More than 5,000 students from high schools and colleges throughout the United States competed in the 43rd Annual SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, June 26, 2007. June Garneau of Berlin, New Hampshire, earned a gold medal in the Postsecondary Geospatial Technology Challenge, receiving ESRI’s ArcView software and extensions (valued at $10,000) and a $1,000 scholarship. The competition, held at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and Competition, was sponsored by Digital Quest, Inc. (www.digitalquest.com), and SkillsUSA (www.skillsusa.org). They awarded Garneau with the gold medal for her project with White Mountain Regional High School, her exceptionally high Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing (STARS) exam score, and her completion of challenge events at the conference.
Garneau, a 2007 graduate of the one-year Spatial Information Technology/GIS certificate program at New Hampshire Community Technical College in Berlin, has particular interest in geographic information system (GIS) technology. “My interest began one year prior to the competition, when I enrolled in a GIS course for kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers,” said Garneau. “I was so interested after the course that I decided to pursue the field of GIS. I am so pleased to end my year of study with this competition and the gold medal.”
Garneau’s project introduced White Mountain Regional High School students to geospatial technology to find the best location for a garden. Using global positioning systems (GPS) data collection, surface model development, and site analysis based on preset competition criteria, Garneau spent more than 80 hours on the project, which involved using digitizing techniques and GPS data collecting to create a campus-based model including buildings, water sources, sports facilities, and other campus features. From her base model, a three-dimensional model was created and a preferred garden location was established based on six preset criteria.
“The experience gave me a unique opportunity to expand my knowledge, build my confidence and abilities in GIS, and successfully meet challenges that took me through a whole range of skill sets,” said Garneau.
High school, community college, and university students, particularly those interested in participating in the 2008 competition, can download the free 2007 SkillsUSA Competition hands-on examination from www.esri.com/arclessons or from the new ESRI Education Community portal at www.esri.com/edcommunity under Instructional Materials.