Expanding Geospatial Technology Career Development for High School Students Through Teacher Professional Development
The Power of Data (POD) project is designed to increase secondary student awareness of and interest in careers that use geospatial technology (GST) and data; increase their knowledge of educational pathways to enter these careers; and develop their 21st century workforce skills. Building on successful implementation in Arizona, the 4-year project will be carried out on a larger scale. The project will use a train-the-trainer approach involving some 30 teacher educators, 90 teachers and 27,000 students. Teacher educators will be supported a facilitation academy, resources, and a "living" facilitation guide for teacher educators. will be developed. These resources will enable teacher educators replicate the POD Teacher Workshops in their local areas, resulting in the GST and project-based instruction (PBI) in their classrooms and in out of school activities. Through project-related activities, students will have opportunities to assume geospatial roles and work side by side with stakeholders as they examine community issues through a spatial lens, analyzing data surrounding authentic problems to determine appropriate solutions. The project will research project implementation and what project elements contribute to increase in student knowledge and awareness of GST careers, related career pathways, and 21st century skills. This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
The POD project will target both urban and rural settings with traditionally underserved populations and will involve an estimated 30 teacher educators, 675 additional teachers trained by the teacher-educators, and 27,000 students. Project research will investigate key elements that contribute to project outcomes. The POD team will research each level of implementation from teacher educators and investigate how the project contributes to the development of student STEM career awareness and interest. The POD facilitation guide, including case studies of common teacher experiences, student work samples, video teaching cases and ways to connect to local industry, will be available online via print on demand or electronically. Research and evaluation results and instruments will be shared through conference presentations and journal articles.