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I was commissioned to do a presentation on GIS (well it'll mostly focus on transportation GIS) for about 50 high school students.

  • I'm looking for funny graphs / images that I can include in this presentation.
  • What are some activities (split them up in groups, or interactive questions/discussions) I can do to engage them and get them interested?
  • Any suggestions? comments, or concerns?
  • Mostly these kids will be forced to be there with a lot more interest in the person beside them, or what's for supper, or an xbox than GIS. How can I get their attention and keep it?

The presentation will run about 45 to 60 minutes + 30 minutes for activity / fun time. We'll be in a hall with 5 to 6 round tables

I know this should be CW, but the feature has been disabled in this site

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What grade/age? I'm wondering if these are driving-age kids. If so, and you are doing transportation GIS, maybe a topic related to driving/routing/etc that they could relate to? – Chad Cooper Jan 19 '11 at 18:17
15 to 19 years old I believe. – dassouki Jan 19 '11 at 18:19
The Penn State GIS videos are good, but they might be a bit long for this application. – jvangeld Jan 19 '11 at 23:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Include a cell phone technology example.

Maybe mention how police using GIS technology can determine if someone was sending text messages while driving. They can obtain a log of the text messages and a log of positions, then use timestamps to determine speed of the car while text message was sent.

Even if this isn't really possible, tell them it is :)

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+1: deception saves lives! – Jay Cummins Jan 19 '11 at 19:56
Interesting, I wonder if there is a way to tie big music band or jersey shore into this. – dassouki Jan 19 '11 at 19:59
Perfect, use GIS to track places where Jersey Shore cast members have been arrested. – Seth P. Jan 19 '11 at 20:15
Considering that Google uses data from Android phones to (a) tell if someone is driving and (b) determine the traffic density of the road the person is driving on, Kirk's proposal is technically plausible. Considering that law enforcement regularly searches cell phone records without a warrant,* it is probably legal, also. – jvangeld Jan 19 '11 at 23:17
*… – jvangeld Jan 19 '11 at 23:18

Trapster has some maps with speed trap data. High school kids would love that information.

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