The fourth grade program, SPACEBASE Atlas, builds the foundations for spatial literacy.  This includes exploring compass directions, map projections, and spatial skills. Students learn to use GPS units and employ GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to create maps. The program engages their interest by using local sites! They learn that a map is a visual representation of an area and how to read maps by locating their school, parks, and other landmarks in Portsmouth.

“At STARBASE, I learned navigation, mapping, and how to use different types of navigation systems.”

SPACEBASE Atlas also teaches Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills (reading, mathematics, writing, speaking and listening, computer literacy, problem-solving, looking at the big picture, positive attitude, independence and initiative, self presentation, and working as a team). The goal of this integrated curriculum is to nurture a generation of inventors, innovators and leaders.

Key Components of the Program:

  • Learning to read a compass
  • Using simple measuring devices such as yardsticks and trundles, as compared to GPS devices
  • Developing maps using Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) software
  • Blue SPACEBASE t-shirts