LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - This week, hundreds of Long Beach students will get to walk across the entire continent of Asia in just under an hour. A Giant Traveling Map is giving students a unique geography lesson.
A trek to the Arctic Circle can take just a few seconds, and a trip to the Middle East is easy, if you have the world literally at your feet.
"When I saw the big map, I was so excited that I'm going to learn new states," said Harper McCaughan Elementary fourth Grader Jevan Smith.
The Mississippi Geographic Alliance brought the Giant Traveling Map of Asia to Harper McCaughan Elementary Tuesday for an interactive, geography lesson.
"Asia is a continent that people know the least about. They're able to move about the map in one direction or another. They're able to pronounce the words," said Barbara Boone with the Mississippi Geographic Alliance.
At each stop on the 24-by-36 foot map, the students learned about the different cultures, climate, and the connection between Asia and America.
"It was pretty cool experiencing it, because I saw a couple of states that my father went to because he used to be deployed," said Jevan.
Gifted students at Reeves Elementary also put together displays to raise awareness about global issues, like population density and how children are forced to work in garment factories in Asia.
"It's important for us to learn, because we can try to stop it, like tell our parents, 'No, don't buy these clothes that are made by slavery, because you'll just be supporting it,'" said Reeves Elementary third grader Rylie Pepper.
The students walked away with a deeper understanding of the world beyond their borders.
"We're trying to teach them the political aspects, the economic aspects, how they are connected to these parts of the world. Some of them will work in these parts of the world, so they need to learn the language and the culture," said Boone.
The public also got the opportunity to take a tour of the Giant Map Tuesday night. All students at Harper McCaughan and third graders from Reeves Elementary will get to experience the display through Thursday.