2021 North Carolina GIS Competition for Grades 4-12
2021 North Carolina GIS Competition for Grades 4-12
What: An online GIS map making contest
April 24, 2021 – Recommended deadline for North Carolina school level competition submissions for review at the school level to select top five for submission to the State Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
May 5, 2021 – Schools must submit up to five school level winners to State Committee for competition judging by 5 p.m.
May 19, 2021 – State Panel will submit top five middle schools (grades 4–8) and top five high schools (grades 9–12) winners to Esri by 5 p.m.
June 1, 2021 – Esri will announce top national submission for middle school (grades 4 – 8) and high school (grades 9–12).
July 10 – 13, 2021 – Top national winners* will attend the Esri Education GIS Summit in San Diego, CA. *Winners must agree to attend the conference.
Who is Eligible: North Carolina public, private, or homeschooled students are eligible to enter the contest. Maps can be submitted individually or as a team of two students. Limit of one entry per student or team.
- Entrants must be pre-collegiate students, registered in grades 4–12 at the time of project submission, from public schools or non-public schools including home schools, who have not yet received a high school diploma or equivalent
- Entrants must reside and be in school in the United States, including districts or territories, or attending a Department of Defense Education Association school: 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and DODEA sites. (Thus, “state” in this document means one of these 57 units.)
- Students can work singly or in a team of two, but can participate in only one entry. Teams with one student in middle school (grades 4–8) and one in high school (grades 9–12) must be considered as high school.
- Entrants may work on the challenge through school, via a club, or independently, but entries must be submitted to the state from a recognized school or home school, their primary school of record in case of engaging in activities at more than one school.
- Any school or home school program can submit to the state a maximum of five (5) entries total, counting the sum of middle school and high school entries.
Challenge: Your challenge is to create an original North Carolina based map on a topic of interest or concern to you and connected to your school curriculum in some way. The area mapped can range from the entire state to a smaller area, like a county or city.
ArcGIS Online Requirement:
Entries must be from an ArcGIS Organization account (not a “public account”).
Any K12 school (public, non-public, or home school) or formal youth club can request for free an ArcGIS School/Club Bundle (includes an ArcGIS Organization account).
- Entry forms (student/s to school, school to state, state to Esri) will be on this site (NC 4-H) during the Spring of 2021 once available.
- Entries must be from an ArcGIS Online Organization account (not a “public account”). Any K12 school (public, non-public, or homeschool) or formal youth club can request for free an ArcGIS School/Club Bundle (includes an ArcGIS Organization account).
- Entries must be in the form of a StoryMap (“new” template), or a Story Map (any of the “classic” templates), or an ArcGIS web app (via template or builder).
- Entries must focus on content within North Carolina borders. The project may reference data outside of North Carolina “for context,” but may not extend the focus of the study beyond North Carolina borders. For example, broader patterns of environmental characteristics or demographic movements may be referenced for context, but the focus must be on phenomena within North Carolina.
- Schools must announce their own internal deadlines, in time to complete judging and provide information to North Carolina contact (email@example.com) by 5 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. North Carolina must submit data to Esri no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Prizes: The five maps judged the best in each division will be awarded a $100 prize and will move to national level judging.
Middle School Division – grades 4–8
Senior High Division – grades 9–12
Note: Teams spanning grade levels will be entered in the division of the student at the upper grade.
Award-winning maps will remain visible to the public for one year.
- Account: Entries must be from an ArcGIS Online Organization account, not a “public account.” This can be an Org operated by, e.g., the student’s school or club, the district, the state GIS Education Team, or a similar group.
- Login: Entries must be visible without requiring a login. Entries engaging “premium data” (login required, such as Living Atlas) must set the display to permit access without needing a login. See helpful note.
- Originality: Entries must be “original work by students,” conceived, created, and completed entirely by the student(s) submitting the entry. Class projects turned into an entry by one student, and teacher-directed projects, are not acceptable. Projects may use data generated by outside persons or institutions, within guidelines of “fair use.” (Students are encouraged to use appropriate professionally generated GIS data, but these must be documented, and the integration, treatment, and presentation must be original.)
- Visual Supports: Because this is meant to be a “map-centric” exploration, analysis, and presentation of a geographic phenomenon, “non-map visuals” (images and videos) are limited to
- total up to 60 seconds of video, and
- total up to two images not created by the project author (e.g., 1 historic portrait photo plus 1 historic landscape photo), and
- total up to five images created by the project author (replication of project maps as smaller/thumbnail images, and items visible as popups within interactive maps, do not count against these limits).
- Short URL: Entries must provide to the school/state/Esri two links in “short URL” format
(e.g. “http;//arcg.is/1A2b3xyz”), where
- one link goes to the primary display page (the app or storymap), and
- one link goes to the item details page (the metadata page for the app or storymap). (A link to the item details page will require a login if the Org does not permit anonymous access and the link uses the form “<my_org>.maps.arcgis.com/etc;” to work around this, change the link to the form “www.arcgis.com/etc” before creating a short URL. Ad hoc short URLs can be generated at Bitly.)
- Scoring: We look for a clear focus/topic/question/story, good and appropriate data, effective analysis, good cartography, effective presentation, and complete documentation.
- Project Tips:
- Look at previous national winners and honorable mention projects, and especially the 2020 results. This is a “map competition.” Entries should address an identified issue/ puzzle/ challenge, not just documenting what’s where, but looking at “why it’s there, and so what.” Entries should be analytical in nature, map-centric rather than photo-centric, or relying on too much text. The use of videos or static images generated by anyone other than the team members must be carefully documented, and such media should be used sparingly; outside content generally detracts from national judging. The project must emphasize student work; professionally generated GIS data generally does not detract from national scores this way. A good way to judge project balance quickly is to identify the amount of time a viewer would spend consuming the entire project; map-based time and attention should be at least two thirds.
- Good projects gently help even a viewer unfamiliar with the region know quickly the location of the project focus. Requiring a viewer to Zoom out several times to determine the region of focus detracts from the viewing experience. (Pretend the viewer is from a different part of the country or a different country.)
- Maps should invite interactive exploration by the viewer, not be static (“images”). The presentation should hold the attention of the viewer from start to finish.
- Maps should demonstrate “the science of where” — the importance of location, patterns, and relationships between layers. There is an art to map design; too much data may feel cluttered, but showing viewers only one layer at a time may limit the viewers’ easy grasp of relationships.
- Care should be taken to make “popups” useful, limited to just the relevant information. They should add important information, and be formatted to make the most critical information easily consumable. These popups can include formatted text, key links, images, data presented in charts, and so forth.
- Document the project thoroughly. The 2020 awardees highlighted for documentation, and preceding national winners, show good documentation: organized and thorough.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- Schools should consider issues around exposing PII. See ArcGIS Online Organizations for Schools & Clubs for strategies for minimizing PII. Teachers and club leaders should help students minimize exposure of their own PII and that of others, including in map, image, and text.
- States must help potential entrants understand the level of PII required. Entries submitted to Esri for the top national prize (i.e., 1-HS and 1-MS) must agree in advance to expose student names, school names, and school city/state (homeschool students would be identified to closest city/town name).
- Esri does not seek, collect, or accept student names for any entrants other than the national prize entrants (1-HS and 1-MS per state). These and only these will have names exposed by Esri.