ABOUT the Flint Hills Map & Education Program

The Flint Hills Map & Education Program is a grass-roots, teacher-led program with the following MISSION: 

  • To deepen students’ knowledge, pride, and commitment to their special place in the world – the Flint Hills
  • To give teachers motivational tools to connect learning to students' own lives, communities, and local environment
  • To provide a web-based center of learning about the Flint Hills for all

This program began when a group of teachers joined together to create a map for schools in the Flint Hills, so students would realize they live in a special place.  

In 2015, the Flint Hills Discovery Center adopted the project, and a number of scientists, ranchers, authors and regional experts joined the TEAM.

The map idea grew into a large-scale exhibit defining the Flint Hills region and featuring its Remaining Tallgrass Prairie - the last 4% in North America, with educational side panels containing critical eco-facts, along with original artwork and informational text in three versions:  Elementary - 4 Native Tallgrasses; Middle School - 4 Earth Science cycles; and High School - Humans on the Tallgrass Prairie. See FLINT HILLS MAP EXHIBITS

A dedicated group of SPONSORS joined in the effort, making it possible to give the exhibits to 183 schools and colleges across the region - to place in prominent areas of their buildings.  As a result, now over 114,000 students and faculty are now viewing this exhibit on a daily basis.  See PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS.

But that wasn’t all.  The group wanted to give teachers something for the kids to do with the maps: ways for them to learn more about the Flint Hills, and ways for teachers to add relevance to what they were already teaching by connecting lessons to their kids’ own place - the Flint Hills.  So the group developed lessons to go with the maps and side panels, plus hundreds more lessons, projects, and learning tools for all grade levels and subject areas relating to land and local community. See CONTRIBUTING TEACHERS

In addition, to serve the learning public of all ages, they created an Information Resources section with over 200 annotated links to recommended websites in eight topic areas.  These are places both students and adults can go to learn more about Flint Hills-related science, art, geography, travel, Native Americans, agriculture, and much more.   The Flint Hills Discovery Center created a large section of their website to host all these resources. 

The program has conducted over a hundred outreach presentations in the schools to share with students and teachers the wonders of the Flint Hills and exciting learning opportunities. See EVENTS

Teacher Action Team was formed to guide the program and curriculum development to best serve teachers and schools, sharing developments through social media. See also TEAM

In 2018, the Flint Hills Map & Education program received the “Award for Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education” from the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education.

Today, the program helps fulfill the Flint Hills Discovery Center educational mission to inspire a lifelong commitment to learning.  By providing a dynamic on-line center of learning about the Flint Hills, the Discovery Center is supplementing its other exciting exhibits, programs, and events by reaching out to serve schools, scholars and the wider public across the world.

Support the Program

Contributions to the Flint Hills Maps and Education Program (a project of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation) are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have questions about donating to the project, please contact the FHDC Foundation at 785-587-2729 ext. 211 or by email.

Give by Mail

Complete and mail our donation form (PDF) along with your check to:
Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
Attn: Map and Education Program
315 S Third Street
Manhattan, KS 66502

Give by Phone

To donate over the phone using a credit card, contact Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation office at 785-587-2729 ext. 211. Please state your gift is for the Flint Hills Map and Education Program.