Situation: Marion County 4-H has a geospatial program that promotes GPS, GIS, Geocaching, Mapping, and careers in geospatial related fields. One activity used in our geospatial program was the NYSD experiment Maps & Apps, though it was not well received by our youth. Marion County 4-H wanted to find a fun way to encourage participation in geospatial programs that would spark interests in the field while introducing youth to how geospatial technologies are integrated into their daily lives. Methods: With the latest Pokémon GO craze, our program was able to modify the Maps & Apps activity and use Pokémon GO as a teaching tool for our geospatial program. Our new Poké Maps & Apps program is a one day, one hour program allowing youth to create their own Pokémon GO maps while understanding how the game utilizes GPS and GIS technologies. Results: Five classes have been taught around Marion County at Ft. King Middle School, community centers and libraries, day camp, and at 4-H University with additional programs currently being scheduled. To date, a total of 114 youth have participated in this program. According to pre and post-test evaluations, youth that have participated in the Poké Maps & Apps program increased their knowledge of geospatial programs and terminology by 98% and reported they are now more comfortable putting this knowledge to use. Conclusion: This program seeks to spark youth interest in geospatial related fields such as GPS and GIS as well as to increase their knowledge gain. Although we are currently unable to measure the long-term outcomes, short-term outcomes show youth participants from the Poké Maps & App program have become more interested in geospatial education and careers that utilize such technologies.
Poké Maps & Apps: Using Technology as a Teaching Tool