From finding the perfect tennis site in Fairfax County to analyzing crime rates in Mexico — students from three area high schools presented diverse findings as part of the GIS Fair, May 1, at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Springfield, Virginia headquarters.
The annual event is coordinated through NGA’s Partners in Education program and is an opportunity for students to present research in front of NGA geospatial-intelligence professionals. This is NGA’s fifth year hosting the event.
“We are cultivating the future workforce,” said Brittany Reid, NGA’s Partners in Education lead. “Students can make a connection here today and keep these contacts for the future.”
The three participating high schools were South Lakes High School, Herndon High School and Robert E. Lee High School. The students are a part of the Geospatial Semester, which partners high schools in Virginia and the department of integrated science and technology at James Madison University. High school students may obtain college credit upon completion.
“The geospatial semester provides a unique dual environment experience via a partnership between Virginia high schools,” said Kathryn Keranen, an instructor in integrated science and technology at JMU who along with JMU professor Bob Koloord started the initiative in 2005. “It is designed to introduce students to geospatial technology and to solve local problems of interest.”
The program started with four schools and has grown to 25. Since its inception more than 3,500 students have participated.