Knowledge & Exploration

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Photo courtesty National Geographic

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic has selected three high school students as the recipients of the National Geographic Student Expeditions Inaugural Teen Service Award, a new program recognizing young people who have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in their communities. Alexa Grabelle, Delaney Reynolds, and Kaimana Idica will each receive $500 college scholarships, and Grabelle, as the grand prize winner, will embark on a National Geographic Community Service Expedition to Fiji this summer. The awards program is one of the many ways National Geographic continues to empower the next generation of global citizens and explorers.

“Connecting with and benefiting communities around the world is a key focus of National Geographic Student Expeditions, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize students across the country who are making a difference in their own communities,” said Deb Friedman, vice president for independent and specialty travel for National Geographic. “We were blown away by the nominations we received for these awards.”

National Geographic received nearly 300 submissions for the award, for which parents, teachers, and local leaders could nominate middle or high school students investing time and effort into their communities. Following the submission period, judges at Nat Geo selected 16 finalists, each of whom were asked to write a short essay on the importance of community service and what inspires them to give back. The judges then chose the grand prize winner and two runners-up based on those essays.

Grabelle, 15, who attends high school in New Jersey, won the grand prize for founding the nonprofit Bags of Books at age 10 and continuing to work with volunteers to collect and distribute children’s books to low-income families. She has given away more than 110,000 children’s books to date, and in recognition of her work, National Geographic’s Kids Books will also donate 300 children’s books to her organization.

“Equality and justice means that all children, regardless of background, must have an equal opportunity to obtain the resources and skills they need to succeed in school and life,” Grabelle said. “Changing the world means helping children, one book at a time.”

Reynolds and Idica, high school seniors in Miami and Hawaii, respectively, both addressed climate change and environmental issues in their community service projects, for which they were recognized as runners-up. Through her work with the Sink or Swim Project, Reynolds aims to educate as many people as possible about the negative effects climate change is already having on ecosystems in Florida. Her efforts, including educational lectures, children’s books and more, have reached an estimated 35,000 people.

Similarly, Idica has partnered with several nonprofits to educate the public in Maui about the effects that plastics specifically have on the environment. He has created zero-waste local for public events, led film projects, and spoken at high schools across the state.

“Today our society has gotten lazy by living in a world of convenience,” Idica said. “I cannot just look the other way and say, ‘Someone else will do it.’ There are too many people saying that already.”

Learn more about National Geographic Student Expeditions.


Xploration Station, FOX

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has recognized four of the six series composing Xploration Station, the three-hour block of STEM programming for kids and teens airing weekend mornings on Fox TV Stations, with a total of seven nominations for the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. DIY Sci, Xploration Awesome Planet, Xploration Outer Space, and Weird But True were all nominated across a range of categories, including Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series for DIY Sci. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday, April 30, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

“The response we’ve seen from Xploration Station has been absolutely tremendous,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six Xploration Station series. “We are proud to be putting smart, feel-good television on air that kids and families can enjoy. On behalf of everyone here at SRP, I’d like to thank all the talented people who work on these series, and our stations and partners for making this possible.”

The full list of nominations is as follows:

  • Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program: Xploration Awesome Planet
  • Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel/Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Emily Calandrelli, Xploration Outer Space
  • Outstanding Writing in a Children’s, Pre-School Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Single Camera Editing: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Sound Editing – Live Action: DIY Sci

Since its premiere in 2014, Xploration Station has consistently received nominations at the Daytime Emmys. The block garnered five nominations in its first two years on the air, including Xploration Awesome Planet host Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel/Children's Series Host in 2015.

The six series making up the Xploration Station block include Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Harvard scholar Emily Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050, Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Fox TV Stations recently extended Xploration Station’s run through 2020. The entire block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide on Saturday mornings and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.

Learn more about Xploration Station, including where it airs in your city. 


Short Awards: Hidden Figures, 21st Century Fox Social Impact

21st Century Fox’s social media campaigns supporting young women in STEM and girls’ access to education were named as finalists for the 9th annual Shorty Awards, which are sponsored by AdWeek and celebrate the best in digital and content marketing on social media.

21CF and PepsiCo’s “Search for Hidden Figures” was named a finalist in the categories of “Best Content and Promotion” and “Best Multicultural Community Engagement”. Inspired by the film Hidden Figures, 21CF and PepsiCo partnered with Pharrell Williams’ organization, i am OTHER, and the New York Academy of Sciences to find the next generation of women who will lead the way in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The campaign invited women and girls to share their stories of work and potential in STEM fields for the opportunity to win scholarships and other awards totaling over $200,000. The integrated, multi-platform campaign highlighted the importance of diversity in the workplace and the critical need to empower women who want to pursue careers in STEM.

21CF and National Geographic’s Stand with Malala campaign was also named a Shorty Award finalist in the “Best Influencer and Celebrity Facebook Campaign” category for its visual depiction of the world’s loss that occurs when girls are excluded from the classroom. As part of 21CF’s yearlong efforts to support girls’ education, the campaign was created in support of the broadcast premiere of the documentary film He Named Me Malala, which shares the story of Pakistani activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai and her global fight to ensure girls’ access to education. The campaign asked viewers to tweet using the hashtag #withMalala or change their Facebook profile to a special campaign video. The video transformed profile pictures into yearbook photos and then dissolved female users' profile pictures from the page, representing the 60 million girls who are out of school worldwide. For every post or share, 21CF gave $1 to the Malala Fund, in total donating $50,000.

