Announcing the Winners of 2019 My California Student Mapping Competition

The California Geographic Alliance is pleased to announce the winners of the 3rd annual “My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition”. This exciting statewide opportunity encourages middle (4th-8th grade) and high school (9th-12th grade) students to harness the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and get connected with their state by producing an online map that focuseson stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them.

A panel of expert judges selected five state finalists in each category.  One outstanding project in each category will advance to a national competition, with the national winners announced on June 3rd.  Esri, an international supplier of geographic information system software headquartered in Redlands, California is the organizer of the national competition.

Working in teams of two or independently, students created projects on topics of their own choosing.  They looked at the history and landscapes of the state but some also took on pollution, food access, digital literacy, crime and punishment, drought resilience, disease transmission, and the impact of devastating wildfires in the state.  Some issues had special significance to youth: equitable access to skateboarding opportunities and changes in participation in high school football.  All projects referenced below are accessible for viewing online.

  • Finalists, Grades 4-8:
    • Winners (advance to national competition): Xavier R. Muñoz and Isaiah Thao, James Rutter Middle School, Sacramento: “Tubbs Fire” (
      ***UPDATE: This project was selected as national runner-up***
    • Stanley Vang and Akire Xiong, James Rutter Middle School, Sacramento: “Deer Creek Hills and the Gold Rush” (
    • Nathalia Magdaleno and Viet Truong, James Rutter Middle School, Sacramento: “Digital Literacy in Sacramento County” (
    • Marian Torres and Cody Nguyen , Los Coyotes Middle School, La Mirada: “Crime in Compton” (
    • Jose Coronado, James Rutter Middle School, Sacramento: “Camp Fire” (
  • Finalists, Grades 9-12:
    • Winners (advance to national competition): Paul Kim and Serli Khanbabael, Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta: “Heavy Metals Sediment Analysis Between LA Harbor and LA River” (
    • Evelyn Torres and Irma Mateo, Godinez Fundamental High School, Santa Ana: “Skate Equity for Santa Ana Youth” (
    • Guadalupe Barrera and Luis Ruvalcaba, Godinez Fundamental High School, Santa Ana: “The Reality of Food Access in Santa Ana” (
    • Adam Kaplan, Clark Magnet High School, La Crescenta: “California Drought and Snowpack” (
    • Robert Yetter and Omar Mora, Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista: “What Led to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in Downtown San Diego?” (