Program Benefits

Students participating in the GAPS program have the unique opportunity to

  • use cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality and maps that respond to touch,
  • interact with NC State undergraduates, graduate students, and scientists, and
  • hear from working professionals about career and college pathways for science and technology and geographic information systems (GIS).

The GAPS program is completely free to participants and parents, thanks to a generous grant awarded to our project partners by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Students require only transportation to and from weekly GAPS activities. Please see the Program Requirements page for additional logistics.

Some of the benefits of the GAPS program include:

Free Optional Science and Math Tutoring

Is your child struggling with math or science in school? Our friendly, experienced tutors can help. All students actively participating in 8-week Semester GAPS can meet with a tutor from the Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) for help with schoolwork (tutoring not available in Summer GAPS).

Mentoring by Scientists and Professionals

All GAPS students will have the unique opportunity to hear and learn from NC State University students, faculty, and scientists as well as professionals working in the field of GIS and geospatial science. These experts will provide guidance for continuing education and describe how to make a career in geospatial science and technology. They will also introduce the cutting-edge technologies that GAPS students will use during their experience.

On several Thursday evenings (5:00 to 7:00pm) during the 8-week Semester GAPS program, students are also welcome to attend Open Project Lab hours at the WELL to talk with NC State undergraduates, play with geospatial technologies, and spend extra time on their mapping project.

Awards to Celebrate Success

We believe in rewarding dedication and recognizing the achievements of our students. Students who attend all eight weeks of 8-week Semester GAPS sessions and complete the program will receive a $100 participation award (note there are not participation awards in Summer GAPS).

The GAPS program concludes with a mapping competition science fair, where students will present their projects to the community. Participants will compete for cash and prizes up to $250, and a panel of judges will select the winners.


Contact Betsey McFarland ( or Eric Money ( with any questions about GAPS.