GeoMentor Case Study:
City/State of School, School District, or Group: Plains, Pennsylvania; Wilkes-Barre Area School District; SHINE After School Program of Luzerne County at Wilkes University
Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: K-8
Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Topics of discussions included ArcGIS Online, GeoInquiries, Web Maps, Story Maps, Entertain Maps, Snap2Map, the Living Atlas and the Science Channel: What on Earth
Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 60 students
How did you connect with your collaborator? We connected through a PennDOT Long Range Transportation meeting I was attending where an ambassador of PA State Senator John Yudichak was present. Senator Yudichak is a founder of the SHINE After School Program of Luzerne County. When I spoke about our GeoMentoring efforts in NEPA, Mark Grochocki, District Director suggested I contact the Executive Director of the SHINE Program to talk about GeoMentoring within the SHINE Program.
Describe your collaboration process. We communicate on a weekly basis to discuss our volunteer efforts through email or texting. Establishing a weekly game plan may take a half hour of our time throughout the week.
Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. As Geomentors for the SHINE After School Program we lead the discussion in educating the students and teachers. Topics range from currents events by means of Esri Story Maps to adding map layers to a web map and analyzing the different layers such as Fast Food Chains, to watching videos from the Science Channel What on Earth and discussing the different uses of GIS that we saw in the video. The teachers are part of the audience and are additionally learning about the powers of GIS through the SHINE After School Program.
What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? Through our educating efforts we use:
Esri current event maps such as: http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/thanksgiving
Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration?
2016-2017 SHINE Story Map that documents our GeoMentoring Efforts at the Wilkes-Barre Career and Technical Center
Presently working on a 2017-2018 Story Map highlighting our progress throughout this school year.
What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? I have gained a tremendous amount of admiration for the education system, students and teachers. Stemming from a degree in GIS primarily in the Transportation Industry while being introduced to the Education industry has been a learning experience. The amount of collaboration and positive engagements assignments is crucial to learning and I have a gained a deeper respect for the amount of preparedness that goes into teaching and and entertaining young minds.
I feel the students and educators gain a sense of a whole new world and industry that exists out there, that they may not have otherwise discovered. I would hope that our efforts of raising geoawareness introduces these young minds k-8 to the possibilities of a future career in the Geotechnologies field.
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. On GIS Day 2016 we celebrated with 60 students from the SHINE Program at the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center located in Plains, PA with a drone demonstration by an undergrad student from King's College.
Any additional comments about your experience? I would like to thank Esri and the American Association of Geographers for providing this opportunity by inspiring me to make an impact on the future of learning and the endless career opportunities that await these young minds in the field of Geotechnologies. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have encountered in my first year GeoMentoring with the SHINE After School Program.
Check out more case studies here!
If you're interested in submitting your GeoMentor experience for a case study, we would appreciate you doing so through this survey. The collected information will only be accessible to and used by AAG and Esri program staff and will not be further distributed or posted online unless you indicate your permission to do so.