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GeoMentor Case Study:

George McLeod

Name of the School, School District, and/or Group you collaborated/are collaborating with: Virginia Beach City Public Schools (K-12)

City/State of School, School District, or Group: Virginia Beach, VA

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

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Our Watershed Needs Identified for Today & Tomorrow (OWN-ITT) competition. The OWN-ITT competition challenged participants to explore the impact of their school site on the local watershed through the use of GIS tools, with particular emphasis on ArcGIS Online and Story Maps. The goal of the Virginia Beach OWN-ITT competition was to educate students across the division as they explored best practices in resilient, sustainable, storm water management.

Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 100+

How did you connect with your collaborator?  A long-time friend was aware of my role and expertise in GIS. He contacted me directly to ask for my assistance in developing this project.

Describe your collaboration process. We communicated many times via email over the course of about 6 months. My friend and VBCPS outlined their vision for this competition and incorporated my suggestions regarding the use of GIS technologies.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. My contributions were mainly aligned with helping VBCPS understand how students could employ GIS in this competition (i.e. which tools/software they might use, which data were available, which analyses they might perform, and how they could deliver the final products). I also developed a short workshop to educate VBCPS teachers in the use of AGOL for map creation and data analysis, and in the creation of Esri Story Maps. We held two of these workshop, spaced roughly 2-3 months apart. Finally, I served as a competition judge and evaluated the students diagnosis of their watershed and usage of GIS tools.

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? I relied primarily on my own knowledge and Esri's online-oriented products.

Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration? Yes, I developed a basic guide for the use of AGOL and Story Maps for our teacher workshops.

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? It's always rewarding to give students their first exposure to GIS and to see how they employ those tools to diagnose and solve problems. VBCPS students and teachers have learned or gained valuable experience in the use of GIS.

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