2021 Map Competition for Iowa Students
Theme: Mapping Unique Iowa Features
Sponsors of this competition include the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC), William Penn University and Esri

What:  An ArcGIS Online map competition for Iowa middle school and high school students.

Deadline for submitting maps to Iowa Contest Coordinator:  Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Who is eligible:  All Iowa public, private, or homeschooled students, grades 4 - 12, are eligible to enter the contest. Maps can be submitted individually or as a team of two students. Limit of one entry per student or team.

Entry Limit: Each school will be limited to five maps for submission to the state contest. All maps entered should be judged using the rubric under the Judging Criteria tab.

Theme: Any topic of interest within the boundaries of Mapping Unique Iowa Features.

What kind of story could be told with at least one map? Here are a few ideas:

  •  Choose an Iowa Feature - Natural or Manmade. Maybe your favorite conservation area(s), the system of Iowa railroads or state parks? The Manson Crater, Loess Hills, Effigy Mounds or other historic sites? Mining towns and their location history - or the look and location of watersheds or agriculture and conservation features. Use your imagination.
  •  Create a map to tell your story, perhaps its history or its importance to you, or to other Iowans or tourists.
  •  Create a map to tell a story of how the place was developed; is it a naturally occurring place? Did someone or some entity create it? How old is it? Is it open to the public? Free? Is there a fee? Is it accessible year round or only during certain times of the year?
  •  Does your chosen feature impact the surrounding community? Is it of local interest only or does it attract people from the rest of the state or beyond?
  • Add an analysis component: How near is the feature to you? Others? Can you drive to it? Hike to it? For example, if analyzing a watershed, what is the quality of water? What forces impact the water quality? Is this feature a tourist destination in Iowa?
  •  Use your imagination and create a StoryMap using an interesting Iowa feature!
Bee Branch Watershed Green Alley Program
This story map (Map Tour) example tells about a project to improve and create ‘green’ alleys in Dubuque, Iowa. The map was created by adding the alley points on the map, and showing Before and After pictures of the project. 
Link to story map example: Bee Branch Watershed Green Alley Program.      
This is just one example of a story map! Explore other story map albums at https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/arcgis-storymaps/stories.

ArcGIS Online Requirement: You must use ArcGIS Online to create an original map that features an interesting story about conservation or recreation in Iowa. You must also use an Organization Account for this project. The map you submit must be a story map in one of the following formats:

  • Story Map Journal

  • Story Map Series

  • Story Map Tour

  • New Story Map template

ArcGIS Online and an Organization Account is available to any K-12 public, private or home school, or formal youth club in the United States free of charge from Esri:

Go to http://www.esri.com/industries/education/software-bundle# to sign up for a free school bundle which includes the free ArcGIS Online School organization account. Your map entry must be created using the school organization account. You may not use a public account.

Prizes:  The five maps judged the best in each division at the state level will be awarded a $100 cash gift each.

  • Middle School Division - grades 4 - 8

  • Senior High Division - grades 9 - 12

  • Note: Teams spanning grade levels will be entered in the division of the student at the upper grade.

  • Award-winning maps must remain visible to the public for one year.