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11/16/11 - Columbus students visiting campus for GIS Day

About 70 seventh- and eighth-graders from Columbus Middle School will spend Wednesday morning, Nov. 16, at Mississippi State, using geographic information systems to locate areas related to flooding, earthquakes and other severe weather.

Part of the university's eighth annual GIS Day activities, the 9:15 a.m.-noon program will introduce them to modern, high-technology GIS technology and career opportunities in the field. Activities will take place at the High Performance Computing Collaboratory in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, located across Highway 182 from campus.

GIS Day 2011 is sponsored by the land-grant institution's geosciences department and the Geosystems Research Institute. The event is made possible by partnerships with the National Science Foundation-funded INSPIRE program at MSU. The program title is an acronym for Initiating New Science Partnerships in Rural Education.

The students will participate in hands-on, problem-solving activities that expose them to an advanced university engineering environment. They will learn about the vital role that geography plays in understanding natural disasters by using GIS knowledge and technology to gain information about various natural disasters.

More than a dozen students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Sciences in Columbus will join with MSU graduate students to help with the program.

GIS Day activities are scheduled nationwide Wednesday as part of Geography Awareness Week. The common goals include boosting geographic education and providing showcases for GIS technologies that are solving real-world problems.

For more information on the event, contact INSPIRE project coordinator Sarah Radencic at spr67@msstate.edu or 662-268-1032, ext. 229.

Robbie S. Ward | University Relations

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