University campus. Education college. The heat of a Tucson summer.
High school students from our Upward Bound program attended a summer camp around spatial thinking and digital mapping. Students were challenged to utilize spatial thinking by exploring a variety of maps, and by writing narratives revolving around physical locations and spatial elements in their community. When students learned to compose a StoryMap, or an organized narration of images, words, and map legends, which parts of that practice would we call digital literacy? Why are those skills necessary in today’s technology-rich learning environments? And, how does being skilled in digital literacy tie into being a successful student in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math?
To address such questions, PI Blaine Smith created this summer camp curriculum with funding from a Research, Discovery, and Innovation (RDI) faculty seed grant in order to advance knowledge and understanding in education, geospatial science, and technology.
Alex Ruff and Sara Chavarria are co-PIs on this project, Examining Adolescents’ Spatial Thinking through Community-Based Multimodal StoryMaps.