Sopra Steria hosts GIS treasure hunt for students

On 7 February, Sopra Steria hosted a Geographic Information System (GIS) treasure hunt for 35 year 10 students at the Methodist College Belfast (MCB) in conjunction with their partners Business in the Community, Land & Property Services and the University of Ulster.

Sopra Steria created a quiz about Maps and Geography (aligned to what the students have been taught) that once completed gave the teams a set of co-ordinates. The co-ordinates were then inputted into Spatial NI, a portal developed by Land & Property Services (LPS) that provides easy and convenient ways to share geospatial data within Northern Ireland. The portal then let the teams know where their 'treasure', a selection of Sopra goodies, was hidden around the school grounds.

The aim of the day was to promote GIS as an area of study for students as well as making them aware of the exciting careers it can lead to, with a view to increasing the number of GIS skills available in Northern Ireland. The day was rounded off with Sopra donating an iPad to MCB to enable the school to use GIS tools in a digital and agile way.

"The staff and students at Methodist College were very fortunate to have been given the chance to take part in Sopra Steria's digital treasure hunt activity.GIS is becoming more and more relevant to our day-to-day activities. Whether in smart phone apps, satellite navigation in vehicles, or as a formal part of the curriculum, students are beginning to realise that they are living in a world where ICT is working hand-in-hand with location-based information. Our Form 3 students really enjoyed learning about novel applications of GIS in Northern Ireland, and were delighted to take part in a 'digital treasure hunt' within the school grounds. The activity brought map interpretation to life." Tommy Crawford, Geography Teacher, Methodist College Belfast

"Our staff are continuously challenged to develop and support mission critical IT solutions that help improve our clients' businesses.  In planning for recruiting the brightest talent of the future, we want to show students just how motivating and rewarding careers in technology can be and how GIS Technology impacts their daily lives." Tom McCann, Head of Central Government for Sopra Steria