on a project during their semester of service learning. Those projects ultimately give students a way to reflect on their time abroad, and add to the Carolina Navigators’ growing store of global education resources.

Students’ first project? Create a video. Liz told us, “We want them to get into the mode of storytelling, of telling their story of what they’ve been abroad, so that’s an initial project that they all do.” Videos cover a given country students have visited, describing a cultural concept, like the nation’s food, funeral customs or history.

Style: Color Frame
Song: “Arcadia” Ashley Collins, Emmanuel North

After creating their video, students choose a second project. “They can create another, more elaborate video, or they can create one of the culture kits that we send out.” Culture kits are a collection of authentic items UNC students have collected from all over the world. The Carolina Navigators have more than 100 kits from 90 different countries (China is pictured below) and send them out to 700 different North Carolina classrooms each year.

China Culture Kit

The combination of video and culture kits has helped the Carolina Navigators increase their reach tremendously. Through their YouTube channel, digital newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, the program now reaches approximately 30,000 students each year. And though their program only runs during the fall and spring semesters at UNC, the videos students create are available all year long for teachers looking to broaden their students’ cultural horizons.

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