US: 121 K-12 students from the Tampa Bay area had the opportunity to participate in various activities to learn about geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) as part of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s (USGIF) GEOINT 2018 Symposium—held April 22-25 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla.
GEOINT is just one of many STEM topics, and is the profession of using satellites, drones, and sensors combined with other geographic information to gather, map, and visualize data to make informed decisions. Not only is GEOINT essential to national security, but it can also be applied in nearly every industry—from city planning to precision agriculture and financial predictions to disaster management.
“We created a wonderful program for Tampa students this year,” said Lindsay Mitchell, USGIF’s lead educational manager. “By watching technology demonstrations and participating in interactive activities, the children were encouraged to think about how GEOINT is used in their everyday lives. They also learned about the many career opportunities that require GEOINT knowledge and skills.”
Four high school students from Hillsborough County participated in a poster session April 22 at GEOINT Foreword, GEOINT 2018’s pre-symposium science and technology day. USGIF selected these students from the Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair in February for the best use of GEOINT to solve a real-world problem. The high school students joined 22 college students who also displayed their research.
USGIF hosted a K-12 program for students to experience GEOINT firsthand. Fifteen eighth grade students from Stewart Middle School participated April 23, and 70 fifth graders from Shorecrest Preparatory School attended April 24. The K-12 program was a full day of activities that featured a 10-foot inflatable globe, technology demonstrations, and a panel discussion with leaders from academia, government, and industry.
K-12 program speakers included:
- Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., U.S. Army (Ret.), Professor of Practice of Spatial Sciences, University of Southern California
- Karyn Hayes-Ryan, CEO, KHR Impacts
- Elizabeth Lyon, Senior GEOINT Authority, Geography and Cartography, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- Carmen Medina, Founder, MedinAnalytics
- Patty Mims, Deputy Director, Federal Government, Esri
- Ashley Richter, Program Data Management Lead, AECOM
- Christopher Tucker, Principal, Yale House Ventures
- Christopher Viselli, Senior Operations Executive, USGIF
- Isaac Zaworski, Vice President, Vricon
USGIF also debuted its 35-by-26 foot interactive map of North America at the Symposium. Named USGIF Portable Planet, the map is used as an educational tool that not only teaches K-8 students about maps and geography, but also allows them to practice critical thinking, spatial analysis, and teamwork.
The GEOINT 2018 K-12 program was generously sponsored by AGI, BAE Systems, and Maxar.
Smart M.App Workshop
Students from Stewart Middle School attended an exclusive workshop by Hexagon Geospatial April 23. Participants learned how to use Hexagon’s Smart M.App platform to play a game in which they mapped Florida amusement parks. This activity taught students how to display information about the amusement parks while applying geospatial analysis to make informed decisions.
A mix of 32 Tampa area high school Junior ROTC cadets and human geography students from Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy participated in a data collection activity with members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group. In collaboration with the World-Wide Human Geography Data Working Group, students used a free, open-source mobile app to collect data in Tampa neighborhoods that are susceptible to natural disasters. The information collected will soon be shared with local emergency responders.