By EMMA BARTLETT
Eighth grader Caden Baum recently won first place in Rhode Island’s Environmental Systems Research Institute’s Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage Geographic …
By EMMA BARTLETT
Eighth grader Caden Baum recently won first place in Rhode Island’s Environmental Systems Research Institute’s Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage Geographic Information System (ESRI ArcGIS) Mapping Competition. Baum was one of five winners on the state level and received an honorable mention on the national level for his project titled “Mapping to Make a Difference.”
In the ESRI ArcGIS contest, individuals must complete a custom project about a topic in their state where they gather, create, analyze, interpret and present the data in an ArcGIS story map.
Baum, a Hope Highlands Middle School student, started GIS mapping as a hobby during the pandemic. As a sixth grader, Baum’s project focused on renewable energy while his seventh grade project was on state waterways. This year, he worked with the Rhode Island Blood Center and created a plan to educate/recruit individuals to donate blood.
Baum started his research in February and said this year’s project was larger than what he had done in past years. This project involved data collection, speaking with several professionals in the field and reading several articles. Baum’s target audience was upper high school and college students since he learned that there had been a 62 percent drop in both high school and college blood drives across the nation due to the pandemic.
Baum sent letters to small businesses, community groups and schools concerning the blood crisis shortage and how individuals can make a difference. He said his favorite part of the story map project is knowing that it is useful to others.
Baum received $100 for his win and donated the funds to the Rhode Island Blood Center – saying the funds were best in the hands of the center. During his two previous wins, Baum donated the money to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The Rhode Island Blood Center was appreciative of the work Baum has done.
“We are so proud to have an advocate like Caden in the community spreading the word about the need for blood. Consistent, dedicated donors are the backbone of maintaining a healthy and safe blood supply in the community and supporters like him are invaluable,” said Nicole Pineault, Director of Donor Resources, Rhode Island Blood Center.
Baum’s teacher, Paul Spencer, has been his advisor for the ESRI ArcGIS Mapping Competition since Baum’s first competition in sixth grade.
Hope Highlands Principal Alex Kanelos said the school was proud of Caden and noted that he was a student who went above and beyond.
“He’s got a lot of awards coming his way in the future,” said Kanelos.
Baum is headed to Cranston High School West in the fall and said he can continue to compete in this program until he is a senior.
To view his story map, visit https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/a74a854da8ee4de88d9864daf9bf37da.