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GRACE Project

The GRACE (GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education) Project, sponsored by the National Science foundation, was developed by Eastern Michigan University and partners as a strategy for expanding and disseminating technology-based education for STEM careers in K12, and in the workplace by aligning the resources from multiple educational and community organizations.

Overview: A statewide learning community of teachers who are interested in adopting GIS/T (Geographic Information Systems and Technology) as an instructional technology will be formed and supported, while a statewide consortium of schools and community organizations will be established to provide professional geomentors to teachers and workforce experience opportunities for students through paid or volunteered internships for qualified students who progress through the training program.

The goal is to recruit a minimum of 120 teachers and 5000 students in grades 8-12 to start a three-tiered GIS/T learning process.

  • The Explorer level introduces 5000 students to GIS/T through the ArcGIS Online Portal and through demonstrations developed with online GIS/T tools to build the students basic understanding of GIS/T as well as pique student curisity.
  • The Investigator level lererages 2500 of these students curisity and interest and prepares them to work with GIS/T lesson modules that are designed to enhance science and engineering practices and align with the Nect Generation Science Standards.
  • The Intern level provides 300-500 of these students with professional GIS/T training and with opportunites to gain work experiences in local organizations as Interns.

Students apply the skills they’ve acquired through the last two phases to gain job skills and solve authentic problems. The professional development activities for teachers are tightly integrated with this progressive learning process so that adequate instructional and technical mentoring and support will be provided to support students at each level.

Educational Team Partners:

Eastern Michigan University (EMU)

Michigan Virtual University (MVU)

Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network (MMSCN)

Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA)

Community Team Partner:

Michigan Communities Association of Mapping Professionals (MiCAMP)

Intellectual Merit: The GRACE team is well positioned to:

  • Demonstrate how to team-up GIS/T organizations and professional volunteers with schools, students and teachers for integrating authentic GIS/T applications in curricula and for providing a 'foreseeable' career incentive for students to enthusiastically participate inSTEM learning at schools, especially for rural and underrepresented communities;
  • Study motivations and hindrances of intergrating GIS/T into science and social studies classrooms; and
  • Develop an effective delivery model- the use of online and blended learning to transform the speed, replicability, and consistency of delivering instruction that is personalized and customized to increase motivation and schievement for students.

The project findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional meetings, such as the:

  • Michigan Science Teachers Association
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Thus, the lessons learned with the GRACE model will be disseminated more broadly.

MiCAMP’s Role

As the Community Team Partner, MiCAMP’s role is to identify members who will work closely with teachers to provide professional geomentoring and more advanced GIS/T tools to enable students to obtain the desired skill and experience level for the student Investigators and lay the foundation for them to grow into Interns. Then, MiCAMP members will provide workforce experience opportunities for students through paid or volunteered hands-on internships for qualified student in an agency or organization as the capstone.