GeoMentor Case Study:
City/State of School, School District, or Group: Soldotna, Alaska. Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: Eighth
Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with:
Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 45
How did you connect with your collaborator? Mrs. Pothast contacted our local GIS User Group
Describe your collaboration process. Mrs. Pothast expressed an interest in working with the Kenai Peninsula GIS User Group on a project based around the Tsalteshi trail system, which is located behind Skyview Middle School. We presented the idea of creating a story map about the trails, and a mobile application for trail users. Two of our User Group members gave her two 8th grade History/Geography students a presentation re: Geography basics and the development over time of GIS systems. Then, five User Group members worked with the classrooms over a period of four weeks to develop the story map and mobile application.
Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. We assisted Skyview Middle School in obtaining an ArcGIS Online account via ESRI's ConnectED site. We met with students one day to GPS a newly developed trail, using the ESRI Collector app. The next meeting, we used ESRI's Web Appbuilder to develop framework for a mobile application for trail users. The next two meeting were spent developing ideas and researching information to create a Story Map about the trail system.
What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? We primarily used ArcGIS Online tools and templates during this project, but Mrs. Pothast is aware of GeoInquires, etc. and will likely use them in future classes.
Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration?
The students learned how to collect and analyze data used in a GIS, as well as how to use some of the technology available via ESRI. They've also helped produce two products (the Story Map and the mobile application) that will be widely seen and used by our community. Story Map link
. Mobile App link
(the mobile app framework was developed by the students in Web Appbuilder, but the Kenai Peninsula Borough is serving the app, so switched to using GeoCortex software)
What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? Our User Group has made it a goal to work with local students, so we found it very rewarding and a worthwhile experience. It's invigorating to have students show enthusiasm in what each of us have chosen as a career! Now that we've formed a connection with a local school, we hope to build on that by staying connected with them and forming new relationships with more schools. The students got some insight into how data is collected for use in applications that they normally only see the front-end of. They also got hands-on technical experience, and practiced their research skills just in time for high school next year.
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.
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