Ridgeland, USA, August 20, 2007: Digital Quest, Inc. and SkillsUSA jointly announced the gold medalist in the Postsecondary Geospatial Technology Challenge at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and Competition that was held in Kansas City, Missouri on June 26, 2007.
June Garneau of Berlin, New Hampshire won first place and is the recipient of thousands of dollars in ArcGIS software and a cash award both donated by ESRI of Redland, California. Garneau’s gold medal was based upon an extensive pre-challenge project, STARS testing, and completion of challenge events at the conference. Garneau is a 2007 graduate of the one-year Spatial Information Technology/Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate program at New Hampshire Community Technical College in Berlin.
Garneau’s project involved Global Positioning Systems (GPS) data collection, surface model development, and site analysis based upon pre-set competition criteria. June chose White Mountain Regional High School as her project, which focused on the best location for a garden. According to Garneau, she put at least 80 hours into her project, which included choosing a location in which to use digitizing techniques and GPS data collecting to create a campus based model including building, water sources, sport facilities, and other campus features. From her base model, she created 3-dimensional models and a preferred garden location based upon six preset criteria. As part of the competition, she had to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, maps, and a written report.
As part of the prize package, Garneau earned the STARS Certification from Digital Quest, Inc. STARS (Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing) is a fully developed “turn-key” certification program for high schools, colleges and university as well as career professionals looking to integrate geospatial tools into their on-on-the job skill set. STARS is the first industry-recognized geospatial certification recognized by NASA, the U.S. Department of Labor, and by industry leaders.
This is the second year Skills USA has offered national college competitions which were designed to provide colleges with an effective way to validate their technical programs and measure them against national standards. The Geospatial Technology Challenge was initiated in February 2007 with an on-line, 150 question qualification exam that tested academic knowledge, technical knowledge within the subject area, and general employability skills. Qualifying contestants were required to complete a STARS certification project.
“The experience gave me a unique opportunity to expand my knowledge, build my confidence and abilities in GIS, and to successfully meet challenges that took me through a whole range of skill sets,” says Garneau.