Mitchell Technical Institute was recently notified that it has been awarded a $200,000 grant through the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program. MTI’s project will help to increase the number of technicians in careers served by geospatial Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) technologies. The project, to be implemented over the next three years, will allow for professional development and outreach to high school and Career and Technical Education educators in South Dakota.
Geospatial technologies are rapidly becoming a key part of many disciplines. MTI hopes to increase student interest in these fields by exposing educators to examples of high-demand career options supported by GIS/GPS.
MTI will provide curriculum and teaching kits so that educators can further provide training to high school age students. Participating educators will make the curriculum part of science, math, or other courses. Exercises will include activities in actual career areas covering a variety of fields like agriculture, energy, telecommunications, forestry or research.
MTI already delivers education in related areas with a Precision Ag Technology program started in 2011 and a new one-year program in GPS/GIS Mapping Technology set to debut in August 2016.
NASA predicts that geospatial technologies will change the way Americans work and live as much as the computer has since the 1950s. The NSF Advanced Technological Education program states that educating technicians for high-technology fields is a driving force for the nation’s economy. Once received, this will be the only active NSF/ATE grant in South Dakota.