I came across GeoToys (at geotoystore.com through a Google ad (yeah, sometimes I actually look at them). They seem to focus on map based puzzles for kids, but they also carry a few other games and toys…in fact Postcards from America piqued my interest. And who wouldn’t want to hug the planet. Overall, an interesting site for finding fun ways to get your kids interested in a little geography.
One of the most common questions we get asked by students is “How do I get more hands-on experience with GIS before I graduate?” In our GIScience Research Lab, we can only offer jobs or internships to a couple of students a semester, and there is always more demand than supply. That’s why summer internships are a great way to get more experience. There are lots of them out there, but I saw the flyer for the ESRI Summer Internship Program for 2007 and I decided it would be a good time to do a post about the subject.
If you are working toward a career in geospatial technologies, you should definitely be on the lookout for internship possibilities. Many university programs have labs with internship programs in-house, and some even accept summer interns from other schools. You can also look for internships with private companies or public agencies. A number of our students have done internship with the USGS or private GIS firms.
The ESRI program is pretty big, with internship possibilities both in Redlands and at regional offices, and interns can work in different areas such as ArcGIS Product Development, Education Services, or Internet Development.
If you are interested in doing an internship this summer, now is the time to start applying, as many of the application deadlines are coming up over the next 2 months.
I was glancing through my issue of GITA’s Conference News that came today and I noticed a little writeup about the expansion of GITA’s “Location for Education” program, which allows middle and high school teachers to include GPS and location based exercises in their classes. Kits are available for 2-week periods, and include 12 GPS units, a video, a geo-caching book, and instructions. The teacher only has to pay the shipping costs to get the kit to them and back to GITA. There isn’t a lot of information up on the GITA website yet, just a landing page basically, but hopefully there will be more soon, and maybe even some supplementary materials to go along with the physical kits. Right now, you can call email for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone GITA at 303-337-0513. I know I am going to be forwarding the info to some teachers in the area that we have done outreach with before.
I think this is a great program, especially for schools who would like to include more geography and geospatial technologies in their curricula, but can’t afford to purchase specialized equipment like GPS receivers. I’d really like to see other organizations partner with GITA to really expand a program like this, and maybe start others.
It’s harder than you think. To test your skill, check out this flash game. It’s pretty tough, especially if you have to start with an interior state. The states come up in random order. I discovered that I honestly had no idea where Missouri or Arkansas were actually located on the map. I was WAY off on those two.
I got an 86% my first time out. Anyone else do better?
Zoom Into Maps is a nice educational tool for an introduction to historic maps and the Library of Congress’ digital map collections. There are digital images of maps on various themes, including exploration, migration, local places, and, since it’s getting close to election time, I especially enjoyed looking at the original broad-side from 1812 popularizing the term “Gerry-mander” and depicting the districts around Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts as a salamander.
If you are interested in historical maps and cartography, and want to see the amazing maps in the Library of Congress’ collection, then definitely check out Zoom Into Maps.
The journal archives of the Royal Society in the UK, which has been promoting scientific research for over 300 years, are now available online, and access to the archives will be free for 2 months (starting on Sept 14th). After that, it will only be available via subscription or fee-based downloads. This is an amazing and one-of-a-kind record of some of the most important scientific papers ever written.
From the website: “Spanning nearly 350 years of continuous publishing, the archive of nearly 60,000 articles includes ground-breaking research and discovery from many renowned scientists including: Bohr, Boyle, Bragg, Cajal, Cavendish, Chandrasekhar, Crick, Dalton, Darwin, Davy, Dirac, Faraday, Fermi, Fleming, Florey, Fox Talbot, Franklin, Halley, Hawking, Heisenberg, Herschel, Hodgkin, Hooke, Huxley, Joule, Kelvin, Krebs, Liebnitz, Linnaeus, Lister, Mantell, Marconi, Maxwell, Newton, Pauling, Pavlov, Pepys, Priestley, Raman, Rutherford, Schrodinger, Turing, van Leeuwenhoek, Volta, Watt, Wren, and many, many more influential science thinkers up to the present day.”
I think everyone should check it out. My only problem is where to start really.
I am continuing my cool stuff posts with the most amazing 3D periodic table of elements. Since the earth and everything on it are made of up these elements, I figured it is in fact geography-related. Each element in the periodic table is represented by a clear lucite block with a sample of the element embedded inside. For dangerous or ephemeral elements, the sample is replaced by a symbol or a photo of the person the element was named after. The periodic table is assembled by stacking the blocks in their appropriate location to create the 3D display. You can also buy a lovely illuminated frame to hold the blocks. Now, again, such lovely items do not come cheap, as the large size set of blocks complete with illuminated frame will run you over $17,000US. Still, it would be worth if I had that kind of money just lying around. Apparently the company, Theodore Gray, did their first installation at DePauw University in Indiana So, if you are at DePauw, head over to the new Julian Science and Math Center and take a look, then send us some photos or email us with your thoughts on whether it is, in fact, the coolest periodic table around.
For those of you interested in using GIS and remote sensing in conservation-related activities, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center is offering a week-long advanced GIS and remote sensing course from Sept. 11-15th at their facility in Virginia. They still have some slots left, and this would be a really good chance for people to learn about specific applications and issues related to Conservation GIS. The price is $1300, but does include lodging and breakfast.
A seventh grade geography teacher in Jefferson county Colorado was suspended for refusing to remove flags of nations from his classroom. Apparently Colorado has a state law the forbids displaying foreign flags unless they’re related to the curriculum at hand and temporary.
Gee, when I was in school they wanted you to actually know the flags. My how things have changed! If you’re in the Colorado area, I urge you to call your state represenatives about this issue. Banning flags in a geography class seems…. weird. Punishing a teacher for doing so seems down right stupid.
This past week, ESRI announced they have prepared a series of videos highlighting various aspects of GIS that can be used for GIS Day activities. I am a little late in blogging this, but we just talked to the ESRI rep at the GIS Day booth at the EdUC, and we’ve already picked up a CD. The videos will be available for free from the GIS Day booth at the User Conference here in San Diego. For those of you who can’t attend, I will try to find out how to get a copy, although there is probably info on the GISDay website.
It’s not too early to start planning you GIS Day 2006, since November 15th is right around the corner, so get cracking!