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The City of Danville partnered with the Danville Science Center to put geography into action for students from Danville Public Schools. Students participated in activities such as a geography-based Jeopardy game and story map quizzes.
The activities were part of GIS Day, which was held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Science Center. GIS Day is an annual educational event that explores geographic information systems technology in a fun way from different points of view.
This year, five activities were planned for students:
• Geography Jeopardy – This activity tested students’ knowledge of a wide variety of geographic information using a Jeopardy-style interactive game.• Story map quiz – This is a computer-based activity in which students tried to place a variety of photos from around Danville in their correct geographic location.• Digital Dome Theater presentation – Students were treated to a presentation of the adventures of Lewis and Clark across America.• Science on the Sphere – In this activity, students learned about plate tectonics and saw how the different plates interact as displayed in the giant sphere in the Science Center.• Geocaching – Students used GPS units in a geographic scavenger hunt to locate hidden caches around the science center grounds.
In partnering with the Science Center, the City of Danville provided the staff expertise from the GIS division of the city’s Department of Information Technology. The division oversees the use and development of location-based information utilized by many city departments.
The division also maintains four GIS-based websites available to the general public:
• Discover Danville sites for searching businesses, locating available development properties and buildings, and analyzing market demographics.• Danville Parcel Viewer for searching the city’s database for parcel assessment information and transfer history, and to view multiple years of aerial photography.• Danville myCommunity Map for searching location and information regarding restaurants, shopping, parks, schools, services, and amenities.• Danville Community Crime Map for searching crime trends and other information by location.
Danville annually joins cities worldwide in holding GIS Day on the third Wednesday of November. GIS Day is part of Geography Awareness Week, which is a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society.