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Students Use Mapping Software to Help Underdeveloped Countries

The students' work is being used worldwide, including in the creation of maps of road networks in underdeveloped countries.

Students at Bishop Dunne Catholic School are using their technology skills to make a difference in places around the world.

They're learning how to take data and make it more useful through Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, which uses data to make maps that help visualize the information at hand, such as roadwork and rivers.

Student McClain Martensen found data on where butterflies are spotted during the winter and looked at what the insects eat while trying to come up with some conclusions based on what she knew.

"I get really nerdy and excited about things, looking at things from a different perspective and seeing how one thing causes another," McClain said. "It's just fascinating to me."

The students' work is being used worldwide, including in the creation of maps of road networks in underdeveloped countries. They're uploading it to a computer system to help groups like the Red Cross be able to the area if needed.

"You have the ability for the kids to impact the world now, not just read from a book and have a quiz," said teacher Brad Baker.

The students have helped with various different programs and McClain even spent time in Peru gathering data and helping scientists try to figure out why one of the river's there has warm water.

"I've loved science my whole life, but doing something in real life I was like yeah I made it," McClain said.

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