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Students Receive Award in Digital Mapping Competition

Mapping the Future

Two University View Academy students were among 5 in high schools across Louisiana awarded $100 each in a statewide competition involving precision geographic measurements.  The UVA students are eleventh grader Hunter Gravois and ninth-grader Andre Laurent, both from Sorrento.  

Hunter Gravois and Andre Laurent pose with their awards
From left, Andre Laurent and Hunter Gravois of University View Academy,  hold a facsimile of their award checks. 

Geographic Information System, GIS, is a technological field to gather, manage, and analyze location-based data.  GIS is used in everyday life.  For example, pest control is essential to agricultural production and GIS technology plays a vital role in mapping infested areas to develop more effective pest management plans.  Another use is by the government to map flood risk areas to coordinate relief efforts. It’s even used to recreate car crashes by police agencies and insurance companies.

The GIS competition was judged by professionals in the field and involved going to a location, plotting it precisely with digital mapping software, and creating a Story Map using physical properties and other data.  GIS is expanding quickly and mastery of the skill with Industry Based Certification gives students job-ready marketability when they graduate.      

The competition was made possible by the LSU AG Center, 4-H Youth Development, the non-profit Global Geospatial Institute based in Baton Rouge, and the international company, ESRI.

UVA award winners with Fran Harvey of the Global Geospatial Institute, student Susanna Shields of St. Joseph Academy Baton Rouge, and UVA’s Mandy LeCerte, Director of Early College and Workforce Development posing with their awards
The UVA students along with Fran Harvey of the Global Geospatial Institute, Susanna Shields of St. Joseph Academy Baton Rouge, and UVA’s Mandy LeCerte, Director of Early College and Workforce Development.

Organizers of the competition want to spread awareness about the use of GIS and hope it becomes a course that is taught in more Louisiana public schools. Gravois will attend an international gathering about GIS in San Diego, CA this summer.   


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