Unleashing Potential, T-REX Team Up to Launch K-8 Grade Geospatial Technology Learning
St. Louis-based Unleashing Potential, a community leader in providing educational and empowering experiences for youth, and T-REX — a nonprofit innovation, entrepreneur, and workforce development organization — are collaborating to introduce youth in K-8 grades to geospatial science and technology. Unleashing Potential’s new GeoQuest program expands access to education, hands-on learning, and skill training in geospatial technology. As one of the fastest-growing fields in information technology, geospatial science jobs are in high demand.
With Unleashing Potential, children can begin their GeoQuest as early as kindergarten. Learners in grades K-5 explore the geospatial world as Geo Adventurers, learning about the earth’s terrain, space, and waterways. GPS: Geo Power Squad learners in grades 6-8 move beyond basic exploration and discover how to harness geospatial technology for good.
Geospatial education complements STEM learning and uses geospatial technology, like global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS), to problem solve. Unleashing Potential’s GeoQuest program engages learners in geospatial education, allowing them to see how location impacts daily life and the world around them. Location data can help solve some of the most pressing issues facing local and global communities — inspiring the next generation of innovators to map a better future and create a safer, more productive world.
Why the GeoQuest Program?
In January 2020, the World Economic Forum reported that in the next decade, one billion jobs — nearly 1 in 3 jobs worldwide — are expected to be transformed by technology. The August 2022 St. Louis Workforce Report found that Almost 63 percent of St. Louis employers stated they were experiencing a shortage of skilled applicants and cited the lack of skills and expertise as the number one challenge.
“Access to specialized skills training is essential to growing a technically skilled workforce in our community,” said Darlene Sowell, president and CEO of Unleashing Potential. “Our mission is to close the opportunity gap by educating our youth in critical skills, introducing them to emerging career opportunities, and enhancing our scholars’ potential for success today and tomorrow. The future depends on our youth being ready to address pressing issues locally and globally.”
Through a curriculum developed and taught by Unleashing Potential technologists, children in K-8 grade will tackle real-world projects and hone critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills in an encouraging and nurturing environment. Programs take place at locations in St. Louis City and County and provide educational support to prepare learners to succeed in high school and beyond. This summer, Unleashing Potential is hosting enrichment programs and camps to expand geospatial skill development.
“Data influences and surrounds us,” said Gloria Hampton, Unleashing Potential’s chief program officer. “To complement classroom learning, our program scholars collect, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using geospatial technologies. A problem to solve becomes a project that turns our children into collaborators engaged in service learning and solution design.”
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