Nettie G. & Daniel Y.: GIS for Computer Class; 11th & 12th Grade; Pennsylvania

Blog Post created by jkeen@aag on May 26, 2016

City/State of School, School District, or Group: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania


Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with (if applicable): 11th & 12th


Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Computer Science


Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration:  12


How did you connect with your collaborator? I connected with [him] through his wife, who is a friend of my sister's and who is also a high school teacher at a neighboring high school. I approached [him] over the summer (post Esri UC) at our local neighborhood pool in regards a possible Geomentor relationship. At the pool I was reading the Crossing Borders column by Doug Richardson, Making a Difference for Students in Our Communities Summer 2015 ArcNews (page 29). We collaborated over ArcNews and I asked [him] if he was interested in being my first school to mentor. He said absolutely and from there we began the process of becoming established within the Geomentor community. Our conversation began in August 2015.


Describe your collaboration process. [He] and I emailed each other on a number of occasions. It took some time networking back and forth teaching [him] what in fact the Geomentor community was about and how he can be the first on the region to make the map.

I showed [him] the ConnectED schools web map and showed him how he can make a difference in the community by being the first in the region to make it on the map. Once he registered [the high school] and himself as a Geomentor seeking assistance, it was my turn to create a presentation for the class.

I created an Esri storymap for the presentation http://arcg.is/1VvTw71

Once the presentation was created we (Daniel & I) had to seek permission from the NEPA Alliance to make sure proper funding was available for us to begin this new adventure of bringing GIS into schools within Northeastern Pennsylvania. Education and Outreach falls within the scope of our Transportation funding which has given us the flexibility to begin raising spatial awareness in NEPA.

After we received a blessing from our manager, I threw out some dates to [the teacher] and we settled on April 11, 2016.

It has been a slow and steady process of 8 months, however now that we have a presentation in hand and our fist school registered as an example I have faith the process will move much quicker.


Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. This was our first visit to [the school]. We left the computer class with this exercise: https://blogs.esri.com/esri/gisedcom/2016/02/29/fun-with-gis-193-computer-science-for-all

At this moment we are on standby to assist the teacher and class with the exercise.


What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education?

From the AAG Geomentors > About section we printed "Program Flyer for Educators" and distributed them to the teacher, school district representatives and principal.

Within the Esri storymap we reference and have links to: the geomentor community and the geomentor community newsletter.

From the Geomentor website we reference "Geography Programs in the Americas" as it's own section within the Esri storymap. This can be found on the Geomentors & Job and Careers section.


Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration?
I developed the NEPA ConnectED storymap to use in our presentations http://arcg.is/1VvTw71

I also created a AGOL basic viewer app for the class to begin using and familiarizing themselves with next gen mapping technology http://arcg.is/1XlQa86


Did you work directly with students at all, or just with educators?
I worked with students and educators.


What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained?
We gained a greater appreciation for the size and scope of this effort. The students and educators realized that GIS applications are endless.

The school district representatives realized that GIS can be applied in many of the classes throughout their district.

The students gained new friendships, trust and assurance that the future of job stability is within the technology sector and that GIS technology can be applied to an industry.


If your GeoMentoring engagement activities were documented through a classroom blog, school website, group’s social media post, newspaper or other media, please provide the websites of those posts. 
Newspaper Article: http://timesleader.com/news/530649/mapping-possibilities-at-meyers

School District Web Site: http://www.wbasd.k12.pa.us/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=5PUAPB&dasi=3P22


Any additional comments about your experience?
We printed 2 large aerial maps of the school from our plotter as a gift to the students and principal. We also brought them a USGS topo map of the Wilkes-Barre region.

Additionally, I had the honor of attending the Esri UC 2015. I returned home with a bunch of UC pins, and I had just enough extras to give to each of the students. They were thrilled with the geogeekery, especially the superman GIS logo pin. The one student was wearing a superman shirt and lit up when I gave him the GIS superman pin.

Overall, our first geomentor experience was unforgettable. The students were extremely engaged when I asked them to find their school on the aerial map we brought as a present. We also asked them to find their school on the topo map and they did with flying colors.

Daniel and I are referring to our NEPA ConnectED efforts as the Eyes of the World Tour.

We look forward to following up with [the] computer class in regards to the homework we gave them. https://blogs.esri.com/esri/gisedcom/2016/02/29/fun-with-gis-193-computer-science-for-all



Questions? Email geomentors@aag.org.