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GeoMentor Case Study:

Nettie Ginocchetti

Name of the School, School District, and/or Group you collaborated/are collaborating with: Abington Heights High School, Abington Heights School District

City/State of School, School District, or Group: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: 11th & 12th grade

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Advance Placement Human Geography

Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 70

How did you connect with your collaborator?  April 6, 2016 the Abington Heights Director of Student Services reached out to me after seeing a GIS demonstration on a web application I created for the CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank highlighting food pantries throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.

Quote from email: "Our most popular Advanced Placement course has been Human Geography. Last year we had 73 kids take the AP exam, but I wonder how many would ever consider a career using GIS or in cartography? Would it be possible to lend this service to AH for a day? I hope I'm not way off on the GIS, so you have some idea what I'm talking about! "

A bond with Abington Heights formed and since 2016 we have been in collaboration.

Describe your collaboration process. We have met in person on 3 occasions over the course of 2 years. My primary role is supporting Mr. Burke with ArcGIS Online with students as users and as they begin exploring ArcGIS Online story map creation and providing external support troubleshooting ArcGIS Online story maps.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. Mr. Burke is doing a fantastic job teaching the students in Abington Heights to ArcGIS Online story maps and GeoInquiries. My primary role to assist and support Mr. Burke by means of email and providing education links to story maps, current events, Esri GeoInquires and GIS Day celebrations.

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? These are a few of the resources I passed along to Mr. Burke to support his ArcGIS Online advancement in the classroom.
1. GeoInquiries
2. Whys Of Where | Joseph Kerski | TEDxVail
4. Esri Education blog post   
5. GIS Immersion Workshop
6. GIS for US K12 Education Story Map 

Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration? Through our collaboration and GeoMentoring we have gained approval from the Abington Heights Principal to take a field trip to Harrisburg, PA in celebration of GIS Day 2018. Over the course of the years I have created a story map called Adventures in GeoMentoring

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? I gained a sense of inspiration from Mr. Jason Burke seeing the collaboration and engagement he exercised with his students. Being a guest having the opportunity to see the students present their story maps for final presentation were enlightening. The geospatial knowledge and skills they are learning as high school students in preparation for college is remarkable.
I feel the educator and students gained a sense of understanding hearing how we as GIS Professionals are working in the field using GIS tools on a daily basis from groundtruthing, data collection, data maintenance, web map and story map creation and giving back to the community by means of Geomentoring.

Any additional comments about your experience? As a GeoMentor for Abington Heights High School AP Geography Class we are looking ahead to the future and being a part of 2019 ArcGIS Online Competition for US HS+MS Students. 

Additionally we are looking forward to attending and participating in GIS Day 2019 in Harrisburg, PA. Mr. Burke has received clearance to bring his students to Central PA GIS Day where they will have the opportunity to explore legislative districting in a hands-on workshop. Students will also be introduced to a Pennsylvania statewide contest called Draw the Lines PA where any Pennsylvania citizen can redraw our legislative districts and submit their proposal to their legislator. Here is a link to the Abington Heights AP Geography Photo Gallery documenting our spatial experience. 

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