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GEOGRAPHY AND GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY

Ohio schools mapping competitionThe 2022 edition of the "Ohio Schools Mapping Competition" will be the first of this annual event. This exciting statewide opportunity encourages middle (4th-8th grade) and high school (9th-12th grade) students to harness the power of Geographic Information Systems (using free Esri ArcGIS Online software) and get connected with their state by producing an online map that focuses on stories, issues, or ideas that are important to them.

Schools register for the competition here: https://arcg.is/0WSfTv

Those interested in some early mentoring or have questions about the competition, please email Ohioagoschoolscomp@lakelandcc.edu.

Ohio schools mapping competition timeline

Entry Checklist
  • Students in grades 4-12 are eligible.
  • Teacher/home schooling parents may register on behalf of their school/home-school. Afterschool program/extracurricular coordinators, please find a sponsoring teacher or school.
  • Students should follow the competition judging rubric.
  • Student's personally identifiable information must not be shown.
  • Final product is crested using an ArcGIS Online Organization.
  • Final product focuses on a topic within Ohio.
  • Final product is a story map.
  • Each school may submit up to five entries.
  • Submit short URLs for both the details page and display page.
  • Collect and submit permission and release forms.
Ohio Competition Rules and Details
I: Eligibility
  1. Entrants must be pre-collegiate students, registered in grades 4-12 at the time of project submission, from public schools or nonpublic schools including online schools or home schools, who have not yet received a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Entrants must reside and be in school in the United States, including districts or territories, or attending a Department of Defense Education Association school: 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and DODEA sites. (Thus, "state" in this document means one of these 57 units.)
  3. Students can work singly or in a team of two but can participate in only one entry. Teams with one student in middle school (gr.4-8) and one in high school (gr.9-12) must be considered as high school. Entry level is determined by student's grade (MS= gr.4-8, HS= gr.9-12), not by school name (e.g Lincoln Junior High School students in gr.7-8 participate in the MS competition while the gr.9 participants are in the HS competition). A team of two students from different schools can submit an entry to one school only.
  4. Entrants may work on the challenge through a school, a club, an "educational pod," or independently, but entries must be submitted to the state from their primary school of record (a recognized school or home school), regardless of engaging in activities at more than one location.
  5. Any school or home school program can submit to the state a maximum of five (5) entries total, counting the sum of middle school and high school entries.
II: Entries
  1. Entry forms (student/s to school, school to state, state to Esri) will be made available to state leads in January 2022.
  2. Student entries must be from an ArcGIS Online Organization account (not a "public account"). Any K12 school (public, non-public or home-school) or formal youth club can request for free an ArcGIS School/Club Bundle (includes an ArcGIS Organization account).
  3. Entries must be in the form of a single ArcGIS StoryMap (must be the "new" template, not one of the "classic" templates).
  4. Entries must focus on content within the state borders. States may choose to refine the focus further, but the geographic scope of the project must be within the state. The project may reference data outside the state "for context," but may not extend the focus of the study beyond the state borders. For example, broader patterns of environmental characteristics or demographic movements may be referenced for context, but the focus must be on phenomena within the state.
  5. Schools must announce their own internal deadlines, in time to complete judging and provide information to the state by its deadline. States must announce their in-state deadlines but can be no later than 5 p.m. Pacific time on Wed May 11, 2022. States must submit data to Esri no later than 5 p.m. Pacific time on Wed May 18, 2022.
III: Awards
  1. Participating states may award identical $100 prizes to up to 5 HS projects and up to 5 MS projects. From their awardees, states may identify 1 HS and 1 MS "state winners" (1HS+1MS) to be entered in a final level of competition, a national level to be judged by Esri.
  2. Optional video: Each state's chosen 1HS+1MS state winners are also invited to create and submit a video of up to three minutes (max of 180 seconds) for Esri to post along with the StoryMap. The videos should be in .mp4 format and 1080x720 (or higher) resolution. The videos will not be part of the national judging process but will be a way for these 1HS+1MS state winners to share more of their story to interested audiences across the state/country/globe. The deadline for Esri to receive the videos is Thu May 26, 2022, 5 p.m. Pacific time. (See Part VI #3 for more.)
  3. Esri will announce its national awards decision by 5 p.m. Pacific time on Tue May 31, 2022, and release results with links to all awardee creations, and special attention to the 1HS+1MS awardees, at both state and national levels.
  4. Esri will hold a webinar on Thu June 16, 2022, 5-6 p.m. Pacific time, celebrating the Competition. The webinar will be held live and will be recorded. The "national winners" at HS and MS level will be invited to participate in the webinar to talk and present live their StoryMap.
  5. Because it is impossible to foresee all circumstances, awards are subject to postponement, change or elimination at Esri's discretion.
  6. This listing of awards should not be interpreted as constraining how individual teachers, schools, or states can celebrate their scholars who create entries. Indeed, there are so many positive benefits that can come from participation that we encourage such celebrations, especially for those who do not earn a state award.
IV: Design & Judging Criteria
  1. Account: Entries must be from an ArcGIS Online Organization account, not a "public account." This can be an Organization ("Org") operated by, e.g., the student's school or club, the district, the state GIS Education Team, or similar group. The entry must be able to remain visible publicly without login through at least June 2023 (one year past the close of this event), ideally longer.
  2. Login/Sharing: Entries must be shared to the public, visible without requiring a login. Entries engaging "premium data" (login required, such as premium content from Living Atlas) must set the display to permit access without needing a login. See helpful note.
