Social GIS : creating a mapping tool to engage middle and high school students with their neighborhoods and STEM

Tully, Kathleen
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Eglash, Ron, 1958-
Krishnamoorthy, M. S.
Adali, Sibel
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Computer science
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Full Citation
Girls and underrepresented ethnic groups tend to disengage from STEM subjects throughout middle and high school. In order to increase their participation in STEM fields, something has to change before they're deterred. Building on previous research showing individuals in these groups tend to respond more positively to STEM activities that connect to their lives or that can be used to help others, this thesis discusses the development of online GIS software created for use with middle and high school students that blends social justice, mapping and data science. We developed software and corresponding activities to spark an interest in math and computer science in all students. Activities ask students to compile and analyze real-world data to develop their own questions, critiques and conclusions with no wrong answers. The software was developed in a small team using mostly open-source tools, including Django and AngularJS. Over one year, another student and I concurrently developed an interactive Google Maps GUI front end and a RESTful back end.
May 2015
School of Science
Dept. of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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