GIS — or geographic information system — is a tool used for gathering, managing and analyzing data. Students used multiple GIS platforms for their research and presented it to 20 NGA judges during the daylong event.
The feedback from the NGA judges is a valuable resource for students as they build presentation skills, said Rebecca Gentry, a Herndon High School teacher.
“To get that outside perspective — to get that validation on your research makes it all very real for the students,” said Gentry.
Students were given the opportunity to choose their own research topic for the presentation.
Aidan Robinson, a senior at South Lakes High School, conducted an analysis of “location for extraction of materials on Mars.”
“I learned a lot on GIS in general along with how much work goes into all of the associated analysis,” said Robinson.
Mia Markeloff, a senior at Herndon High School, studied potential volcano eruption effects.
“It’s been a great experience to work with the program, and then come in here and get feedback,” she said.
Riley Peake, an education representative from ESRI, the company that develops the mapping software the students used for their projects, said the students really grasped the application of the software for their research.
“It’s been nothing but impressive,” said Peake. “The students are thinking as critically about their projects and about their community.”