Fairfax, South Lakes HS Students Present at Federal GIS User Conference

School News
February 20, 2020

students giving geographic information systems presentationGeospatial Analysis students from Fairfax High and South Lakes High presented their work before an audience of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals at the Federal GIS User Conference in Washington D.C., which typically draws about 5,000 federal, state, and local GIS professionals and is hosted by Esri. Fairfax High students Rylie, Jack, and Elisa shared a class-wide collaborative midterm project in which students mapped and reported on natural disasters that occurred in 2019. Presentations on Intense Tropical Cyclone Adai, the 2019 eruption of Stromboli, and other events utilized satellite imagery, GIS data creation, spatial analysis, and storytelling using Esri Story Maps. Students from South Lakes High presented individual projects.  Sam shared his analysis of Fairfax crime. Camryn highlighted impacts of rising sea levels on the local waterfront cities of Alexandria and Washington, D.C.  Mason presented a slope and aspect raster analysis of Telluride and Old Rag Mountain. Additionally, South Lakes alumnus Armando Drain, a graduate of Virginia Tech and current employee of Esri, presented to the group. The students attended the remainder of the conference where they heard presentations by GIS professionals and geographers, met college and company representatives, and attended workshops including one on tracking maritime threats. Geospatial Analysis is a dual-enrollment course focusing on problem-solving using mapping and GIS technology that is offered at five high schools in Fairfax County through James Madison University. Jason Smolinski teaches the class at Fairfax High, and Jonathan Pruess teaches the class at South Lakes High.  Contact Jason Smolinski at jtsmolinski@fcps.edu