REDLANDS, Calif., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Esri has awarded grants to 4-H groups in 10 states in its 2013 GIS Grants for 4-H Program. For almost 10 years, 4-H youth clubs across the United States have participated in the program, using ArcGIS to explore and analyze problems in their local communities. The club's involvement with GIS has increased so much that the theme for the 2013 4-H National Youth Science Day Experiment focuses on geospatial and geographic technologies.
Grant winners include Bisbee High School 4-H Club ( Bisbee, Arizona), Linn County 4-H Geospatial Club ( Mound City, Kansas), Camden County 4-H Teen Council ( Cherry Hill, New Jersey), Robo-Rocketeers ( Kellyville, Oklahoma), 4-H GIS of Jackson County ( Central Point, Oregon), Union County 4-H Club ( Maynardville, Tennessee), Green Team 4-H Club ( Phoenix, Arizona), Douglas County 4-H Clubs ( Lawrence, Kansas), Cyber Explorers 4-H Club ( Cape May, New Jersey), 4-H Beef Club ( Ramona, Oklahoma), Washita County 4-H ( Cordell, Oklahoma), Jefferson Middle School GIS 4-H Club ( Oak Ridge, Tennessee), NAE4-HA Geospatial Task Force ( Sterling, Colorado), LSU AgCenter—Orleans Parish ( New Orleans, Louisiana), UMass/URI 4-H SET ( Worcester, Massachusetts), and Cornell University ( Ithaca, New York).
"This grant will open the world to the youth in our rural county, as well as open their eyes to community improvements in which they can make a positive difference," says Mary Peck, coordinator for the Washita County 4-H in Cordell.The Oklahoma club will use ArcGIS Online to create a community-oriented map that focuses on the availability of healthy foods for county residents. Club members will learn about the benefits of whole foods, nutrition, and stores where healthier foods can be purchased. They will use GIS to gather data about the distance to these stores. This project ties in with the Washita County Kids' Farmers Market, which features produce grown locally by Washita County 4-H members. "Over the years, many clubs have developed robust GIS programs," says Esther Worker, Esri youth community manager. "Geospatial sciences and technologies are included in the Oklahoma State 4-H Program through summer institutes at Oklahoma State University as well as workshops at district and statewide conferences. 4-H clubs across the United States are partnering with local GIS professionals on relevant GIS projects and often display their maps at the local county and state fairs." Esri has supported 4-H clubs with its GIS grant programs since 2004. To date, more than 600 grants of ArcGIS software and Virtual Campus training have been awarded to selected clubs, enabling those members to learn and use GIS technology in their community service learning projects.