GIS/T Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE)

GIS/T Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE)

SUMMARY

Five thousand explorers, 2,500 investigators, 300 interns and 120 teachers will receive GIS/T training, integrate GIS/T in teaching and learning in STEM and social studies, and apply GIS/T to solve real-world problems.


DESCRIPTION

The GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE) project builds upon a recent NSF-funded project, the Mayors Youth Technology Corps (MYTC), that developed a model of geographic information systems and technology (GIS/T) based education. MYTC developed a model of purposeful applications of GIS/T-based education for STEM careers in the workplace that provided youth in economically disadvantaged communities experience using and applying GIS/T to real world situations. In the GRACE project, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and Michigan Virtual University (MY), in collaboration with Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN), Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals (MiCAMP), and Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA), take the MYTC model to students and teachers in grades 8-12 across the State of Michigan through a three-tiered learning process (Explorer phase, Investigator phase, and Intern phase). The Explorer level introduces students to GIS/T through an online system that builds students' basic understanding of GIS/T and stimulates student curiosity. The Investigator level leverages students' curiosity and interest and prepares them to work with GIS/T lesson modules that are designed to emphasize science and engineering aspects and align with standards for teaching the subjects. The Intern level provides students with professional GIS/T training and opportunities to gain work experiences in local organizations as Interns. Professional development activities for teachers who will use GIS/T in their classes are tightly integrated with this progressive learning process so that the teachers are given adequate instructional support and technical mentoring as they work with the participating, and future, students.

The five educational and community organizations that comprise the GRACE team will: 1) expand and disseminate the model across Michigan and report on the ensuing challenges and successes; 2) demonstrate how to unite GIS/T organizations and volunteers with schools, students and teachers to integrate authentic GIS/T applications in curricula and provide a "foreseeable" career incentive for students to enthusiastically participate in STEM learning, especially for rural and underrepresented communities; 3) study motivations and hindrances of integrating GIS/T into science and social studies classrooms; and 4) develop an effective delivery model - the use of online and blended learning to transform the speed, ease of replication, and consistency of delivering instruction that is customized to increase motivation and achievement for students. GIS/T is applicable to many current career paths; GRACE will afford students in disadvantaged communities opportunities to engage in GIS/T they otherwise might not have. The expansion and dissemination of the model will affect 5,000 Explorers, 2,500 Investigators, and 300 Interns - 120 teachers, and 40 schools will receive GIS/T training, integrate GIS/T in teaching in STEM and social studies, and apply GIS/T to solve real-world problems. A statewide learning community of teachers who are interested in adopting GIS/T as instructional technology will be formed and supported, while a statewide consortium of schools and community organizations will be established to provide professional mentors and workforce experience opportunities for students through paid or volunteered internships.00 Explorers, 2,500 Investigators, and 300 Interns - 120 teachers, and 40 schools will receive GIS/T training, integrate GIS/T in teaching in STEM and social studies, and apply GIS/T to solve real-world problems. A statewide learning community of teachers who are interested in adopting GIS/T as instructional technology will be formed and supported, while a statewide consortium of schools and community organizations will be established to provide professional mentors and workforce experience opportunities for students through paid or volunteered internships.

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PROJECT DETAILS

Award Number: 

1433640; 1433712

PROJECT DURATION:

2014 - 2018

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Organization(s): 

Michigan Virtual University Lansing, MI
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI

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Project Status: 

Expired