Visualize Your
Water Quality

A Mapping Challenge for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay High School Students

Help high school students apply classroom learning to real issues that help their community.

Pollution of our waterways

The pollution of our waterways with nutrient run off results in algae blooms that endanger aquatic life by reducing oxygen levels. In the United States, this problem is particularly acute in the Great Lakes Basin and Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Raise Awareness

To raise awareness of this critical problem and engage local high school students in exploring possible solutions, a coalition of government agencies and private industry has created the Visualize Your Water Challenge.

Competition details

In this competition, students will use digital mapping technology with data from the USGS, EPA, and other sources to analyze local water quality. They will then create a map that tells a story about the problem and suggests possible solutions.

Eligibility

U.S. High School Students in the following states are eligible to participate.

  • Great Lakes Basin: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed: West Virginia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York

Resources

A free Esri ArcGIS Online school account is available so students can view and analyze relevant data and create maps.

Much guidance is available from the links attached to the different collaborators (below). See their resources to learn about the problem, find data, explore existing analyses, and learn to build your own.

Timeline

April 2016 - winners announced (see below)

Awards

Grand Prize

An opportunity to attend the Esri Education Conference, publication of winning map in Esri Mapping the Nation book, promotion on USGS, EPA, and Esri websites

Understanding Eutrophication in the Chesapeake Bay (Washington-Lee High School, VA)

National Geographic Prize

National Geographic Atlas of the World. Publication of winning map in Esri Mapping the Nation book, promotion on USGS, EPA, and Esri websites

Regional First Place

Two Regional First Place Awards (Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay) – Publication of winning map in Esri Mapping the Nation book, promotion on USGS, EPA, and Esri websites

Chesapeake Bay Regional Prize

Nutrient Pollution, the Bay’s Biggest Threat (Poolesville High School, MD)

Great Lakes Regional Prize

Algae Affliction of Lake Erie (Father Gabriel Richard High School, MI)

Honorable Mentions

Publication of winning map in Esri Mapping the Nation book, promotion on USGS, EPA, and Esri websites

The Bonds of Water (Poolesville High School, MD)