Statewide License Enables Students to Build Skills to Further Their Education
Redlands, California—January 14, 2010—The adoption of ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) software statewide marks the next step for West Virginia in doing its part in the national effort to expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Many policy makers, researchers, and educators are concerned about the lack of STEM-oriented subjects taken by today’s high school students as they prepare to enter college or the workforce. State and district education agencies, as well as private educational organizations, are boosting their effort to address STEM content and skills.
According to Charlie Fitzpatrick, K–12 education manager at ESRI, "More and more states see value in GIS for all students, in all grades and subject areas, because it fosters integrative thinking, analysis, problem solving, and communication. These are critical skills students must master not only to make the most of social studies and STEM education but also to become effective workers and informed citizens."
During the past few years, West Virginia’s Department of Education has conducted GIS seminars for its teachers at its Social Studies Summer Institute and annual Teacher Leadership Institute. In addition, the West Virginia Geographic Alliance regularly offers seminars and classes in ArcGIS software.
"We are excited about the prospect of providing GIS instruction throughout our elementary and secondary schools," says Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education. "We are focusing our attention on grades 6 through 12; however, we have not limited the use of GIS to any particular grade level."
For more information about ESRI’s GIS for Schools program, visit www.esri.com/schools.
Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news.