For the past few years the Center for GIS (CGIS) has organized a GIS Day event with schools in the Baltimore metro area. This year CGIS invited 50 6th graders from The Crossroads School to Towson University’s campus for GIS Day. CGIS focused the GIS Day event on topics the students were exposed to in their current coursework, which included the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park and water well drilling occurring in Tanzania.
Throughout the beginning of this year, the students have been reading the book “A Long Walk to Water”, which chronicles the true-life journey of a group of boys from their home village in South Sudan to refugee camps in neighboring countries. The book describes some of the major difficulties the boys encountered during their journey, including hostile tribes, groups of unfriendly soldiers, and difficult terrain. Keeping this book in mind, CGIS created an exercise the students completed which involved using Google Earth to map a route through South Sudan that takes the boys from their home village to a refugee camp. The students worked in groups of two to map a route of least resistance, which avoided as much as possible the obstacles and difficulties that the boys experienced as described in the book.
The second exercise focused on water well drilling in Tanzania. In a previous class, students listened to the project manager for the drilling project, Mr. Farajah Ukwonda, spoke to them about the importance of his project in bringing clean water to villages in Tanzania. At CGIS’ GIS Day event, students used Google Earth to plot the water drilling locations and investigate the areas where the water well drilling will take place.
The students enjoyed their time on Towson University’s campus and getting the chance to work with Google Earth in order to further understand some of the topics they are investigating in their classes. As for CGIS staff, they are already thinking about their next year’s GIS Day event. Enjoy Geography Awareness Week everybody!