Friday, November 21, 2008

GIS Day

I spent Wednesday morning at the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base. Wednesday was GIS Day, a day intended to celebrate the role of GIS data and tools in many aspects of modern life.

I was one of many volunteers from the Delaware GIS community hosting fifth graders from three Delaware schools for a GIS Day field trip at the museum. We squired them through a series of learning stations including activities teaching about maps and map data, weather emergencies and emergency preparedness, and using GPS to help locate accident victims.

As a centerpiece, we had the Earth Balloon from the Delaware Children's Museum. This is a 19-foot inflatable globe into which kids can enter with an instructor to see all manner of geography from the inside.

Wednesday evening, the event was open to the public. I had to miss that; I had a Lewes Planning Commission meeting that night. It wasn't the only GIS day event; the City of Dover GIS folks hosted an for city staff to demonstrate the ,many uses of the technology in the capitol city.

I spent my Wednesday morning with 14 fifth graders from McVey Elementary School, in Newark, a very nice bunch of kids. Fifth grade is an interesting age. We had little tiny kids and boys who had shot up above their classmates and whose voices have dropped an octave. There were young ladies of great self-possession with bright, inquiring minds. They worked well together. They listened. They were a pleasure to work with.

I was also very pleased with the work done by the folks who created the event, led by Megan Nehrbas, of Sussex County government, with help from Miriam Pomilio, of the Delaware Geological Survey. They have created a new educational resource that I hope will continue in the years to come.

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