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Get your students involved in a GIS challenge this year!

Looking to get your students involved in a mapping competition this year? Find out what challenges are available to your students and how they can get involved.

Are you a teacher who’s interested in encouraging your students to explore a local, regional or national issue using ArcGIS? Well, we highly recommend the following challenges to give your students a competitive edge.

Skills Canada GIS Competition

Skills Canada is a national non-profit organization that promotes careers in technology and skilled trades. Every year, Esri Canada’s Education and Research group supports the GIS competitions that are held in Ontario and Manitoba. Each competition is open to secondary school students who are interested in solving a real-world question using ArcGIS technology.


In teams of two, students that compete can choose to use or to answer the question. Not only is this experience a great opportunity for students to challenge themselves, but they also get to meet judges who are GIS Ambassadors and professionals working in Ontario. Students get to see how GIS can be used in different industries across the province.

Winning team’s poster from 2018.

Students compete individually in this province using ArcGIS Desktop. The challenge will consist entirely of practical digital map generation, data analysis and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their ability to efficiently perform essential GIS and computer-assisted mapping skills such as data creation/management, GIS analysis and mapping and product presentation skills. 

If you are interested in getting your students involved this year, check out the previous competition questions and the Skills GIS Competition preparation document to prepare your students. If you have any questions, feel free to contact

Esri Canada Schools Story Map Competition

Esri Canada invites grades 6-12 students to share a personal story or study a phenomenon within their community, Province or Canada and share their findings in an ArcGIS Story Map. This digital mapping competition opened on February 11th and will close on May 2nd.

Encourage your students to submit a story map to the 2019 Esri Canada Schools Story Map competition.

Student Prizes

  • 1st Prize: $300, plaque, & class pizza party
  • 2nd Prize: $200
  • 3rd Prize: $150

Educator Prize

Educator submitting the First Prize winning entry wins a trip to attend the 2019 Education Summit @ Esri User Conference in San Diego, CA July 6th – 9th. Approximate retail value of the Educator Prize based on a Toronto departure is $3,600 CAD.

Check out the 2018 submissions from the inaugural year, including the top 10 entries.

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