The POD Projects, focused on project-based instruction (PBI) using geospatial technologies (GST), have been providing professional development to a diverse group of secondary teachers since 2009. Our professional learning programs enable secondary teachers to utilize geospatial technologies within authentic STEM projects to increase 6-12 grade students’ 21st century skills, GST and STEM career awareness. Teachers increased their technological and pedagogical skills, confidence teaching with GST and PBI, and implemented lessons which provided opportunities for students to analyze data and make claims based on evidence. The programs have impacted learning for approximately 1,600 secondary and post-secondary students.
The Power of Data (POD) Project has been recognized by Change the Equation as an Accomplished STEMworks Program for impacting students.
We are recruiting 15 exceptional professional development coordinators, science/STEM curriculum coordinators, college faculty, and any individuals who support teachers on a regular basis to apply to attend our POD Facilitation Academy to learn to replicate POD Teacher Workshops across the nation.
“The big GIS projects that we do . . . empower students. They use it to suggest policy change on our campus. Last year [students] told the district ‘we’re going to reduce your energy consumption by 20%.’ The district laughed and said, ‘try for 2%.’ They got 14% . . . now [energy conservation policies are] implemented at all the campuses . . . We were recognized as a green ribbon school for their efforts; we are currently the only green ribbon school in the state of Arizona.” – Shane Bycott, Skyline High School in Mesa, AZ