Recognizing that social media has the influence to create global movements and new stars, the Shorty Awards spot industry-wide trends and honor both individual influencers and brands for their work and messaging on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and more. By constantly evolving along with the medium it celebrates, the Shorty Awards engage an online audience of millions and culminate in a blockbuster ceremony in New York City—winners are chosen through a combination of votes from the public and scores given by the Real Time Academy.

Learn more about the 2017 Shorty Awards and the full list of finalists here. Winners will be announced in New York City on April 23.


Katie Couric, Courteney Monroe at the Cynopsis Media Social Good Awards, New York City

On Thursday, March 2, Cynopsis Media honored National Geographic with its inaugural Impact Award in the Network category at their third annual Social Good Awards in New York City. The Social Good Awards recognize brands, campaigns, and individuals for outstanding work in areas ranging from environmental initiatives to voter registration to combatting addiction.

Journalist Katie Couric presented the Impact Award to Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, for the company’s commitment to programming that engages viewers in stories about the human condition and exploration of new frontiers, including documentaries Before the Flood and Gender Revolution, which is hosted by Couric and explores issues of gender identity. “I could not have found a better partner on this journey with me…. Under Courteney’s leadership, this truly iconic brand is reaching new heights. It’s broadened the definition of exploration to not only include geography but ideas and even our inner dimensions—the very things that make us human,” said Couric.

21st Century Fox businesses earned a total of ten nominations at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards. In addition to the Impact Award, 21CF and National Geographic’s social media campaign in support of the documentary He Named Me Malala was awarded Social Good Awards in both categories of “Facebook Campaign or Initiative” and “Partnership with a Celebrity/Athlete/Character.” The film tells the inspiring story of Pakistani education activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai’s fight for the educational rights of women and girls. The Stand with Malala social media campaign drew attention to the more than 60 million girls that are out of school around the world, and raised $50,000 for the Malala Fund to support education programs for Syrian refugee children.

National Geographic also won an award for best “Environmental Campaign or Initiative” for Before the Flood, a documentary from Academy Award-winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens investigating the global effects of climate change. In addition to airing the film in 171 countries around the world, National Geographic made it available for free across streaming and on-demand platforms to ensure as many people could see it as possible. More than 60 million people viewed Before the Flood, making it one of the most watched documentary films in history. National Geographic also ran a number of campaigns around the film to amplify its message, including a series of screenings at colleges and universities in partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage students to register to vote ahead of the presidential election.  “It’s not enough just to create this type of important and thought provoking content. As leaders in media we need to be equally committed to making sure it reaches the widest audience possible in order to effect change…. In a world in which media is scrutinized like never before, we have a responsibility to be bold, to take risks, to be radical in our thinking and relentless in our pursuit of stories that matter,” added Nat Geo’s Monroe.

Other 21st Century Fox nominations at the Social Good Awards represented the variety of social issues that 21CF businesses work on, ranging from FOX Sports Supports’ efforts to help military veterans transition to civilian life to National Geographic’s on-air campaigns to preserve America’s National Parks. The “Find Your Park, Love Your Park” campaign from National Geographic and Subaru of America is geared toward teaching fourth graders across the United States about the importance of U.S. national parks by driving viewers to a host of educational resources available at National Geographic’s website. In addition, “Partners in Preservation: National Parks”, created with American Express, awarded $2 million in grants in 2016 to historic sites in need of preservation within national parks, as decided by popular vote on the campaign website.

“At National Geographic, we have a 130-year history of supporting and funding individuals committed to making a difference. Through the National Geographic Society, we invest in bold people with really transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, conservation and education,” concluded Monroe at the awards.

Get more information and check out a full list of the 2017 Cynopsis Media Social Good Award winners and nominees.


humanitas prize hidden figures birth nation this is us

At a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 22, the organization Humanitas announced the recipients of its 42nd Annual Humanitas Prize, recognizing the screenwriters behind two films and one television series from 21st Century Fox. Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, who wrote Fox 2000’s Hidden Figures, tied with Robert Schenkkan of Hacksaw Ridge to win the Feature Film category, while Nate Parker and Dan Fogelman were honored for writing Fox Searchlight’s The Birth of a Nation and the 20th Century Fox Television production This Is Us, respectively. The Humanitas Prize celebrates onscreen stories that reflect a dedication to social progress and inspire compassion, hope and understanding.

“These were truly the best of the best, writers whose work engaged, illuminated, inspired and entertained, all while exploring the range of human experience from fresh and diverse perspectives,” said Humanitas executive director Cathleen Young. “Stories that inspire, engage and bring together are more important than ever in a world fractured along political and culture fault lines.”

The Humanitas Prize includes an award of $10,000 to each of the winners, many of whom announced their plans to donate the winnings to a nonprofit. Fogelman will donate his cash prize to the Motion Picture Television Fund, which provides health care services to those in the entertainment community. Parker will make his contribution to Together We Rise, which supports foster child programs across the United States.

“I write for my children,” Parker said during his acceptance speech. “As I write, I always ask myself, ‘What do I owe them?’ …This moment doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the little kids.”

Hidden Figures continues to serve as the center of social impact campaigns encouraging young women and people of color to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and math. The film was the basis for the Search for Hidden Figures scholarship contest last fall, and 21CF recently partnered with AMC Theatres to host free screenings of the film in order to celebrate Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, as well as build broader awareness of the film’s true story and inspire younger generations to follow their dreams.

Learn more about the 2017 Humanitas Prize, including the full list of this year’s winners.