Thinking Globally – Volunteering Locally Part II


Thinking Globally – Volunteering Locally Part II

Engility Partners with NGA in St. Louis

In my blog “Thinking Globally — Volunteering Locally,” I talked about volunteering with the children of St. Louis. I also promised to share my experience in the classroom via the GeoPlunge tournament. It’s time to follow through.

On November 14, Engility joined the 2018 GeoPlunge tournament at the St. Louis Cortex. More than 60 fourth graders from three St. Louis public elementary schools competed for top spots in the second annual GeoPlunge tournament held in St. Louis, joined by the NGA and volunteer support. As a corporate sponsor for the event, Engility tutored the students at school for five weeks and provided T-shirts for all the children and volunteers at the tournament.

Teams of three to four students played rounds of competitive games called “Border-Up” and “State IQ.” The Border-Up game trains the student’s geospatial awareness by finding groups of three adjacent states. In State IQ, teams use their knowledge of state names, capitals, and border states to name a state in the fewest number of clues. Learning the GeoPlunge games teaches children geography and teamwork while connecting with the community in the City of St. Louis and encouraging future professionals to consider careers in geospatial professions.

Teams playing at 2018 GeoPlunge Teams play “State IQ” at the 2018 GeoPlunge tournament in St. Louis.

After three rounds of GeoPlunge, five teams finished in a surprising tie! When those teams all correctly answered tie-breaking questions, a trophy was awarded to each team: three winning teams from Hodgen, and one team each from Columbia and Dunbar schools. Students were also awarded ribbons for good team play and sportsmanship.

I must also brag. My Engility colleague David Geiger and I tutored one of the winning teams.

Engility's Jim Ressler with students at GeoPlunge Jim Ressler of Engility judges the winner of a round of Border-Up with students from Dunbar and Columbia elementary schools at GeoPlunge.

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Posted by Jim Ressler

As an information technology geospatial expert and systems engineer with over 20 years of experience, I love resolving tough challenges on schedule for mission-focused systems. A St. Louis native, I enjoy giving back to my community through STEM activities like GeoPlunge, a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency initiative improving the geographical literacy of our nation’s youth.