  3. Originality: Entries must be "original work by the students," conceived, created, and completed entirely by the student(s) submitting the entry. Class projects turned into an entry by one student, and teacher-directed projects, are not acceptable. Projects may use data generated by outside persons or institutions, within guidelines of "fair use." (Students are encouraged to use appropriate professionally generated GIS data, but these must be documented, and the integration, treatment, and presentation must be original.) Entries must represent the students' work from the current academic year, 2021-2022. If incorporating content from a previous year's entry, there must be work that is substantively beyond the previous entry, and the documentation must clarify what previously created content is being reused; for instance, a student working on a project in Year1 might reuse some data in a somewhat similar project in Year3 but expand significantly on the data, change the project focus, improve the analysis, and document what has been re-used.
  4. Visual Supports: Because this is meant to be a "map-centric" exploration, analysis, and presentation of a geographic phenomenon, use of "non-map visuals" (images and videos) is limited. Exceeding the limits means a "progressive reduction in judged score." The limits are:
    1. Total of no more than 60 seconds of video, which must be created by the project author (animated images count as a video; time-enabled map layers do not count as a video)
    2. Total of up to two images not created by the project author (e.g., 1 historic portrait photo plus 1 historic landscape photo)
    3. Total of up to five images created by the project author (replication of project maps as smaller/thumbnail images and items visible in popups within interactive maps do not count against these limits).
  5. URLs: Entries must provide to the school/ state/ Esri three pieces of URL data: the URL prefix for the Org hosting the entry, and two links in "short form" (e.g., https;//arcg.is/1a2b3c). Short URLs can be generated at bitly.com. Any "bit.ly" link going to an arcgis.com address can be shared as an "arcg.is" link instead. ALWAYS test links in a "private/incognito" browser window before submitting. The three items needed are:
    1. The "Org URL prefix," which is the set of characters between "https://" and ."maps.arcgis.com" distinguishing this Org from all other Orgs, for example, the "XYZ" in "https;//XYZ.maps.arcgis.com."
    2. A short URL of the StoryMap link going to the publicly visible ArcGIS StoryMap, i.e., leading to "https;//storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/{32_character_code}."
    3. A short URL going to the item details "Overview" page (metadata page) for the publicly visible storymap. In generating the short URL, ALL ENTRIES should set their item details address in the form "https;//www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id={32_character_code}," i.e., swapping "www" in place of "{OrgURLprefix}.maps" to ensure that the item details page is accessible publicly. And, of course, the 32-character codes must match. (For more info on the item details page, see also https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/share-maps/link-to-items.htm)
  6. Scoring: The state can vary this, and even use different systems for HS and MS, but must apply the same system to all entries in a single grade band, and the system must be clarified for the entrants at the start. The national competition will use this system and recommends it or something similar at the state and school levels: "We look for a clear focus/topic/question/story, good and appropriate data, effective analysis, good cartography, effective presentation and complete documentation. The element-by-element analysis in the 2020 national results presents good examples of what is sought in a project."
  7. Project Tips:
    1. Look at previous national winners and honorable mention projects, and the 2020 results. This is a "map competition." Entries should address an identified issue/ puzzle/ challenge, not just document what's where, but looking at "why it's there, and so what." Entries should be analytical in nature, map-centric rather than photo-centric or relying on too much text. Use of videos or static images generated by anyone other than the team members must be carefully documented, and such media should be used very sparingly; outside content generally detracts in national judging. The project must emphasize student work, though using professionally generated GIS data is encouraged and does not detract from national scores. A good way to judge project balance quickly is to identify the amount of time a viewer would spend consuming the entire project; map-based time and attention should be more than half.
    2. Good projects gently help even a viewer unfamiliar with the region know quickly the location of the project focus. Requiring a viewer to zoom out several times to determine the region of focus detracts from the viewing experience. (Pretend the viewer is from a different part of the country, or from a different country.)
    3. Maps should invite interactive exploration by the viewer, not be static ("images"). The presentation should hold the attention of the viewer from start to finish.
    4. Maps should demonstrate "the science of where" -- the importance of location, patterns and relationships between layers. There is an art to map design; too much data may feel cluttered but showing viewers too little data at a time may limit the viewers' easy grasp of relationships.
    5. Care should be taken to make "popups" useful, limited to just the relevant information. They should add important information and be formatted to make the most critical information easily consumable. These popups can include formatted text, key links, images, data presented in charts, and so forth.
  8. Document the project thoroughly. National winners and the 2020 awardees highlighted for documentation show good documentation: organized and thorough.
V: Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  1. Schools should consider issues around exposing PII. See https://esriurl.com/agoorgsforschools for strategies for minimizing PII. Teachers and club leaders should help students minimize exposure of their own PII and that of others, including in map, image and text.
  2. States must help potential entrants understand the level of PII required. Entries submitted to Esri for the top national prize (i.e., each state's 1HS+1MS) must agree in advance to expose student names along with the school names, and school city/state (home-school students would be identified to closest city/town name). States must secure a signed permission form from the families of 1HS+1MS awardees to have the names made publicly visible.
  3. State 1HS+1MS awardees are invited to share with Esri a video of up to three minutes length. This is entirely optional, and submissions will be visible to the public along with the awardees' StoryMap. Parents should guide what PII (name, face, location, personal details) is shared by the student within the video. A video will not be accepted by Esri without the accompanying permission form available from the state. (See Part III #2 for more.)
  4. Esri does not seek, collect, or accept student names for any entrants other than the national prize entrants (each state's 1HS+1MS). These and only these will have names exposed by Esri.
More details and general information
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