CBK seventh graders have been engaged in creating StoryMap websites, a project which targets research, media literacy, questioning, geography, and writing skills. Through a partnership with the software company ESRI, Cedarbrook students use ESRI’s advanced GIS (Geographic Information System) platform to share their research and personal connections to a place they select using interactive maps, text and photos.
“The project allows us to connect with professionals who use GIS for different applications as part of their jobs,” said teacher Isaac Stanford, who initially developed this project as part of the district's PBL initiative, and it went over so well that the two other seventh grade teams have adopted the activity. “And, as part of the project, scholars explore different careers that use GIS such as app developers, drone pilots, and climate scientists.”
After selecting a location, scholars study the questioning techniques in the book “A More Beautiful Question”by Warren Berger to write their own research questions. Before conducting research, students learn how to seek out reliable sources using curriculum from the News Literacy Project. Students then use their research questions to investigate the location they selected and finally create the interactive GIS websites.