What is GAPS?
GAPS –– Geospatial Applications for Problem Solving –– was established by North Carolina State University, the Wade Edwards Learning Lab, and RTI International through a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund, which supports research and education in science.
Our overall goal is to provide opportunities for high school students, particularly those from under-represented groups in STEM, to experience mapping, spatial analysis, and visualization, gaining fundamental skills that can lead to a variety of careers in the geospatial sciences. Geospatial analysis can help people solve many challenges in the places where they live and work. Our program will show students how.
Thanks to the involvement of geospatial scientists from NC State and RTI International, participants in the GAPS program will get to use high-tech tools such as tangible user interfaces (below) and virtual reality to design their own research projects. They will also receive mentoring from students at the university and free tutoring in science and math.
Who can participate?
We invite applications from students in eighth, ninth, and tenth grades in Wake County, NC, and surrounding areas. Juniors and seniors in high school are also welcome to apply.
How much does it cost?
The GAPS program is free to participants. Program costs are covered by a grant to the project partners.
When is the program?
- 8-week Semester GAPS: The first regular session of the 8-week semester program is typically early March for Spring and late September for Fall. Participants will meet from 9:00am to noon for 8 weeks on Saturday mornings. Students who attend all eight weeks and complete the program will receive a $100 participation award.
At the conclusion of the program, students will present their mapping projects at a science fair and compete for awards up to $250 in cash and prizes.
- Summer GAPS: An additional optional 4-day summer session will be available for learning about career opportunities in the geospatial sciences for students that have already participated in one of the 8-week programs (note there are no participation awards in the Summer program). Summer GAPS is usually held in mid to late July.
Where is the GAPS Program held?
Participants meet at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab (714 St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC). See this map for directions.