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Mapping the way forward

Drawing up a new map

Spreading the word about surveying and spatial studies at a school level can sometimes be difficult, but one Queensland group is busy introducing school students to drone and modern mapping technology.

More than that, they’re working overdrive to get girls involved in a field that historically has been male-dominated.

Bit-by-bit, that is thankfully beginning to change. And it is the advent of groups like She Maps that is helping that transition occur…

Introducing She MapsKaren Joyce from Geospatial Science

The brainchild of Dr Karen Joyce, She Maps’ mission is to increase the number of women entering the STEM workforce.

You may have already seen Karen and She Maps highlighted in our last blog piece, published on September 27th. She Maps offers robust curriculum-aligned lesson plans for teachers, instructor-led incursion programs, school visits, online training and more. There are even drone packs that can be purchased that will allow teachers to communicate the power of spatial science and surveying in an engaging, tactile way.

And it’s not just schools that can utilise She Maps’ services. Karen’s programs have been involved in everything from university outreach events to regional roadshows and National Science Week. They’re even available via online learning here.

It’s all designed to inspire a love of STEM and spatial-related material in females – and everyone.

Making mapping accessible to more students

At the end of the day, the She Maps mission is to bring diversity to STEM. To do this, Karen and her team like to look at the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ of STEM, and how we can broaden the definitions of each.

When it comes to the ‘who’, the STEM field has traditionally been male-dominated. As the She Maps website points out, only 27% of STEM workers are female. Yet the M in STEM stands for mathematics, not male. Broadening the range of people stepping into STEM careers is one half of the battle, and She Maps is similarly committed to promoting diversity of race, ability and religion.

The other half of the battle is the ‘what’. So ‘what’ disciplines fall under the STEM banner? STEM actually stands for science, engineering, technology and maths, but stereotypes persist that this just refers to ‘traditional’ disciplines such as chemistry, computer programming and algebra. We know that lesser-known fields like geospatial science very much belong in each of those categories. She Maps’ focus on geospatial technology – and training and classes developed by teachers with extensive geospatial experience – is an important contributor to popularising the profession, and other little known fields, with today’s female and male students.

The more people of all backgrounds we have entering the workforce, the more robust tomorrow’s field of STEM professionals looks.

Making teaching easier for more teachers

For maths and STEM teachers, She Maps offers an extremely engaging and powerful teaching opportunity which will help demonstrate the practical.

Get in contact with them here to learn what else they offer, and click on the button below to learn other ways you can teach spatial science in the classroom.

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