Teaching GIS to EHS

Last Monday, Edwardsville high school students took to the campus with gps units at the ready. The students are part of the new advanced placement geography course being taught for the first time this semester. The course has been organized through a joint effort between Edwardsville high school and SIUE’s Geography Department.

“Most people really don’t understand what geography is,” SIUE professor Randy Pearson explained, “With this class we wanted to help them understand that geography is more than just names and places.”

The AP course is in human geography and allows students to work with Geographic Information Systems, (GIS) to collect and analyze data. The data the students collected Monday with their GPS units will later be uploaded into GIS software and used to make maps.

“It’s fun but it also gives them a real perspective on the technology,” said Pearson.

The goal of the class is to help students gain a better understanding of the science of geography before entering college. Most students who major in geography do so after being exposed to the broader science of it after entering college, by educating high school students about those aspects earlier those who are interested can start out looking at geography from the start of their college experience.

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