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ArcGIS Online Competition

IESA, in collaboration, with the Georgia GIS Coordinating Committee (GISCC) and ESRI, coordinate a GIS Competition program for students in grades 4 through 12. If you are a teacher of students in grades 4-12 and wish for your school to participate in this program, please email Dr. Allison Bailey at with your school, class, and contact information.

Teachers may request a copy of the scoring rubric for feedback to share with students. Students or parents may not request feedback directly, but seek assistance from the teacher who mentored the student.

  1. Students in grades 4-12, in teams of 1 or 2, do a custom project, then create a web app or story map about their project, and submit it to school. Here are simple steps to learn how to get started on creating your Story Map.
  2. Teachers at each school choose the school's 5 best and submit them to the state coordinator.
  3. Participating states pick their 5 best HS and 5 best MS, award $100 to each, pick 1 of each 5 for national competition, send info on all 10 to ESRI.
  4. ESRI makes participation map, chooses 1 HS and 1 MS team for top prizes.
  5. Top HS and top MS go to Esri Education GIS Conf and present their map in ESRI UC Map Gallery. ESRI provides a travel stipend for the winning student, 1 parent, and/or 1 teacher to attend the national competition in California. 

Protecting Personal Identity

Protecting Personal Identity (PII) is a concern for many students, families, schools, districts, and general citizens. ESRI seeks to minimize the PII in this competition. ESRI's document ArcGIS Online Orgs for K12 Schools provides strategies for minimizing use of PII. AGO Org admins are encouraged to use generic usernames, profiles, and emails. Content made public should be transferred to a "showcase login" in the Org.

In this competition, teachers should help students avoid exposing their own PII in logins, profiles, map layers, map products, and documentation. Teachers should also guard against students sharing inappropriately any PII of other people, in map layers, photos, popups, and so forth. ESRI seeks from states only the names of the 1HS+1MS entries to the national level challenge. All other entries going from state to ESRI will be identified generically.

In submitting entries from school to state, schools should use generic identifiers unless you have signed approval by the student (or, if a minor, by the student's parent/guardian). Students should be listed as "[ST]_[SchoolName]_EntryCode" unless an appropriate permission slip is provided. Schools should keep any such permissions safely on file. See forms for state winners for copy of blank permission slip.

Creating School Organization Account with ESRI

The ArcGIS for Schools Bundle is available at no cost for instructional use to individual US K–12 schools, school districts, and states direct from Esri. Beyond the United States, the bundle is available to schools worldwide through ESRI's network of international distributors. Every public, private, home school, and youth-serving club is eligible. 

Each school who wants to participate in the geospatial competition will need to create an organizational account and then add all teachers and students participating in the competition as users.

Frequently Asked Questions

For FAQ, ESRI has created an online discussion forum for all teachers and students. This is a great place to ask for “how to” help or to find more information. 

Forms for Competition Entries

All students should submit the Permission and Release Form and the Student Entry Form to their teacher. The teacher may be requested to submit a copy to the state coordinator at a later date. Schools should submit all entries on the provided Excel spreadsheet by the advertised deadline.

Once notified by the state coordinator that you are a finalist in the state competition, your teacher will inform you about when prizes and awards will be dispersed at your school.

Schools – Public or Private: Your school will receive a check for the total dollar amount of prizes earned by students attending your school and certificates. The school is responsible for dispensing funds and passing out certificates per your school system policy.

Homeschoolers: You will need to complete and return a Supplier Registration Form and UNG Check Request Form before any prizes can be dispersed. You do not need to submit these forms until requested by the state coordinator.

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