The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency hosted the 11th annual Tech Showcase East, during GEOINT Community Week, Nov. 16 at NGA headquarters in Springfield, Virginia.
The event featured college and high school students who participate in geographic information systems academic programs in partnership with NGA to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines.
The students presented analytic projects they have researched and developed as part of the program to NGA Director Robert Cardillo and Deputy Director Sue Gordon.
The high school students attend The Urban Atlanta Geospatial STEM Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. The college students are from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, which has a GIS program supported by a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with NGA.
The presentations included: mapping youth emotions in urban environments; inventorying trees along the Atlanta Beltline; multispectral vegetative analysis; the relationship between rising tides and informal settlements; and determining sidewalk integrity for routes to social service locations.
“They get the power of what they do,” said Gordon, who visited The Urban Atlanta Geospatial STEM Academy earlier this year.
The academy enrolls 100 high school students during the summer, offering them the opportunity to participate in community-based geospatial technology educational experiences. The program will continue in Atlanta and extend to Orlando, Florida in 2016 through the University of Central Florida.
Timothy Hawthorne, founding director, emphasized the importance of the academy, saying that they don’t just teach technology, but also the “so what.”
The students also have internships with local businesses, said Hawthorne, which marries the use of GIS technology to developing community-based partnerships.
To learn more about the Geospatial STEM Academy, visit their website.
To learn more about Washington College’s GIS program, visit the Washington College website.
For more information on NGA’s academic partners and CRADAs, visit the website.