Learning GIS in Maine Maine  State GIS Championships

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Who can participate in the Maine State GIS Championships for middle, high school or undergraduate students?

Middle & High School Students: Student entrants in the poster competition must be in 6th grade through 12th during 2009-2010 school year. Students are entered into categories based upon their grade level and whether their projects were done by a group or an individual. Competition events also include GIS and GPS activities open to anyone interested in learning more about geospatial technology.

Undergraduate Students: Entries may come from undergraduate students enrolled in any Maine institution of higher education for at least one term or semester between September 1, 2008, and the date of the undergraduate competition, February 5, 2010.

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What kinds of projects qualify for the competition?

Project topics may be any map-making activity or geographic inquiry in any discipline.A great place to start is to look at the gallery of past projects, as well as the rules and guidelines for the competition. Still not sure if your topic idea is appropriate? It probably is appropriate, but contact event organizers to discuss your idea!

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How much does it cost to enter the competition?

Middle & High School Students: There is no registration fee to enter or attend Maine GIS Championship events. Teams and individuals must pay for their own travel to and from the events, as well as other expenses like printing. We encourage participants to solicit sponsorship from local businesses or assistance from nearby colleges or universities to help cover expenses.

Undergraduate Students: The Undergraduate Poster Competition and MEGUG Roundtable is free to all students submitting posters to the competition. This includes lunch and admission to the career and college fair and talks on the geospatial careers in Maine. Others wishing to attend the event will need to pay the conference fee.

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How can we raise money to pay for expenses?

We encourage participants to solicit sponsorship from local businesses and organizations to cover expenses like travel or printing. For ideas on where to look for sponsorship, contact event organizers.

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What if we don't have GIS software at my school or organization?

There are many low or no-cost GIS applications available to suit almost any project or operating system. Here are a few options:

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We need GPS receivers to do our project. Where can we borrow some?

There are several places in Maine where educators may borrow GPS receivers to use with their students. Contact event organizers for information on borrowing GPS units for your activities.

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We can submit projects to the high school and middle school virtual competition, so why bother to attend a regional competition?

There are several reasons to attend a regional event, rather than submitting your project to the electronic competition. First, the electronic competition will have only one winner per category statewide, so the chances of winning may be much smaller. Also, at a regional event students will have a chance to see and talk with GIS professionals and college faculty from around the state. The events include fun activities, too. Finding a local sponsor is a great way to get help to pay for travel or printing. Need ideas? Contact the people organizing your regional event.

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Do all students need to be present for the competition?

At least one student per project must be present at the judging session to speak with judges and the general public about their project. Entrants in the virtual competition for high school and middle school students will be required to take part in a conference call or a teleconference to discuss their project with the judges.

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How are the projects judged?

Projects are judged by a panel of GIS professionals on a point system using a predefined rubric to choose winners in each category. Each competition also includes several special awards:

Middle & High School Competitions:

Undergraduate Competition:

In the event of a tie, judges will consult to choose a winner.

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Where can I get help with other questions, GIS project ideas, technical problems and accessing data?

There are lots of people who can help you develop your project and your poster. Here is a list of contacts.

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116 O'Brien Ave. Machias, ME 04664 ~ 207-255-1214

This program is funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation as a component of a three-year project designed to improve and promote geospatial technology education in Maine. Additional support comes from the Maine GIS User Group, Maine Community College System, University of Maine System and Maine Geographic Alliance.