Nearly 140 K-12 students from the Tampa Bay area will have the unique opportunity to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities at GEOINT 2018. Eighth grade students from Stewart Middle School in Tampa, fifth graders from Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, and Junior ROTC cadets from various high schools in Hillsborough County will visit the Symposium throughout the week.

“We have a wonderful program planned for Tampa students this year,” said Lindsay Mitchell, USGIF’s lead educational manager. “By attending technology demonstrations and participating in interactive map activities, the children will be encouraged to think about how GEOINT is used in their everyday lives. They will also learn about the many career opportunities that require GEOINT knowledge and skills.”

High school students from Hillsborough County will participate in poster sessions Sunday during GEOINT Foreword. USGIF selected these students from the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair in February for the best use of GEOINT to solve a real-world problem. The high school students will join college students also displaying their research.

Approximately 15 eighth grade students from Stewart Middle School will attend Monday, and nearly 70 fifth graders from Shorecrest Preparatory School will visit the Symposium Tuesday. The K-12 program—sponsored by AGI, BAE Systems, and Maxar—is a full day of activities that includes a 10-foot inflatable globe, exhibit hall tours, and a panel discussion featuring leaders from academia, government, and industry.

K-12 program speakers will include:

  • Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., U.S. Army (Ret.), Professor of Practice of Spatial Sciences, University of Southern California
  • Karyn Hayes-Ryan, CEO, KHR Impacts
  • Elizabeth Lyon, Senior GEOINT Authority, Geography and Cartography, NGA
  • Carmen Medina, Founder, MedinAnalytics
  • Patty Mims, Deputy Director, Federal Government, Esri
  • Ashley Richter, Program Data Management Lead, AECOM
  • Chris Tucker, Principal, Yale House Ventures
  • Christopher Viselli, Senior Operations Executive, USGIF
  • Isaac Zaworski, Vice President, Vricon

USGIF will also debut an interactive map of North America at the Symposium called USGIF’s Portable Planet. The 35-by-26 foot map is an educational tool that not only teaches K-8 students about maps and geography but also allows them to practice critical thinking, spatial analysis, and teamwork. See the map in action at the “EdGEOcation Station” adjacent to registration.

“Seeing and hosting K-12 students on the floor at [the Symposium] is always a highlight. It’s thrilling to know that exposing young minds to our industry in such a hands-on way might create a spark in someone,” said Nancy Coleman, vice president of communications at Maxar. “Right now, there’s keen interest in businesses like ours that sit at the nexus of the new space economy. At Maxar, we take our responsibility to inspire the next generation seriously, because we love what we do today—but fulfilling the promise of what we know is possible tomorrow will depend on helping these kids imagine their potential contribution at the center of a space renaissance.”

The students from Stewart Middle School will attend an exclusive workshop by Hexagon Geospatial. The workshop will involve learning how to use Hexagon’s Smart M.App platform to play a game in which they map Florida amusement parks. This activity will teach students how to display information about the amusement parks while applying geospatial analysis to make informed decisions.

On Wednesday, up to 50 Tampa area high school Junior ROTC cadets will participate in a data collection activity with members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group. In collaboration with the World-Wide Human Geography Data Working Group, students will use a free, open-source mobile app to collect data in Tampa neighborhoods that are susceptible to natural disasters. The information collected will be shared with local first responders. 

Headline Image: During the GEOINT 2017 K-12 program, Girl Scouts from the San Antonio area had the chance to learn about GEOINT and participate in various activities, including National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Map of North America. GEOINT 2018 will once again welcome local K-12 students.

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