The National Center for Smart Growth and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland, College Park, proudly sponsored a 6 week GIS internship program for high school students. The internship was designed to introduce high school students to the technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and to apply these newly learned skills to a real world issue faced by a real world client. Seven high school interns from Maryland, DC and Ohio were requested by the City of College Park to assess the walkability of College Park, Maryland. To this end, the students conducted a community audit of the area and mapped their results for analysis. Based on the collected data, the interns visualized and analyzed the physical infrastructure of the selected streets using GIS based technology.
Chelsie Miller, a graduate student in the Urban Studies and Planning program, and Dr. Alexander Chen, Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Department, provided instruction in ArcGIS, supervised the field effort, and provided guidance in the analysis and final write up. Technical support was also provided by the National Center for Smart Growth and University of Maryland Libraries. Though the internship focused on enhancing technical skills, it also provided an opportunity to learn about the University of Maryland. To that end, we are appreciative of the undergraduate advising offices of Geographic Sciences, Architecture, Letters and Sciences, the Honors College, Engineering for meeting with our interns, and discussing opportunities at Maryland.