Power of Data Project


“Geospatial Inquiry is an amazing tool to help our scholars not only be able to articulate their knowledge but to add visual layers that will increase their knowledge of subject matters of interest in cross disciplinary areas of study.  Our students will be so much better prepared to enter the workplace.”


“I believe the workshop was one of the best I’ve ever attended.  As a NBCT, I rate this training among the top.”

Program Type

Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based

Target Audience

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

To date, the Power of Data (POD) has reached an estimated 15,130 educators and learners across 31 states. Participating educators increased their technological and pedagogical knowledge and skills and confidence teaching with Geospatial Inquiry. Teachers implemented lessons which provided students opportunities to engage in the analysis and interpretation of data for the purpose of explaining a phenomenon, answering a question, or solving a problem. Pedagogical practices persisted one to two years after the program ended.

Implementation of high-quality Geospatial Inquiry lessons have the potential to broaden participation in STEM. On average, 40% of students indicated increased interest in STEM and STEM careers. Geospatial Inquiry lessons had a significant impact on students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. Students who identified as female and students who identified as Black reported higher engagement in science and higher interest in science careers. Students who identified as Hispanic reported higher engagement in science and technology.


Program Overview

The Power of Data (POD) is a highly effective professional learning program that has been refined by research over 12 years. Focused on the intersection of science and geography, POD helps educators build the skills necessary to design learning activities using an instructional framework called Geospatial Inquiry.

Geospatial Inquiry guides learners to use an online GIS to analyze patterns and relationships in data to explain natural phenomena and to communicate using maps and visualizations of data as evidence to support arguments. Participants learn through Geospatial Inquiry before they consider teaching with Geospatial Inquiry. This enables them to appreciate the learner experience and to anticipate potential barriers and solutions in preparation for designing lessons. To increase student awareness and interest in STEM careers, participants explore Career Spotlights that introduce a diverse group of GIS professionals who engage in Geospatial Inquiry across a wide array of careers and plan ways they might use the stories to inspire their students.

How To Get Involved

Power of Data is now offering courses online nationwide. Visit our website or email podstemnau@gmail.com for more information.

Funders and Partners

National Science Foundation, Science Foundation Arizona/Arizona Board of Education, National Geographic Society, Esri, GIS ETC


Lori Rubino-Hare, Research Associate/Professional Development Coordinator


Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.