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Teacher GIS Project Ideas

Selected Classroom Activity Ideas

1. How has radioactivity (that the general public is exposed to) changed since the industrial revolution in USA?

Utilizing USGS GIS Census Data and researching some history websites, make a timeline of creation of technology. Research how much radioactivity is associated with each type of technology, talk to utilities to determine a range used.

2. What wildlife lives in your backyard?

Let students get familiar with various wildlife and the importance of food chain using website. Students collect data and take pictures using smart phones. Upload data to Google Earth, observe trends. Are certain animals found in one habitat? Have students research ecological services/importance of the animals, present findings and recommended conservation practices for animals.

3. What are the best locations for school buses to pick up students if front-door pick-up/drop-off is no longer available?

Using the school zone GIS data to identify highest student density areas, also identify 3-4 routes that will service the greatest number of students. Use GIS basic analysis function identify 2-3 sites along each route that are large and safe enough for waiting for buses/rides.

4. How many different species of trees are within a 0.5 mile radius of the school?

Separate students into groups of 2-3, each with at least one smart phone or tablet. Map trees around the school’s campus with pictures taken also. Students can use GIS census information to map what demographics influence the type/popularity of the tree. (Age of house, type of household, factor in size of tree).

5. Use GIS software to identify properties of high conservation priorities for TN River Gorge Trust.

Load TN Rivers, Streams and Hamilton County shapefiles, create polygon for Hamilton County and clip all streams within county boundary. Create 1.5 mile buffer around TN River, load parcel owner and Hamilton County Property value data. Have students develop decision making flow chart to determine properties of both high conservation priority and high property value. Present decision making process, justifications, and analysis results/recommendations to class and community partners.

6. What are the basic characteristics of the three volcanoes types (shield, composite, dome)?

Using Google Earth, enter the coordinates of the first volcano, measure volcano’s elevation, relief, radius and slope. Complete table for each volcano, sketch each volcano’s profile to scale. Answer teacher’s questions at the conclusion of the worksheet once students have measured each volcano.

7. How has weather, time, etc. changed our school? How is chemistry involved in this process?

Students will find examples of weathering, erosion, dilapidation of our high school, record location with GPS, take photo of location. Describe what is happening at location and what can of chemistry is involved in this process. Could then transition into community project: How can we fix any of these problems within our school?

8. How does water temperature effect bacterial growth around Johnsonville TVA powerplant?

Use ArcGIS.com basemap to choose sites to be tested TVA Plants (down river 1 mile, up river 1 mile). For 3 weeks take water samples 3 times a day at each site. Identify bacteria and growth. Plug data collected into Excel, use ArcGIS.com to map collected data. Look for trends, draw conclusions.