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Two applicants will receive expense-paid study tours for international travel to be taken during summer 2020.


The Stanley Foundation recognizes:

  • The value of international travel as professional development for educators.
  • The change in perspective brought about by immersion in a culture different from one's own.
  • The greater ability to support and teach diverse students that stems from a deeper understanding and appreciation of another culture.
  • The knowledge gained through firsthand experience and intercultural communication that takes place during a quality study tour.
  • The importance of new tools, ideas, curriculum, and networks that field study tour participants possess.
  • The contributions of global-minded teachers to their school district and local community.

Each Explorer Award winner will select the country or region of the world he/she will visit, and the type of tour, from various reputable programs for educators.

 These are group programs focused on cultural exploration; they are not tourist-centered.


  • Smithsonian Journeys offered an “Adventure in Iceland” during July 2014.
  • Engaging Cultures conducted the “Jordan Insider” tour in June 2014.
  • In June 2015, Cross Cultural Journeys toured urban and rural Cuba.

Entry Process:

Stage One is a random drawing, an unbiased and inclusive method. Any full-time (as of September 1, 2019) K-12 teacher at Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School or within the Muscatine Community School District may enter the drawing that will determine ten finalists. Simply fill out the form. The entry deadline is midnight, September 16, 2019.

Stage Two involves only those ten people whose names are chosen in the random drawing. After verification of eligibility, they will be invited to submit applications for the Explorer Awards. Applicants will complete short-answer questions regarding experience and teaching strategies, include a lesson plan, and submit an essay addressing their interest in teaching about the world. The application deadline is November 11, 2019. A selection team of four qualified individuals who are not employed by the Stanley Foundation, Muscatine Community School District, or Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School will judge the (blind) applications. The winners will be announced in mid-January 2020.

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