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2024 GIS Workshop for Teachers

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) workshop designed specifically for school teachers, focusing on the fundamentals and classroom applications of GIS. This hands-on workshop aims to equip educators with the knowledge and skills to integrate GIS technology into their curriculum, enhancing the learning experience across various subjects such as geography, environmental science, history, and more.

Participants will learn about the basics of GIS, including map creation, data analysis, and spatial thinking. The workshop features interactive sessions where teachers can explore real-world applications of GIS, learning how to make the subject accessible and exciting for students. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have the confidence to create their own GIS projects and inspire their students with this innovative technology.

Whether you're a novice or have some experience with GIS, this workshop will offer valuable insights and practical tips to make geospatial technology a dynamic part of your teaching toolkit. Join us to discover how GIS can bring a new dimension to your classroom and engage students in a digitally evolving world.

Sponsoring University:            University of Missouri-St. Louis

College or School:                    College of Education & UMSL Geospatial Collaborative

Eligibility:                               Middle and High School Teachers (Grades 6 – 12)

Program Modality:                  In-person

Program Location:                  UMSL Campus, Benton Hall 401

Program Dates:                       Saturday, April 20, 2024

Program Times:                      9:00am – 3:30pm (lunch will be provided)

Stipends:                                 $100 gift card

Application Deadline:              April 1, 2024

The GIS Workshop for Teachers aims to achieve the following objectives:

1. Equip teachers with a basic understanding of GIS, its components, capabilities, and applications.

2. Introduce different GIS software, both proprietary and open-source, for educational use.

3. Provide hands-on GIS training for map creation, spatial data analysis, and geographical interpretation.

4. Demonstrate how to incorporate GIS into subjects like social studies, science, geography, environmental science, history, and more.

5. Offer information on further GIS professional development and staying current with technology

The GIS Workshop for Teachers will be a 1-day program that will involve the following activities:


  • Session 1 – Learn (9:00am – 12:00pm)

    • Welcome (15 minutes)
      • Reda Amer, Director of UMSL’s Geospatial Collaborative, will provide an overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as well as UMSL’s growing geospatial science and technology research and opportunities.

    • Why GIS? (15 minutes)
      • Jessie Bleile, UMSL Professor of Practice from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), will provide a brief overview of careers in geospatial science and why getting students interested at a young age is critical.

    • Hands-on (2.5 hours)
      • Jessie Bleile will lead teachers through hands-on applications of GIS
        • Task 1: Create ArcGIS Online Accounts and discuss in-classroom solutions for GIS access
        • Task 2: Introductory Tutorial
        • Task 3: Intermediate Tutorials (options to be provided to show broad interdisciplinary applications)
      • Wrap-up discussion on GIS applications and careers


  • Break – Lunch Provided (12:00pm – 1:00pm)


  • Session 2 – Apply (1:00pm – 3:30pm)
    • Overview of afternoon session

The afternoon session of the workshop be facilitated by faculty in the College of Education’s Geospatial Design Team and will include:

  • Time to discuss curricular implementation in your classroom,
  • Specific examples and opportunities to practice geospatial skills,
  • Grade level and discipline-specific discussions on barriers to designing and implementing GIS lessons in the classroom,
  • Resources available for ongoing exploration.


  • Resources
    • Sarah Coppersmith will provide teachers with resources on how to access ArcGIS Online as well as ArcGIS Online teaching and tutorial materials.
Dr. Sarah Coppersmith will provide teachers with resources on how to access ArcGIS Online as well as ArcGIS Online teaching and tutorial materials.In this final session, learn how to share your analysis, finished maps, and data using ArcGIS Online. We will also cover product options, including layouts in ArcGIS Pro and apps and StoryMaps in ArcGIS Online.
By the end of the GIS Workshop for Teachers, participants will have:

1. Developed a basic understanding of GIS and its applications.

2. Gained hands-on experience in using ArcGIS Online.

3. Developed plans to incorporate GIS into classroom lesson planning aligned with school district standards and instructional plans.

4. Identified ways to work with the UMSL Geospatial Collaborative in the future

Have a Question? Please Contact:

Reda Amer, Ph.D.

Director of UMSL Geospatial Collaborative 

University of Missouri-St. Louis

421 Woods Hall, 1 University Blvd.| St. Louis, MO 63121

Phone: 314-516-4838 | Email: reda.amer@umsl.edu

W:  https://www.umsl.edu/geospatial/index.html