Washington-Lee High School Uses Problem-based Learning and ArcGIS

Sarah Chase-Walsh and Noah Pilchen of Washington-Lee High School share their GIS project work.

Jul 23rd, 2012

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00:01Well, let's continue on.

00:03Each year at our conference, we invite a team of students to share their work as a source of inspiration for us.

00:10So please welcome, from Washington Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, Sarah Chase Walsh and Noah Pilchen.

00:17Thanks, John. Thanks. Good morning. I'm Sarah Chase Walsh.

00:26I'm here with my classmates today representing Washington Lee High School of Arlington, Virginia...

00:31...and the James Madison University Geospatial Semester Program.

00:36Seven years ago, Dr. Robert Kolvoord and Miss Kathryn Keranen created the semester program...

00:41...bringing GIS to twelfth-grade students in Virginia.

00:45The geospatial semester is currently taught in 17 high schools across the state.

00:50We get a strong introduction into GIS and even earn college credit as a high school student.

00:56We started the class with little to no GIS knowledge, and gradually, through hands-on guided practice, learned to use ArcMap.

01:05Our teacher, Mr. Ryan Miller, partnered with several local GIS users, allowing our class to examine real-world problems.

01:14In our final projects, you'll see how we apply these GIS skills using the problem-based learning format.

01:20Now I want to turn it over to my friend and classmate, Noah Pilchen.

01:24Thanks, Sarah. For my final project, I worked with Jen McDonnell, a storm water specialist from Arlington, Virginia.

01:31One of her roles is applying No Dumping labels to storm sewers.

01:34She'd been keeping track of these using a highlighter and a wall-sized map of Arlington.

01:39I was able to create an electronic version of this map for her using ArcMap 10.1...

01:44...and then created a service on ArcGIS Online and the ArcGIS Mobile app. I began working in ArcMap.

01:52Using ArcCatalog, I created a coded value domain, so that when the user wants to edit the map...

01:57...they can use a pull-down menu and choose Unmarked, Some Marked, or Fully Marked...

02:01...depending on the sewer's label status. I've also assigned a specific color for each option.

02:06I then published the map onto our ArcGIS Online account.

02:12Arlington County recently published a series of maps onto ArcGIS Online...

02:16...and so I've chosen to use one of their maps as my basemap today. I've also chosen to display watershed boundaries...

02:21...because in the end, this project is to prevent watershed pollution.

02:24I'm going to turn this layer off now, though, and turn on the layer that I made in ArcMap.

02:31To edit the map, all the user has to do is click on the street they want to edit and click the edit.

02:41I've configured the pop-up window to only show the sewer status, as opposed to all the other attributes for that street.

02:47The color changes, depending on which selection is chosen.

02:54This is better than the original paper map, but the user still needs a computer in order to make the edits...

02:59...so for that I switched to the iPad. As a class, we attended the Federal User Conference this year in Washington, DC.

03:06While there, I noted that many of the users used the mobile app in order to make edits in the field.

03:12I found this to be the perfect medium for my map.

03:15As the mobile app updates, the edit that I made in the online map is visible here. Similarly to the ArcGIS Online format...

03:32...the same user-friendly drop-down menu is visible in the Arc mobile [sic] format.

03:42To conclude, I want to thank the Arlington County GIS department for all the data that they've shared...

03:47...and after this conference, I plan to share all of my work with them. Thank you.

03:57Thanks, Noah. Thanks, Sarah. We'll be hearing more from the students from Washington Lee a little bit later.

04:03But I want to answer this question--why did we choose to share this presentation with you right now?

04:09It's because these students represent the next generation of GIS professionals, and they are cloud ready.

04:17They see a problem, they attack a problem, and they use the cloud in order to solve that problem.

04:22I'll tell you a funny story. When we first met Noah, we went to his school, and he was going to show us a presentation.

04:27And we walked into the conference room, and...well, where's the laptop?

04:31Where’s the projector? How do we connect to the Wi-Fi?

04:34Noah walks in, he puts his iPhone on the table and just starts showing it to us.

04:38And it was a wake-up call that this next generation of GIS professionals...

04:43...well, sometimes they think a little bit differently than we do.

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