City of Myrtle Beach Equips Students with GIS Training

"Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize our world in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts." - Esri

Lisa Holzberger, the GIS Coordinator for the City of Myrtle Beach, has been busy to launch new education programs that educate students on the use of GIS in city planning.  The following is a report on what her team is doing to train students on GIS here in Horry County!

I am pleased to report that GIS is gaining steam in the state of South Carolina, particularly in the Horry County School District.  The City of Myrtle Beach, where I am employed as the GIS Coordinator, has developed a partnership with Horry County Schools to bring GIS to the classroom.  Our pilot program involves the Academy for the Arts, Science & Technology, which will be launching a GIS curriculum in 2016.  Word quickly spread and there has been much “chatter” amongst educators from the other area schools. 

 Since the response has been tremendous, and with the support of staff at the district level and with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, we were able to offer an “Educators in GIS” workshop on October 22, 2015, focusing on the ArcGIS Online platform.  The workshop was conducted at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and was very well-received.  An instructor professional development workshop was also held on February 15, 2016 at Forestbrook Middle School.  This event was specifically targeted to social studies teachers and provided new GIS learning pathways that can be implemented via ESRI’s ArcGIS Online platform seamlessly.  There are plans in the works to offer more workshops in the future in Georgetown County and in the Columbia, SC area. 

Educators are certainly embracing the technology as evidenced in the many e-mails and phone calls I have received in regards to speaking about GIS at more schools, which I am more than happy to oblige! 

The next goal will be to work with the local technical schools to implement a GIS curriculum as either a certificate program or as an Associate’s Degree.  This will provide a bridge for high school students to further their education.  It is especially rewarding to see how excited and engaged the students and teachers are becoming about GIS!

Esri, a GIS software company, has made the resources easily available to schools, thus, giving instructors a new way to teach, and students a new way to learn!"

- Lisa Holzberger, City of Myrtle Beach