To both document program activity and learn from the efforts of our volunteers, we invite our GeoMentors to submit their experiences as program case studies through this online form.
City/State of School, School District, or Group: Schools throughout the State of Delaware
Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: 5th grade
Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Geography, Social Studies
Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 490
How did you connect with your collaborator?
In Delaware we have a GIS Day Committee. Through this committee we hold a field trip every year for 5th grade classes. This field trip takes place at the Air Command Mobility Museum in Dover. We are in our 8th year holding this event. You can find more information from our website here: http://www.mygeoworld.org/news-and-events/de-gis-day/. At our field trip we can only hold 240 students, so this year we are taking parts of the field trip on the road to two other schools, allowing us to connect for even more students than ever.
Describe your collaboration process.
We communicate with all the teachers by email and through post office mail. We create name tags for all the students and place them in groups. We place the students from each school in groups, which consists of approximately 15 students each. Volunteers (GIS mentors) throughout the state assist with setting up the GIS related stations, which each of the student groups travel to. The students are at each station for approximately 30 minutes and they see about 17 stations. We make sure to accommodate any special needs that the children might have as well.
Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with.
Each of the stations vary, so the students are exposed and involved in many careers all relating in some way to GIS. We have the Kent County Mobile Command unit come and show how they use GIS in 911 situations. The kids also get to learn about Delaware Soils from NRCS and walk away with their very own soil sample. Another station is a hands-on GIS lab which the students take an hour to do an ArcGIS Online exercise. They also learn how to fly on a flight simulator and then they get into a 20' Earth Balloon from the Delaware Children's museum to learn about the Earth. We also have the students learn about aerial photography by having them trace different features on the map using transparencies and they get to take them home as well.
What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education?
Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration?
We are going to use this resource this year: https://www.udel.edu/johnmack/frec682/cholera/cholera2.html and have created a new station based on this, so the kids can learn about the importance of spatial patterns. We are excited to show the students the history of GIS this year.
What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained?
The GIS Day Committee consists of seven people, we also have approximately 18 volunteers and 17 station chiefs for the day of the event. We all gain so much knowledge from hosting this event. We learn from the kids and what questions they ask and what their experience is. We also learn from the educators how they experienced the event. We provide a survey each year, so we can continue to improve and make it the most memorable experience. The kids are exposed to approximately 15 different careers in GIS, which is exciting.
Any additional comments about your experience?
We all love being a GeoMentor!