ABOUT YLACES >

Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists assists and rewards the implementation of inquiry-based, experiential science education where students do science and contribute to understanding of our environment through recognition and financial reward programs.

Grants range from support for taking simple measurements to teacher professional development and working for pervasive inclusion of student research projects in science teaching.

 

CONTACT >

E: ylaces@ylaces.org

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

© 2018 by Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists.

Esri Receives Youth Environmental Science Award

by Charlie Fitzpatrick

February 24, 2017

 

At Esri’s 2017 Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D.C., Esri President Jack Dangermond received a small medal for having made a big difference, and two local organizations were very happy.

 

The Youth Environmental Science (“YES”) Award is given annually by Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (“YLACES”), a non-profit organization that supports science education for youth. The award includes a $10,000 grant to an organization engaging youth as active citizen environmental scientists, and Esri chose the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots & Shoots” program.

The focus of YLACES is getting students engaged in inquiry-based, experiential science. “For 25 years, Esri has helped K12 students gather, analyze, interpret, and present data about the world, thereby equipping students to better learn science by doing science,” said YLACES president Dr. Dixon Butler. “Esri has made powerful tools available for free for educators around the world, from ArcVoyager to public ArcGIS Online, and provided training so teachers could do this. This commitment has made a difference.”

 

The Roots & Shoots program recently added GIS into the toolkit. In Roots & Shoots, young people do projects where they investigate a local problem, design a solution, and take action. With encouragement from renowned conservationist Jane Goodall, and an invitation by Dangermond, the Roots & Shoots staff and a score of youth ambassadors spent time at Esri headquarters during 2016, learning to use ArcGIS Online to map and analyze their data. This year, the ambassadors are sharing their knowledge with other local Roots & Shoots groups.

Esri’s program for schools began in 1992, and Esri software is now used in all grades, in thousands of schools across the United States. Science teachers and students were early and active users, bringing in data about weather, water, rocks, soil, organisms, and other phenomena. By gathering local data of interest, analyzing it, interpreting it, and presenting it to others, students build a deep understanding of the process of science, the value of good data, the power of collaboration, and the importance of effective communication. The tools have changed dramatically in 25 years, but the mission remains: use GIS to understand the diverse patterns and relationships, at all scales, in order to make good decisions and build a better world.