AGU 2018
Increasing Underrepresented High School Students’ STEM Career Awareness and Interest: An Informal Geospatial Science Program

Garrett C. Millar, Eric S. Money, Kyle S. Bunds, Helena Mitasova

Background & Motivation

  • Importance of STEM interest and awareness
  • Students begin losing interest in science as early as elementary school
  • Can a more meaningful learning experience be given? How?
    • Geospatial technologies (GSTs)

Tangible Landscape:

A tangible user interface powered by open source GIS

Tangible Landscape: Design & Concept

With Tangible Landscape you can hold a GIS in your hands - feeling the shape of the earth, sculpting its topography, and directing the flow of water.

Student Demographics

Results & Conclusions

  • Goal 1: Improving student competence in science
    • Student project presentations: Average 3.39 (out of 4) on being able to explain background material
  • Goal 2: Nurturing student enthusiasm for science
    • 56% of participants indicated an increased interest in learning science.
  • Goal 3: Interesting students in research or other science-related careers
    • 80% of parents stated their child gained skills to use in a STEM career

Future Directions

  • Increased use of geospatial technologies
    • Tangible Landscape
  • Time alloted for project activities
  • Looking into the future


Thank you!