Open Educational Resource
Open Educational Resource



Explorer Case Study

Explorer Case Study

The Explorer Case Study organizing framework helps Explorers organize relevant information about their work to better communicate and engage with audiences. It can also be used as a teaching and communication tool to show the application of a concept, the evolution of a project over a period of time, or to define and to resolve issues or problems.


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Professional Learning, Experiential Learning

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Learning materials

Why Use This Tool

As part of your work as an Explorer, you will be asked to deliver presentations about your work to a variety of audiences: from members of the scientific community to lay audiences, and everyone else in between. The Explorer Case Study Organizer helps you organize relevant information about your work into a storyline. This information can then be used to prepare presentations, write grant proposals, and communicate about your work with a variety of audiences.

When To Use This Tool

Stage(s) of Learning: Explore - Use this organizing framework to create presentations about your work. It will help participants explore your project.


Varies depending on writing and presentation time


All ages

Ease of Use


Additional Uses

  • Keep relevant information about your work in one place
  • Use as an introduction to your work
  • Develop presentations for public engagements for a variety of audiences
  • Create send ahead or leave behind brochures, or handouts after a public engagement
  • Apply for grants and for fundraising
  • Elaborate project proposals
  • Elaborate social media content
  • Onboard new members to your team

How to Use This Tool


The Explorer Case Study Organizer helps you compile all relevant information about your work in one place. Once you have this information organized, you can pick and choose what you would like to share and communicate with specific audiences. Having this information in one place will help craft the story you want to tell.


1. Develop your case study
Review the headings and guiding questions on the Explorer Case Study Organizer. You can write in prose or collect your thoughts in bullets, but consider each section as a coherent whole. Do not simply try to answer each guiding question.

As you collect your thoughts, keep in mind:

  • Your purpose: inform, engage, get buy in, collaborate, and/or inspire people to take action.
  • Your audience: young people, community members, students, and others.
  • Length: Keep it short and use lay language, avoid jargon (1-2 pages at the most).
  • Your own mindset: Describe the attitudes, skills, and knowledge that you bring to your work and connect them to the Explorer Mindset Learning Framework. This can create opportunities for interaction, collaboration, and inspiration.
  • Be creative: You might want to use images, maps, video, charts, and tables to communicate information. Be mindful of how you are sharing this information when electing assets for this case study.
  • Be inclusive and sensitive: Consider how different and diverse audiences may respond to your presentation. Ask yourself if there are any cultural assumptions or sensitive issues in your presentation.

2. Craft your presentation(s)
This case study organizer can be used to prepare a variety of presentations. It can also be shared as a written overview of your work and to guide your public speaking. It might even be useful to create a video about your work.

3. Share with your audience
You might decide to share your case study with your audience either before or after your presentation. Provide a few questions for learners/ participants to “listen for” and respond to throughout the engagement. Such questions could include:

  • What other kinds of information could we consider to learn more about this issue?
  • How will this impact community stakeholders? How can we work with these stakeholders to make a positive impact?
  • How does this relate to issues in our community?

Modifications, Variations, and Extensions

  • Once you have developed your case study, consider how you might modify it for a very young audience. Edit a copy down so that it has very few, simple sentences. This will help you with younger learners, but also help you sharpen your “elevator pitch” for any audience.
  • Consider pausing after you outline the various stakeholders. Divide learners into groups and assign each group to consider the “hopes and fears” of each stakeholder group as they approach this issue. Use these ideas to reflect later on solutions and possible collaboration.
  • Provide a blank Explorer Case Study Organizer to learners you are working with and encourage them to apply the same questions to an issue in their community. It can be related to the issue you presented or one that they have been engaged with on their own.

The National Geographic Society is making this content available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA
 license. The License excludes the National Geographic Logo (meaning the words National Geographic + the Yellow Border Logo) and any images that are included as part of each content piece. For clarity the Logo and images may not be removed, altered, or changed in any way.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Elizabeth Wolzak, National Geographic Society
Elizabeth Wolzak, National Geographic Society
Pablo García Borboroglu, National Geographic Explorer, Global Penguin Society
Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
Patrick Cavanagh, National Geographic Society
Specialist, Content Production
Jean Cantu, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Last Updated

March 4, 2024

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