Friday, April 24, 2015

River Journey Experience To Be Shared in Teacher Training

The River Journey team will share their experiences using GIS Story Maps in the River Journey project with other teachers this summer in a training workshop called "Mapping the Journey with GIS: Place-based, Experiential, Environmental Education Workshop."

The workshop will introduce participants to the ways GIS can support their environmental education goals, and guide them through the process of creating a story map based on an experience like what River's Edge Academy students had this year. Teachers will create a plan to apply GIS in their own teaching work, and receive support as they develop and implement it after the workshop. Registration is open as of this post, at this link: Mapping the Journey with GIS

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

River's Edge Academy registers River Journey Project for National EE Week!

River's Edge Academy registered for National EE Week today! The form asks for an event day in 2015... In this year-long project it is hard to choose one day, so we selected June 4th, the Celebration of Learning and graduation day that caps off the whole year of learning and exploration.

EE Week Event
"River Journey: Exploring the Value of the Mississippi River," a year long place-based, experiential, environmental education project at River's Edge Academy in St. Paul, will culminate June 4th, 2015 at the charter high school's Celebration of Learning and senior graduation event on the Minnesota Showboat, at the edge of the Mississippi River.

Student Entry in a GIS Story Map from River Journey
Students will present GIS Story Maps they made throughout the year about their river experiences and learning as part of the Greening STEM aspects of the project. One map documents students' journey upstream and downstream to discover how their drinking water and sewage are connected to the Mississippi River. Other maps show how students incorporated river and water themes into their coursework in English, Science, Math, and Humanities. The Celebration of Learning will be the public premier of the online suite of maps created by the students to share their learning and inform the public about the vital role of the Mississippi River.

Guest Speaker, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf

Researcher, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf
and High School Humanities Teacher, Sky Davey
at River's Edge Academy
As part of River Journey this spring, teachers at River's Edge Academy are incorporating river and water themes into core content classes. In the Civil War unit, humanities teacher, Sky Davey will be engaging his students in map study and map making to explore the role of the Mississippi River in the Civil War, with particular attention to the Battle of Vicksburg.

To support that exploration, Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota, visited the class on Monday, April 20th, to share her research as an art historian, on the role and perception of maps of the Mississippi River in the 1800's.  She showed a variety of map examples to highlight questions such as:

Detail of ribbon map from 1800's
showing the city of Vicksburg
What does the map show and not show and why?
Who is the map maker and who is the audience?
How was the map displayed?
In what context was the map used?
What was its purpose?
What was the access to the map, and by whom?
What was the influence of the map?

Nenette will be presenting this Thursday, April 23rd at the University of Minnesota in a related talk, titled, "Image as Levee: the Mississippi River before Mark Twain" speaking about maps as well as other images of the Mississippi River.

Thanks, Nenette for your time and insights!