Using GPS and GIS to Engage students in High-Impact Educational Practices (HIEP); A case study in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

Student: Austin Riegel
Mentor: Nathan Rowley (OWU Department of Geology-Geography)

One issue that many teachers face today is teaching students that are not English heritable speakers. In the past couple decades there has been a sharp increase in the amount of non-native English speakers in the classroom; making it important for new teachers to be able to relay information to the students when they don’t speak the same language. Over Spring Break (2019), I visited Costa Rica to work with a 6th grader class that spoke mainly Spanish—I don’t have formal training in Spanish. We employed various high-impact educational practices and hands-on activities (e.g., drone flying, mapping with handheld GPS units) with children in the community to foster their thinking about environmental sustainability. This allowed me to reflect on my teaching experience while recognizing, and working through, language barriers. The primary method of in-class instruction was a hands-on activity that used a variety of images (via instructional manual) to communicate to the students the directions for the project, and my expectations of them. Through this poster presentation I share my experience working in a school setting with children of a different language background, including the challenges and rewards of this experience.

More information about this project in Digital Commons @ OWU

Contact Info


Merrick Hall
65 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3880

David Markwardt, Associate Dean of the OWU Connection