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GeoMentor Case Study:

Angel Yin

Name of the School, School District, and/or Group you collaborated/are collaborating with: University of Southern California Spatial Sciences Institute

City/State of School, School District, or Group: Los Angeles, California

Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: K-12 Teachers

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Geo Inquiries and Survey123

Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 26 educators

How did you connect with your collaborator?  I was in Dr. Oda's Master-level GIS class in Fall of 2018, and have been engaged with him and USC SSCI since then. I received an email that they were looking for volunteer geomentors and I was enthusiastic to be on board to teach a tool/science that I have learned.

Describe your collaboration process. We met once via video call for program expectations, training, and how I can personally curate my experience learning GIS to helping K-12 educators learn it. Our process was around 2 weeks of engagement and centered it to make sure all volunteers were cohesive and cordial to the ones learning GIS.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. Most of the tasks I was involved with was technology toggling and encouraging the teachers to think spatially, especially when it came to the value of using and teaching GIS to K-12 curriculum. My day-to-day duties included helping when needed in basic online GIS tools such as basemaps to teaching how research data to use in Excel and data (.csv) conversion. 

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? GeoInquiries were an excellent start to learning GIS as well as fieldwork for Survey123 activities. We also used videos from ESRI conferences and the history of cartographer to showcase the value of spatial thinking and science.

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? I believe the best way of learning is to teach-- I definitely was able to revisit a simple form of GIS and being able to teach it was significant in my development as a GIS expert. I believe the K-12 teachers found immense value in the tool and I hope that it is going to be more widely implemented and accessible in public schools.

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