Scavenger hunts go high tech at Tighe School

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alt Katherine Agostini and Emily Talvacchia team up to find a hidden geocache in the scavenger hunt at the Eugene A. Tighe School Wednesday, May 25.
Staff Writer

MARGATE – Students here spent last Wednesday checking longitude and latitude, but not because they were lost. The school district was holding its first GIS Day.

GIS stands for geographical information system – a kind of morphing of cartography and global positioning technology.

Luis Olivier of Atlantic Cape Community College helped kick off the day’s events at the Eugene A. Tighe School by giving students an overview of GIS and how the technology is applicable in today’s workforce.

The students had been introduced to GIS earlier in the year. The eighth-graders in Kathy Styles Landgraf’s class created a scavenger hunt for fourth-graders that required them to use handheld GPS units to plot their coordinates to discover clues hidden at various locations.

Seventh-graders worked on determining the longitude and latitude of locations around the world. Fourth-graders got their first taste of GIS by tracking the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, a 1,100-mile trek from Anchorage to Nome in March. Students in Joanne Adams’ fourth-grade class picked mushers, researched them, wrote stories about them and followed their progress throughout the race, calculating miles traveled and miles remaining until the finish line.

The students learned to apply GIS in their own backyards, literally. Amy Hughes, a computer instructor at the William H. Ross Elementary School, taught students this semester how to use GIS to create maps of their own neighborhood, and they used Google Earth to see their neighborhood on the computer.

On Thursday, June 2, the Margate School District will be showing off its science, technology, engineering and math prowess with the second annual STEM Night 6-8 p.m. at the Eugene A. Tighe School. All are welcome to attend.

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alt Fourth-grader Natalie Doherty helps Cormac McKee read a GPS unit while eighth-graders Greg Edelbach, Pinelopi Siganos, Danielle Naoum and Dan Spilove chart their work.   alt Lius Olivier of Atlantic Cape Community College introduces Margate students to the benefits of the geographical information system, or GIS, at the Eugene A. Tighe School May 25.

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