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Statewide ArcGIS Site License Expands STEM Education in Kentucky

 
 

Students Build Skills for Higher Education and Employment

REDLANDS, Calif., Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Commonwealth of Kentucky's recently signed Esri Educational Site License makes ArcGIS technology available to all K–12 public and private school students in the state. The license will be managed by the Kentucky Geographic Alliance (KGA), a longtime supporter of geography initiatives for elementary and secondary schools.

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KGA will assist local schools with the integration of geographic information system (GIS) technology into math, earth science, and social studies classes based on statewide curriculum standards and will work with Kentucky Department of Education curriculum coordinators for guidance.

"The Kentucky Geographic Alliance is interested in providing the K–12 Kentucky STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] communities with an opportunity to participate in a top-three technology of the future," said Scott Dobler, faculty member of the Department of Geography and Geology at Western Kentucky University and codirector of KGA. "Along with nanotechnology and biotechnology, geotechnology was named as one of the three most important emerging fields by the US Department of Labor. Geography skills are necessary in today's globalizing market. Our students must learn how to interpret spatial information and understand complex linkages to be successful in today's global economy."

Dobler indicated that students will work on projects that reflect local community issues. ArcGIS Online will be used as a tool to communicate the results of these projects to neighboring schools and districts and, potentially, local legislators and other interested parties.

KGA plans to introduce GIS through workshops for teachers and technology coordinators. The teachers, including those in career and technical education (CTE), will focus on classroom implementation, while the coordinators will emphasize support center chain of command network decisions.

"Kids can build readiness for college and careers in many different subjects and activities with GIS, even at a young age," said Charlie Fitzpatrick, K–12 school program manager at Esri. "Kentucky's long history of GIS use means folks know that it is a problem-solving technology, and they want their kids to develop long-term integrated content knowledge and procedural skills in a real-world context."

About Esri
Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news.

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