Recognizing that there is limited instruction in geography in Illinois' public schools, the GSC has been providing after-school programs and summer camp geography courses for underserved youth at the following locations.
Union League Boys & Girls Club, Humboldt Park (since 2010)
Casa Central, Humboldt Park (since 2012)
Cool Summer Learning, Waukegan (since 2012)
Why does the world look and function as it does? Each semester and summer we focus on a different geographic theme, such as weather and climate or shapers of the land. Our goal in these programs is to excite students in making discoveries about their world--both locally and globally. In the process, they read maps, make maps, build mental maps, play geographic games, and develop a geographic perspective, a habit of mind that they carry through life.
Students at Barreto, the Union League Boys & Girls Club, made discoveries about world climate regions, even creating a rainforest display complete with raindrops.
Because technology is an essential part of life in the 21st century, the GSC has begun to involve students in learning how to use geospatial technology. We are training students to use hand-held GPS units to gather data in the field and GIS (geographic information systems) to map data. Through our programs, students experience the power of maps and technology to solve real world problems.
At Cool Summer Learning, students solved real-world problems using geospatial technology. They used hand-held GPS units to note locations of litter in Bowen Park in Waukegan, used ArcGIS software to create maps, then presented their findings at a community meeting. Their conclusion: Bowen Park didn't need more garbage cans, just needed them in different locations!
Select students at CSE had an opportunity to map the location and numbers of swallows' nests under the docks in Waukegan Harbor.