on the receipt of the National
School-to-Careers Company of the Year Award. GDT was one of
four businesses from all over the United States selected to
receive this prestigious award. The award honors businesses
involved with exemplary school-to-careers initiatives.
Employers are nominated based on a set of criteria that
includes: working with students, working with schools and
teachers, working with the community, evaluating practices,
and demonstrating results. The competitive process is based
on peer review and involves members of the NELC Leadership
School to Career - Company of the Year Award Recipients
Systems, Inc. - San Jose, California
Data Technology, Inc. - Lebanon, New Hampshire
Corporation - Oregon Site, Santa Clara, California
- Louisville, Kentucky Operation, Atlanta, Georgia
Cooke, GDT Founder, is currently serving as the Business
Co-chair on the UVBEP Board of Directors. Mr. Cooke not only
spearheads GDT's interaction with local schools, but he also
encourages other employers to do the same.
Geography Week, November 13-17, dozens of GDT employees
visited local schools to share their knowledge about
Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GDT also hosted an
open house on GIS Day, Wednesday, November 15. The event
featured tours and demonstrations to illustrate how
geography is a part of people's everyday lives.
GDT is a 21st-century mapping company, in that all its maps
are computer databases. Over the past 20 years, GDT has
become the premiere digital map supplier for business
applications and our USA database is now the most-often-used
resource for WWW locator and routing applications.
GDT's subject is Geography, and more specifically Geographic
Information Systems (GIS), the intersection of Geography and
Information Technology. Our corporate focus fits directly
into school curricula at all levels. The many opportunities
to work with schools leads to a sense of corporate
obligation &emdash; cheerfully borne &emdash; to immerse the
entire enterprise in school-to-careers activities.
For many years GDT has hosted tours for school groups at all
levels. A particularly popular activity is a "scavenger
hunt" where students use professional GPS equipment to find
"treasure" (t-shirts) hidden on the company grounds. This is
an effective exercise to supplement and reinforce classes on
mapping and latitude/longitude coordinates by making the
subject "real in the world." At the other end of the
spectrum are intensive guest lecture/discussions on
technology and ethics of GIS for Dartmouth College geography
GDT is involved in various job shadowing and career day
programs. GDT hosted nearly 100 students this spring,
involving them in engineering, computer technologies, GPS,
Geocoding, and new mapping technologies. GDT encourages
students to find the fun and excitement in their daily
studies by introducing students to the technologies GDT
works with on a daily basis (geography, cartography,
trigonometry, statistics and computer science).
For the November 19th, 1999 GIS DAY celebration, GDT staff
members went into 22 local school and conducted
presentations on what GIS is and how it effects the
student's lives. The same day, GDT also offered an Open
House with tours, visual demonstrations, and a job fair. The
company reached over 800 students and had over 200 people at
the Open House.
the winter and spring terms of 2000, GDT staff established
three elective courses in mapping with GPS and GIS for 6th
and 7th graders in two local schools. One class involved
creating an accurate map of a new three-mile recreational
trail recently established in town. Sixth graders presented
the map to the town Conservation Commission and a
computerized GIS representation of the trail to the Town
Planner. GDT's "formula" for an effective educational
experience is to involve students as peers with adults on
real community projects, using professional equipment,
procedures and standards.
employees work in collaboration with or serve on the Boards
of local schools, the Upper Valley Business and Education
Partnership (UVBEP), the New Hampshire Job Bank, New
Hampshire Technical College, and the Upper
Valley Teacher Institute.
just getting started and on the drawing boards include local
teachers training GDT volunteers to be more effective in
school programs. GDT has also begun plans for more
comprehensive long-term educational programs in our
community: GIS course at local community colleges,
vocational center courses, and summer internships with
college credit. There is no limit to the opportunities for
the company to make a difference in education at all levels.
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