a map included in one student project shows zoning in Sacramento

Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Student GIS Mapping Competition

Image including CGA logo and title of contest: "My California GIS Mapping SHowcase and Competition for 4th-12th grades"On May 12, the California Geographic Alliance announced the winners of the 5th 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 a StoryMap that focuses on stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them. The state competition is part of a national competition sponsored by Esri, creators of industry-leading ArcGIS Online software that is freely available to K-12 schools. $1,000 in prize money will be distributed to the students producing the top five projects in each division. The first place project in each division will also be advanced to the national competition.

The My California contest is coordinated by Dr. Waverly Ray, Associate Professor of Geography at San Diego Mesa College. A panel of academic and industry experts, all of whom serve as volunteers, serve as competition judges. Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou, Professor of Geography at San Diego State University, has served as head judge for the competition since its inception. The CGA is grateful for this support!

The CGA also sincerely thanks all of the superhero educators across the state who, despite all the challenges of this year, gave their students the great experience of using GIS to create their own maps and projects. Teachers are the best, and we appreciate your help in bringing the power of geographic thinking and geospatial technologies to your students.

And now the real stars of the show…

The first place prize in the 9th-12th grade division is awarded to Manuel Jurado of Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista for a project entitled “Money and School: Analysis and Depiction of Money at a Secondary Educational Level.” Mr. Jurado’s project explored the relationship between household income, AP course and test participation, and high school graduation rates. Judges gave the project high marks for its analysis and its use of StoryMap cartographic functions to illustrate key points.

The first place prize in the 4th-8th grade division is awarded to Fabian Flores Plascencia and Ahmed Kabbaj of James Rutter Middle School in Sacramento for a project entitled “From Retail to Multiple Residential.” This StoryMap examined the potential for addressing the critical housing shortage in one Sacramento City Council district by focusing on converting blighted retail properties to multi-family residential projects. The team consulted with government leaders and a range of experts and also conducted their own fieldwork!

Other students recognized in the 9th-12th grade division include:

Other students recognized in the 4th-8th grade division include: