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The purpose of the spring component of the sabbatical project is to develop teams of teacher-leaders utilizing GIS in schools across the state. Through this a critical mass of educators will be created who will continue the expansion of GIS both within their own districts (by encouraging other teachers to try GIS-based lessons) and within their disciplines (by presenting at conferences). Selection of the teams will be based on:

  1. commitment of the teachers to the program
  2. diversity of the teachers on the team (various subjects or grade levels)
  3. leadership experience/abilities of the team members

Team Commitment:

Teams consist of a minimum of two staff members and can be as large as desired. Support of the principal (or other appropriate administrator) is also required. During the spring, all participants will be expected to

  1. Become familiar with basic GIS concepts and techniques and develop a reasonable level of competence and comfort in performing common operations with GIS software.
  2. Implement at least three GIS-based lessons which meet curriculum objectives or standards and that teach content, concepts, or skills from their curriculum. At least one of the lessons will include some modification from the standard, published lesson. The modification could be the addition of an optional extension using local data, creating a scoring rubric, or rewriting a portion of the lesson to make it clearer or more relevant to curriculum needs.

At least one member of the team will commit to participation in the summer course Designing Engaged Learning Projects with GIS. This course will focus on encouraging participants to go beyond using lessons designed by others to creating their own projects which focus on challenging, real-life, student-directed, collaborative tasks specific to their own curricular needs.


The exact nature and extent of the support services provided by the Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical program will be determined based on the goals and objectives of the school team. Professional development offerings will be customized based on the content areas and grade levels of participants. At a minimum, support will include:

  1. An initial meeting with all teacher participants from throughout the state. During this meeting teachers will be introduced to the GIS software by completing two or three model lessons just as their students would. There will also be opportunities for teachers from different schools to network by subject area and grade level.
  2. A one year school site license for ArcGIS 9.x software. The site license allows for the installation of the software on every computer in the building and on the home computers of participating teachers (for educational purposes).
  3. ESRI's Our World education resource books
    a. Thinking Spatially Using GIS (for elementary and middle schools)
    b. Mapping Our World with GIS (for middle and high schools)
    These books include a collection of highly tested lessons appropriate for many content areas.
  4. ESRI's Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop: a resource book containing conceptual material and software exercises that allow users to acquire GIS software skills.
  5. New Hampshire specific data from GRANIT--NH's GIS data repository
  6. Customized support for the team of teachers to be provided at their school. This support would include
    a. an initial visit to discuss goals and technology access
    b. assistance with software installation (if desired)
    c. assistance in locating high quality lessons that meet desired objectives
    d. modification of published lessons to better meet school needs
    e. classroom support when first implementing lessons with students (if desired)
  7. E-mail and phone support
  8. Additional professional development offerings to provide opportunities for expanding GIS skills.

Application Deadline: January 31, 2009

Notification: By February 15, 2009

Contact: webmaster@nhedgis.org
Created: 12/03/08 Last Updated: 1/9/09