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5 Reasons to get involved in "Let’s Get Spatial Canada" this fall

Let’s Get Spatial Canada is aimed at encouraging K-12 educators and GIS Ambassadors to bring GIS to K-12 classrooms across the country.  In this blog, you will discover 5 reasons to get involved in this GIS initiative.

No matter the subject, geographic information systems (GIS) is a powerful tool that engages students in learning and allows them to use maps and analysis to explore a specific topic or issue.  This fall, we encourage K-12 educators and GIS Ambassadors to get involved in Let’s Get Spatial Canada – an initiative to get more students using GIS across the country.

The Let’s Get Spatial Canada logo displays an outline of a maple leaf with a street map underlaid it.

Here are 5 Reasons to get involved in Let’s Get Spatial Canada:

  1. For educators - It’s a great opportunity to request a GIS Ambassador to support an activity or an event at your school that will be educational for your students.
  2. For GIS Ambassadors: It gets you closer to obtaining the GIS Ambassador Badges that you are working towards.
  3. Access to resources - We have prepared cross-curricular resources that you can use for your GIS activity or event. They  are organized into different categories – Elementary (K-6), Middle and High School (7-12). They include web maps, story maps, apps and tutorials.
  4. ArcGIS is free and relevant for K-12! ArcGIS allows students to explore and analyse different issues in the world. Through maps, they will engage in their learning and gain important skills, like critical and spatial thinking. The students can apply these skills in higher education and future careers. ArcGIS includes the following: ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS StoryMaps, ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Pro and many other apps. Request access to ArcGIS
  5. Be part of a community of GIS users and supporters! Using ArcGIS with allow you to share your work with other educators and GIS Ambassadors across Canada.

Get planning now by going over how you can get involved this coming school year.

For Educators who want to facilitate the activity on their own:

  1. Explore our resources to select an activity you can do with your class
  2. Set a date and add your GIS activity to the Let’s Get Spatial Canada survey

An image displaying a fun map of Canada for young children.

The Children’s Map of Canada is an excellent resource for younger students (K-3). They can become explorers as they search and learn about features representing Canadian communities, environment, landscape, culture, and creatures. Through this activity, they will be more spatially aware of where things are located in Canada.

For Educators who want an activity facilitated by a GIS Ambassador:

  1. Connect with a GIS Ambassador (Please request as soon as possible)
  2. Explore our resources to select an activity you want the GIS Ambassador to do with the class.
  3. Set a date and the GIS Ambassador can add the GIS event to the Let’s Get Spatial Canada survey.

Image of a collection of resources for Middle and High School learners.

The Middle + High School Resources include tutorials, presentations and apps that support spatial learning from grades 7-12.

For GIS Ambassadors:

  1. Connect with a teacher – contact k12@esri.ca (Please request as soon as possible) or email the teacher directly that you have in mind.
  2. Explore our resources to select an activity you want to do with the class.
  3. Set a date and add your GIS activity/event to the Let’s Get Spatial Canada survey.

Image of a collection of resources for Elementary school learners.

The Elementary Resources include tutorials, presentations and apps that support spatial learning from K-6.

We are excited to see how many activities/events will occur this fall. Check out the Let’s Get Spatial Canada map in the future to see where mappy things are happening.

Share your activity or event with us, and you may be highlighted in an upcoming blog post later this year.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander