HTHS Sophomores Study Their State and Win in ArcGIS Online Competition

(Secaucus, NJ––June 14, 2021) High Tech sophomores Saranya Ganesan, Emma Dezenso, Catherine Gladbach, and Myra Poddar––all students in the Academy of Environmental Science and Sustainability––won prizes for their work at the 2021 ArcGIS mapping competition, announced Dr. Joseph A. Giammarella, Principal at High Tech High School.

The contest, which was sponsored by ESRI (maker of ArcGIS software), tasked students in participating states with telling a story about their community using the ArcGIS data mapping program. The “story” would be found in an analysis of layered data students explored surrounding a topic of interest. Working in pairs, Saranya and Emma’s story map used data to understand aspects of COVID-19 in New Jersey, while Myra and Catherine’s story map studied links between sustainability and income in New Jersey.

The winners are limited to five schools or individuals per state, and the High Tech duos earned two of the state’s five available awards. For their efforts, each group was awarded $100, along with the knowledge they gained about the software and how different aspects of environmental science impact their community.

Students were introduced to the contest through their instructor, Cathy Yuhas, in the course “Geospatial Technology: Intro to GIS” which they began as freshmen. In this course, students learned how to add layers of data to the maps using the ArcGIS online system, and then proceeded to analyze the data in order to discern the “story” that was revealed in their findings.

Collectively, the students said they were excited to have been a part of the competition, particularly given the challenge of COVID-19, adding “All of us have learned a lot and we are happy to represent High Tech.”

Ms. Yuhas added, “Congratulations to both teams for winning the competition! I am very proud of you all. It is so great that you took on the challenge to enter the competition during an abnormal school year.”

You can learn more about ArcGIS and the annual competition at this link.



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