The Young Mapmakers Project

The Young Mapmakers Project - student project

Hello everyone; I am so excited to be taking this class, because I believe that mapmaking can be an empowering educational tool, and I am looking forward to bringing this science and art to youth across America.

I am an educator specializing in "experiential education," which can be definied in a lot of ways, but is basically learning through doing/experiencing (as opposed to memorizing and testing).  In particular, I am focused on exapanding high schoolers' access to field trips in New York City.  It's amazing how many cultural institutions and general out-of-school learning opportunities are out there, and horrifying to realize how rarely they are utliized by high school classes (for a variety of reasons including lack of access to information, funding, and logistical challenges).

How mapping comes into all of this is that I have conceived of a project to recruit a group of NYC high schoolers and work with them to design unique maps of their own neighborhoods.  This process will expand their skills in geography, design, research, writing, creativity and project management, and hopefully propel them to engage in their community in a new way.  Furthermore, I would like to publish the maps either online or in print, and in so doing raise awareness of (and $$$ for) promoting high school field trips. 

I have loved maps my whole life and can't wait to bring this project to life.  Cheers!

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Hand-drawn maps:

The Young Mapmakers Project - image 1 - student project

This is a design for a tattoo I would like to get on my lower right arm.  It is a sketch of the Hudson River, with places of personal importance to me indicated with little logos.  

The Young Mapmakers Project - image 2 - student project

This is an idea for a design for marketing materials for my organization, High School Everywhere, which promotes educational field trips for high school classes.  The idea is to show how the school can become a hub of learning experiences throughout the community.

The Young Mapmakers Project - image 3 - student project

This is a sketch of two road trips my husband and I did driving from NYC to San Francisco and back.  The circles are designed to hold a representative images of what we did at each stop.

The Young Mapmakers Project - image 4 - student project

Alrighty folks,  here is the first digital draft of a map I am hoping to use to promote my organization, High School Everywhere.  I would love any critical feedback.  (I'm using Inkscape.)