Award-winning local cartographers were out in force at the county government center Tuesday morning. Participants in the map contest sponsored by the association of Surveyors, Architects, Geologists and Engineers (SAGE), competed in all grade levels from kindergarten through high school. All the winning maps were displayed in the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors chambers, and a standing room-only crowd cheered and clapped as champions received the red, white or blue ribbons.
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The 19th annual map-off featured a brisk rivalry between Latrobe and Miller’s Hill schools, both of which have had more students involved in the project than any other area schools. Latrobe edged out its sister campus with 23 contest winners this year. District superintendent Jean Pinotti described the program as “an incredible learning experience for the students.”
From a certain point of view, there’s almost nothing that can’t be mapped, and the contestants proved that yet again. “Joe’s Big Backyard,” (Joseph Calloway, Latrobe) is one example. “State Mammals, the Baby Version” (Lauren Joy, Miller’s Hill) is another. “Mega Churches of the World,” (Avra Roselli, El Dorado High) as well as a comparative study of the global “Prison Population” (Gina Phillipsen, Ponderosa High) can be seen and readily understood thanks to the young mapmakers. Sasha Avanov, a junior at Oak Ridge High School, took first place in the 11th Grade category with what he called “a pretty hot topic now.” His map of the United States shows the year each state enacted an “Anti-Bullying Law.”
SAGE president Peter Thorne told the board and audience that the 2013 contest received 370 entries from public and private schools on the western slope of the county. And to date, the professional organization has awarded $47,000 to participants. Third place receives $25. Second and first place awards are $50 and $75 respectively and can be handsomely displayed alongside the winning ribbons.
The map contest attracts family members who share certain common traits. Children of parents who are in the SAGE-related professions consistently turn out high-quality, creative maps. And over the years, younger siblings step in where their older brothers and sisters have already set a high standard in cartographic achievement.
District 5 Supervisor Norma Santiago handed out ribbons to the youngest contestants. “This is one of my favorite programs every year,” she said. “It is an honor to present the awards to the students in kindergarten, first and second grade.”
Her colleagues on the board expressed variations on the same theme as they presented awards to the other winners.
Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or [email protected] Follow @CDaleyMtDemo.