GRACE (Geographic Information Systems Resources and Applications for Career Education) is a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation that was developed by Eastern Michigan University and its partners, including Michigan Virtual. Its goal is to enable teachers and students to develop new STEM skills and competencies.

Our goals are your goals

Project goals include establishing a three-stage process that encourages a large number of middle and high school students and teachers to engage in learning through GIS/T experiences across the state of Michigan.

  • The Explorer level introduces students to GIS/T through ArcGIS Online Portal and demonstrations developed with online GIS/T tools to build students’ basic understanding of GIS/T as well as pique student curiosity.
  • The Investigator level leverages students’ curiosity and prepares them to work with GIS/T lesson modules that are designed to enhance science and engineering practices and align with the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • The Intern level provides students with professional GIS/T training and opportunities to gain work experiences in local organizations as interns.

Fulfilling the demand for STEM careers

The STEM market is growing almost 35 percent annually, with the commercial subsection expanding at a rate of 100 percent each year. GIS/T has long been recognized as playing a fundamental role in emergency services, transportation and urban planning, environmental hazard management, resource exploitation, military operations, and the conduct of relief operations. In the future, geographical tools and techniques will be of vital importance to the effort to monitor, analyze, and confront the unprecedented changes that are unfolding on Earth’s surface.

A benefit to educators

The benefits of teacher participation include access to insertable GIS-enabled adaptable lessons that are easily integrated into STEM classes, 60 hours of professional development, tech support from GIS/T professional mentors and pedagogy support from GIS Ed-community, plus a stipend.


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