Five Grade 12 Students at Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy Present Project at Esri Canada’s The Science of Where Conference

Dr. G. Brent Hall, Director of Education, Esri Canada; Campbell Hart, Sophie Blondin, Becca Clark, Kiera Doyle, Alex Conrad, Grade 12 students at Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy; Bruce Miller, Global Geography 12 Teacher, Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy; and Alex Miller, President and Founder, Esri Canada (Left to right).

Congratulations to five Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy Grade 12 students, Kiera Doyle, Alex Conrad, Becca Clark, Campbell Hart and Sophie Blondin, who recently had the unique opportunity to present their project entitled Analyzing Human and Environmental Interactions Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the Esri Canada User Conference held in Halifax on November 14 to 15, 2017.

After being introduced to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software as part of their Global Geography 12 class by their teacher, Bruce Miller, students were asked if they would be interested in working on an extra-curricular project to present at the ESRI's GIS Conference.  These students volunteered and decided that their project would focus on an investigation of the recent deaths of the right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The students used GIS software to plot the locations of whale deaths and entanglements, and then used other layers of data, such as shipping routes, fishing zones, depth maps, and ocean temperature changes to analyze why the whales are in the Gulf and why they are being killed. After many lunchtime working sessions, they completed their interactive Story Map for their Analyzing Human and Environmental Interactions Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) project.

At the Conference, students had the opportunity to attend several sessions outlining how GIS is used by professionals across Canada and then they presented to conference delegates how they used the software. Of particular note, they were the only high school students who presented, and their presentation was very well received. “This learning opportunity exposed students to a powerful and increasingly common way of understanding many issues in the world today and will allow them to use the skills they learned in future endeavors,” said Mr. Miller.

The students’ presentation may be viewed at Analyzing Human and Environmental Interactions Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the conference website may be accessed at Esri Canada.