ArcGIS Technology Brings School Children Together In Lurgan

04 October 2019

School children presenting at a conference in the US | CRC NI

A pilot project for school children in Lurgan led to presenting in front of 19,000 people in San Diego.

Geography students, employing ArcGIS technology on a pilot project, were selected to appear at a special conference – the first ever time someone was selected from outside the US.

The project involved student collaboration from three different schools:

  • St Ronan’s College
  • Lurgan College
  • Lurgan Junior High School

Technology enabled teenagers to discuss the difficult issues of living in a divided town.

Projects like this are a way of breaking down barriers and moving on from a past history of violence.”

It began in January 2019 when Alistair Hamill at Lurgan College partnered with ESRI Ireland to run a Shared Education project to explore pupils’ perceptions of their hometown.

They wanted to map how people felt at a variety of Catholic and Protestant locations in Lurgan, during the day and again at 10PM on a Saturday night.

In January 2019, 43 pupils from the three schools visited 15 locations. They used an app on their phones to designate how comfortable they felt at that precise location, and how comfortable they might felt at the same location later that night.

The results were analysed.

And that’s when ESRI Ireland invited three students to present their findings at a special conference in the US.

It’s about the students who are getting a chance through our project to cross over that mental barrier in our town, to meet people they would otherwise not meet, and to do what young people all across the world do – simply to make friends.

“When those connections are made, the effect multiplies and multiples out, and that what we can do together is so much more than what we can do by ourselves.”

Alistair Hamill, Lurgan College

Olive Hobson from the Jethro Centre has worked closely with the Shared Education Program (SEP) Lurgan and has seen first-hand how technology and shared resources can benefit society.

Over the past 6 years, at Jethro, we have built a strong partnership with SEP Lurgan. At first this was tentative as we pondered together how to integrate peace making/community connections into a broader part of SEP work.

"Over the years this has gone from strength to strength both local and now global with ESRI. A global technology company, ESRI has enabled the geography curriculum in SEP Lurgan to integrate peace-making in its studies through students personal narrative telling using the GIS app provided by Esri.”

Olive Hobson, Community Relations, Jethro Centre Lurgan


Further Information

The Jethro Centre is core funded by the Community Relations Council. Learn more about the Community Relations Council’s core funded groups.

Read more about the shared education geography project

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