McMaster hosts high school geography students
Hosted by the School of Geography & Earth Sciences and the Centre for Spatial Analysis, this event fulfills part of the Ontario geography curriculum for Grade 9, 11 and 12 students. Three hundred high school students from Grimsby, St. Catharines and Hamilton have registered for the day-long workshop.
GIS Day is a global event that educates people about GIS technology, a computer-based mapping tool that takes information about streets, buildings, water features and terrain and turns it into visual layers. GIS is used throughout the world to solve problems related to the environment, public health and health care, land use, business efficiency, education and public safety.
"GIS day provides secondary school students with solid, hands-on experience using desktop GIS tools," said Pavlos Kanaroglou, Canada Research Chair in Spatial Analysis, professor and the acting director of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences. "GIS can map societal and environmental data for multi-disciplinary applications. This will be a valuable reference tool to assist this generation in many aspects of life."
During McMaster's GIS Day, students will learn how to use GIS to develop maps of Canadian national parks, global earthquakes and seismology, and Mount St. Helen's. These exercises will give them a unique perspective on the forces that shape our world.
Not only will students attend workshops and use GIS technology, but they will hear presentations by the following special guests:
One of the traditions of GIS Day at McMaster is to encourage high school students to submit posters in a GIS poster competition. These posters explore areas of GIS applications the students find interesting.
"At McMaster, an important part of our high school outreach programming is to make our research excellence more accessible to high school students and teachers," said President Peter George. "GIS Day highlights our strengths in geographical analysis and systems and enables high school teachers and students to receive hands-on GIS training and skills upgrading. This is an excellent example of a McMaster priority in action -- partnering with our secondary schools to improve the quality of education."
McMaster's GIS Day is part of the School of Geography and Geology's Geomatics High School Outreach Program, which raises the visibility of the field of geomatics among high school students and their teachers.
"The McMaster GIS Day has many elements that make it a very worthwhile experience for our students," said Dino Crapsi, head of geography at Westdale High School. "The guest speakers and workshops enable our students to get a 'big picture' from GIS users out in the real world. The research poster contest also provides our students with the opportunity to showcase their own progress and research problem solving skills using GIS software."
GIS Day will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
in the Burke Science Building, Rooms 119, 147, 248 and 249.