Evans County 4-H students recently visited the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technology program at Ogeechee Technical College. Twenty students, who were in grades four through 12, started the day on the OTC campus with a welcome by Dean John Groover, before beginning educational activities.
During the early part of the day, the students participated in a treasure hunt using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receivers, internet mapping activities using Google Earth, and 3-D modeling using Inventor software, under the guidance of Computer Aided Drafting instructor, Ty Riggs.
In the afternoon, the students learned how to use GIS software to produce a treasure hunt map and also produced a map of Claxton. In addition to the instructors, GIS students Ruth Sharp and Chris Ormsby helped with the activities.
OTC GIS and GPS instructor, John Locke, said, "This was a great opportunity to collaborate with 4-H and introduce students to the technologies of GIS and GPS."
According to Locke, Ogeechee Tech hopes to expand the collaborative opportunities with other counties in Georgia, particularly Bulloch and Screven.
"Students were amazed and intrigued by the GPS/GIS technology," said Stephanie Myers, 4-H agent from Evans County. "One student even commented that because of the class and their ability to visit the OTC campus, she was now inspired to seek higher education after high school graduation and pursue a career in this field."
OTC's vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charlene Lamar, said, "The earlier we can get students interested in something which they may see as a viable career, the sooner they may develop a real zeal for learning. They begin to see the relevance of education, and that it can translate into greater opportunities for success in life."
Ogeechee Tech is always anxious to provide tours and information about programs of study to those who are interested, regardless of their age, Lamar said.