Science and Technology

Geospatial Semester program recognized as a 'Program that Works'


A James Madison University outreach program that gives high school seniors an experience similar to what they will face in college or on a job has been recognized as a "2015 Program that Works" by The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.

JMU's Geospatial Semester was one of 10 programs recognized by the coalition at events this week in Richmond. The awards recognize exemplary science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs that make a positive impact on student or teacher learning. To be considered for the award, programs must be at least two years old, must include an evaluation component, and must demonstrate that they are sustainable and can be replicated by others.

Dr. Bob Kolvoord, dean of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering, started the Geospatial Semester in 2005 with help from Northern Virginia high school teacher Kathryn Keranen. High school seniors in the program learn cutting-edge technology and apply it to explore local issues. Their projects have included examining urban growth patterns, identifying wetlands and developing a community evacuation plan.

"We're moving out of the high school standardized test mode and into a more open-ended, project-based, develop-more-responsibilities-for-your-own-learning kind of situation so that when they get either into work or they get here or elsewhere in higher ed, they've got a step up," Kolvoord said.

The Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to achieving excellence in mathematics and science education for Virginia’s K-12 and higher education students.

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Published Jan. 22, 2015

Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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