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GIS software available for all Virginia students grades 6-12

Virginia, USA, 4 July 2006 – All Virginia public school students in grades 6 – 12 will soon have the opportunity to use geographic information system software and extensions. Virginia’s statewide license puts ESRI’s ArcView software in the classrooms to help teachers in a wide range of subjects create real-world experiences involving analysis and problem solving.

“There is a lot of excitement about this in our middle and high schools,” says George Willcox, state specialist of technology education for the Virginia Department of Education. “Some of our high school agriculture, geography, science, and technology teachers have already begun working with geospatial tools, and we will be running a set of regional weeklong training institutes this summer to get more teachers up to speed. This is powerful technology, and we know there are many opportunities for students with GIS skills.”

A statewide license grants Virginia schools ArcView 3.x and ArcView 9.x on an unlimited number of computers. The software may be used for teaching any subject in grades 6-12 in Virginia’s public schools. The Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions are also part of the statewide license as well as certain ESRI Virtual Campus courses.

Whether mapping hurricane evacuation plans, analyzing election tendencies across the country, or monitoring environmental conditions around the world, Virginia’s students will be able to gain content background while developing critical thinking skills and building important career and technical skills. GIS skills are being sought in an exploding number of jobs, and Virginia’s students are now one step closer to being ready.”