Technology at the Crossroads
Two hundred and thirty five middle school students (with a focus on girls) in Boston, Massachusetts use Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) and HTML programming to conduct environmental research.
Technology at the Crossroads" is a youth-based program that will engage middle school youth (with particular emphasis on girls) in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) and HTML programming for use in conducting environmental research in Boston. The program will be comprised of a spring after-school component, three-week summer camp (held on the campus of Simmons College) and a fall after-school component. Science skills to be learned include posing questions, making observations, collecting, and analyzing and interpreting data. The context for the IT and science skills development will be environmental research projects that incorporate mathematics, biology, botany and chemistry. Six Boston area organizations with after-school programs take part in the project and include: Washington Irving Middle School, Department of Youth Services, Mother Caroline Academy, Codman Academy Charter School, New Boston Pilot Middle School and the Patriot's Trail Girl Scouts Council. Each after-school program team will include one teacher, one undergraduate student and one high school student. These teams will be trained in the use of the technologies and the IT curriculum and will work with youth as well as local scientists and GIS specialists to deliver the program. Near the end of the project additional after-school program staff will be trained so the program can continue beyond the grant-funded period. Goodman Research Group, Inc. will conduct formative, process and outcome evaluation of the project. This project will reach a total of 235 middle school youth and employ six high school students, six undergraduate students and six to twelve teachers/program facilitators during its implementation.