Student Column: Mapping My Future
Photo submitted- Left to right: Mr. Alex Miller who is the President and Founder of Esri Canada, Port High students Tori Joyce, Cameron Lacelle, Trin Bryden, Danielle Rock, Jinal Patel, Robert Klonowski, and Mr. Jonathan Fletcher (PCHS Geography teacher).
By Cameron Lacelle – All my life I have had trouble figuring out who I am and what I wish to do to make my life an admirable one. By examining the opportunities bestowed upon me by Port High since Grade Nine geography, such as preparing for the 2014 ESRI conference and the 2015 ArcGIS Skills Competition, it is crystal clear that these high school opportunities will directly help to drive the future that lies ahead of me.
My first day of second semester in Grade Nine I had geography…and WOW! Throughout that semester, we learned many fascinating geographic concepts and used a program called Arc Map 10.1 to make our own maps using various types of data. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics of that class and thus planned to sign up for every geography course available in my next three years at Port High (not to mention that I worked hard and passed the class with a solid 99%).
As my second year at Port High commenced, I was given an opportunity with a few other classmates to create a slideshow to present at the 2014 Toronto ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) Conference. We were given the task to display our geography capabilities in the classroom to the over 950 people in the audience. During the event I got the opportunity to meet some of the specialists at ESRI — a tremendous experience which may also unlock some doors in my near future. This accomplishment will allow me to be known around the Geography world and I may now be able to obtain a well-paid job or co-op during or after university with my new knowledge and experiences.
As spring rolled around in my grade 10 year, my geography teacher once again approached myself and a few others. He announced that there would be a GIS skills competition in March and he gave the offer for us to train and take part in the challenge. My teammate and I trained for months prior to the competition; we performed well, coming in second place behind the other team from PCHS that placed first, but losing to my Port High friends by only a quarter of a point. This loss encouraged me to work harder so I can possibly win in the 2016 competition and it helped me to learn some new GIS tactics and techniques to help me be more advanced in my mapping.
In conclusion, the geography department at Port High has and will help drive my future greatly. This is because of opportunities given to me such as using ArcGIS in Grade Nine geography, the 2014 ESRI conference and participating in the 2015 GIS skills competition. All of these events will help to me to better map out my future education and my life.
Cameron Lacelle is a grade 11 student at Port Colborne High School.