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Ritchie County students win ArcGIS Online Competition

CHARLESTON — A team from Ritchie County High School is one of two state winners of the Esri fifth annual ArcGIS Online Competition for high school and middle school students.

Ritchie County and a team of seventh graders from Barboursville Middle School in Putnam County created story maps describing locations that included colleges, dirt tracks, historical buildings and paranormal sites in West Virginia.

The Ritchie County High School students, who attend or recently graduated, are Soffi Bee, Jillian Schimmel, Brady Layman, Jeremy Darnold, Kylie Daniels, Breanna Means, Jacob Easton and Riley Gribble. Teacher Samantha Lamp taught her students story mapping for the first time this year.

West Virginia students in grades 4-8 and 9-12 with 500 students from other participating states completed research projects focused on their states and presented the results online as a story map. Students or teams submitted projects at the school-level before those winners were sent to the state.

Esri presented awards to the top 10 projects submitted by West Virginia. Complete results of the competition are available here: https://agoschoolcomp-education.hub.arcgis.com/.

“This contest allows students to use a cutting-edge GIS technology to tell a story that is important to them. When our students are interested enough in a subject to want to put in the extra time required to participate in a contest like this, we know they are engaged. When our teachers use GIS in the classroom, they bring context and meaning to the content they are teaching students,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “We continue to be impressed with the level of innovation our school communities bring to this annual competition.”

The West Virginia Department of Education coordinates the state-level contest with Esri and the Education Alliance. GIS technology is available for free to every teacher and student in West Virginia by visiting https://wvde.us/middle-secondary-learning/gis/.

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