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Interacting with the world is an inherently spatial activity. From the time we get up in the morning until we go to sleep, we are faced with spatial decisions large and small. From deciding how to get to work or school to understanding how events in far-off lands impact our lives, we need to be able to reason spatially and think geographically. With the increasing focus on globalization, the need for these skills is more and more acute, yet they remain beyond the reach of many teachers and students.
Investigating Your World With My World GIS will introduce you and your students to applications of geographic information system (GIS) software in social studies and science, using My World GIS software. The collection’s twelve projects were designed to span a range of curricular areas and grade levels and to use the powerful features of My World GIS to help students learn key content and practice spatial problem solving. The projects were developed by active curriculum developers and users of My World GIS in K-12 and higher education.
For the Introduction and Overview for the collection of projects, click here.
The twelve projects below are for a variety of grade levels and address a key question. Each includes student instructions, answer sheets, answer keys, and instructor notes. These are not consecutive, meaning students can start on any project, but the first six have more step-by-step instructions and illustrations to help in developing skills with the My World GIS software. The projects also include any needed data, although some have students collect and import new data into My World GIS.
How does climate determine the plants and animals that are able to inhabit a particular location?
How do ocean currents impact seasonal sea surface temperatures?
How fast is the Greenland ice sheet melting, and what are the possible impacts of that change?
What factors influence the health of urban watersheds?
What are the limits on the spread of invasive species?
What is the length of a degree longitude and latitude in your geographic location, and how does it affect sunrise and sunset?
How does the accuracy of what we know about Earth’s surface affect how we think about places? What are the considerations we take when choosing how we get from one place to another?
How can analysis of both historical accounts and geographic information help us to interpret events of the past?
How does the mapping of a cemetery allow one to discover burial patterns?
How did Japanese Internment affect the population of Japanese Americans?
How did the settlement and transportation patterns in early America change over time?
How do demographics influence business decisions? What spatial relationships contribute to the success of businesses?