FAIS Pushes Technological Boundaries to Address Pressing Social Issues

Did you know that FAIS is one of just a handful of middle schools in the world where students use GIS technology? GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are used by most people every day (think Google Maps) and even more by every major business and government in the world.


At FAIS, our 6th graders learn how GIS drives city planning, weather forecasting, and how it can help them understand the Cradles of Civilization (in their social studies classes) and the Ring of Fire (in their science classes). Our 8th graders learn to design smart maps that incorporate complex analytical tools and address some of society's most pressing problems: the climate crisis, homelessness, and affordable housing, just to name a few. 


This year, one of our 8th graders took her GIS experience to a new level by joining GIS professionals from all over Oregon at the annual GIS Day celebration in downtown Portland. As the only middle school GIS analyst there, Krissy really turned heads! Polite professionals asked her what types of maps she was working on, and when she answered "patterns of affordable housing in Portland," jaws dropped! Krissy was also included in this video, along with her GIS teacher here at FAIS, Mrs. Sinclair. This is just one example of how FAIS is pushing the boundaries of technology.


"Our middle school students will end up working in a future environment that we can only guess at, so we want to equip them with technologies that are emerging now to solve the problems of tomorrow." -Lauren Sinclair, FAIS middle school teacher (Math, Science, GIS Design)