What are the major goals of the project?

The goals of the Power of Data (POD) project are to build a continuity of experiences that improve teaching and learning for a diverse audience through geospatial data- enhanced inquiry, opportunities to develop 21st century workforce skills, and attention to the interdependence of science and technology in the STEM workforce in order to increase student interest in careers that utilize geospatial technologies.

Objective 1

Professional Development for Facilitators (Teacher Educators)

Develop and implement professional learning experiences for teacher educators to build their geospatial technology (GST) skills, knowledge of the principles of Geospatial Inquiry which underlie the POD PD model, and pedagogical abilities, enabling them to replicate the POD PD model locally with teachers in their region.

Objective 2

Professional Development for Secondary Teachers

Monitor and support teacher educators as they implement POD Teacher Workshops to build teachers’ GST skills and pedagogical abilities, enabling teachers to integrate Geospatial Inquiry into existing courses and provide more opportunities for students to engage in science practices and develop 21st century workforce skills.

Objective 3

Student Opportunity

Increase opportunities for students to develop and practice 21st century and soft workforce skills, through integration of and emphasis on Geospatial Inquiry in existing courses.

Objective 4

Student Career Awareness and Attitudes

  • Increase secondary students’ interest in and awareness of careers that utilize geospatial data as part of their overall solution.
  • Increase secondary students’ participation in educational pathways leading to geospatial careers, including 2-year technical pathways.

POD History

Since 2009, the POD Projects have been providing PD to a diverse group of secondary teachers with a focus on project-based instruction (PBI) using geospatial technologies (GST). The POD Project: Harnessing the Power of Data, Examining your Environment through the Power of Data (EYEPOD; DRL #0929846) and partner project funded by Science Foundation Arizona, the Northern Arizona Power of Data (NAZPOD) Project (MSAG/0412-09), educated pairs of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and math or science content teachers during PD sessions led by a team with expertise in Earth science content, STEM PD and pedagogy, and GST. In 2013, Geospatial Connections promoting Advancement to Careers and Higher Education (GEOCACHE – #DUE1304872), a collaboration with Mesa Community College, expanded the successful model to college courses.

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; thus, influencing learning for approximately 1,600 secondary and post-secondary students.

The POD Team has examined the PD model and identified key elements that led to success. Armed with this knowledge, they developed a facilitation academy, resources, and a “living” facilitation guide for teacher educators. These resources will enable teacher educators in any discipline and setting to replicate the POD PD model in their local areas, resulting in more teachers integrating GST and PBI in their classrooms. Thousands more students will have opportunities to assume geospatial project team roles and work side by side with stakeholders as they examine community issues through a spatial lens, analyzing data surrounding authentic problems to determine appropriate solutions.