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GIS Day reaches Palm Vista Elementary

26 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

Members of the Combat Center’s Geospatial Information and Services hosted the first GIS Day at Palm Vista Elementary School Nov. 20, 2013. Fourth through sixth-grade students were given the opportunity to use map-making equipment.

“I really enjoyed sharing our knowledge with the kids,” said Richard Gateley, manager, GI&S. “It gives them an opportunity to learn about our small and growing field. I was impressed by their eagerness to learn, and was especially impressed by their quick ability to grasp the basic concepts of our field.”

Fourth-grade students were the first to celebrate GIS Day. The students watched an educational presentation on how to use equipment such as global positioning systems and electronic maps. After the presentation, they were split into three groups and assigned a different activity.

One group went outside to plot different points throughout the elementary school. The children were told to plot things including trash cans, basketball hoops, and shrubs. Once the students plotted the points they uploaded the information onto a computer. The children entered the points; onto the electronic map and completed it by adding a title, legend and compass rose.

Another group was given coordinates to follow. The students typed the coordinates into a GPS and walked to their next location. Each location had more coordinates and clues as to where the prize was located. The final coordinates led the children to their prizes of candy and different GIS-themed items.

While the other groups were making maps and following coordinates, the third group learned about grid lines and how to read distance on a map. The students were given a grid point on a map prescribed and distances to follow which eventually led to their prize.

“Events like GIS Day are important,” said Caleb Torrey, analyst, GI&S. “The interaction between the base and schools helps the community grow together.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms