GIS in Computer Science Education: Midyear Meeting Panel Highlight

By Karen Rogers | February 5, 2018

With our Midyear Meeting fast approaching, we wanted to slow down and take a moment to highlight some of the presentations and panels that we are looking forward to. The first panel we are highlighting is titled “GIS in Computer Science Education” and will be presented by Karen Rogers (WY) on Thursday, March 1. Read Karen’s statement below for a preview of the discussion content:

I was asked to be on the Computer Science Education Task Force in Wyoming, an effort led by the Department of Education.  This diverse group has been meeting since September of 2017 to formulate strategies and ideas for integrating computer science (CS) in the classroom, as well as encouraging elected officials to pass legislation to formally acknowledge the importance of CS being taught to all grades in all schools.   

Part of the discussion has centered on teaching computational thinking and the foundation of CS starting in elementary school so that all students have a basic fluency in CS by the time they enter middle school.  From there, similar to electives like band or art, students can expand their learning and literacy in the subject and begin to specialize in the areas they find most interesting.  

Discussions have also touched on the idea of internship programs and ‘on-ramping’ students into fields with computer science needs.  As kids get into high school and show aptitude for CS, opportunities should be provided that demonstrate fields they can pursue to put their skills to use (and make good money in the process).  

The question is when and how to integrate GIS into CS education so that all students gain basic knowledge of what GIS is and how to mature the topics and techniques taught so that the worker pipeline into the GIS field is bulging with capable young workers.  It’s always beneficial to provide strategies and outlines for approaches rather than have states struggle with how to start up new programs.  It would be beneficial to states adopting CS curriculum and standards to provide templates and core competencies to build strong programs from the beginning.  


Karen Rogers currently works for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. She sits on NSGIC's Board of Directors and is a co-chair of the Member Services Committee. She just started her first term as the president of WyGEO (Wyoming's GIS professional organization) and also serves as the co-chair of Wyoming's GIS Technical Advisory Group. Karen is the proud mother of two wonderful children with whom she loves to go skiing and hiking.

We can’t wait to see how the discussion evolves. This panel will be taking place Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 8:30am.

Check out the full agenda here. And keep your eye out for more panel and presentation previews as the meeting approaches.

Haven’t registered for the meeting yet? Register now!