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Kennedy student advances to national map competition

Kennedy freshman Caitlin Farrell placed in the top five entries in this year’s Minnesota Map ArcGIS Contest and advanced to the National Esri Map Competition.

Farrell’s map story details some of the history behind one of Bloomington’s best known attractions, the Mall of America. Her entry can be viewed at
In the middle school division of state competition, Bloomington students took the top five spots:
  • Bella Marker and Grace Jarvis, Oak Grove Middle School
  • Ben Hawley and Jian Zhou, Oak Grove Middle School
  • Andrew Barton, Oak Grove Middle School
  • Parker Glas, Olson Middle School
  • Mackenzie Zaccardi, Olson Middle School
The statewide competition asks middle and high school students to find an interesting and important story about their hometown and present it as an ArcGIS Story Map. Students use ArcGIS Online, a geographic information system (GIS) that is used by businesses, governments and individuals around the world. 
Another Kennedy student, Ayla Colante, placed first in the state last year, the competition’s inaugural year.
“It’s a great critical thinking tool,” said Jim Hanson, middle school gifted and talented coordinator for the district. “Students who are skilled in using this type of software will find high demand for their skills.”