Esri Announces 2021 ArcGIS Online Competition Winners

by | Jul 7, 2021

REDLANDS, Calif.- Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, announced the winners of the 2021 ArcGIS Online Competition for US High Schools and Middle Schools. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the competition received the highest number of submissions in its five-year history. Out of 500 entries from high schools and 145 entries from middle schools, two winners and two honorable mentions were chosen. Participating states awarded $100 to the five best high school and middle school projects, awarding a total of 191 students.

“Young people today understand their role profoundly in shaping the future,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “As digital natives, they are well suited for challenges that relate to technological solutions. At Esri, we invest heavily in programs that help equip youth with geographic problem-solving techniques and GIS tools to support advocacy and program work.”

For the competition, students created and submitted original ArcGIS map projects inspired by their home states. Skye Lam won the high school competition with Mapping the Green Book in New York City, and Kei Handzic-Smith’s project, Poverty and Food in St. Louis, won the middle school competition. The high school honorable mention went to Cassandra Vongrej and Brigid McMahon for their map, Analysis of Seagrass in Barnegat Bay. And the middle school honorable mention was awarded to Titouan Chaligne and Luc Hoffman for their map, Organic Food Consumption in NY State.

The competition gives students an extra opportunity to use Esri’s GIS software, which is offered for free to every K“12 school. Students in teams of one or two complete a custom project where they gather, create, analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS StoryMaps story or web app. Students choose and construct their own story, assemble key background knowledge, and build skills for college and serving their community.

The ArcGIS Online Competition for US High Schools and Middle Schools began after Minnesota ran a successful state-based competition in 2016, encouraging Esri to use the model nationally. This year’s winners presented their maps during the competition webinar on June 17, 2021, which also included interviews and analysis.

To learn more, visit the 2021 competition and results pages, which include links to projects by all awardees.

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

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