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STARS Curriculum

Teacher Materials:

Lesson Overviews

Each lesson in the teacher’s edition comes with a lesson overview page for instructors with boxes in the margins that provide quick reference to lesson goals. The overview describes in detail the skills taught in the lesson as well as additional information that may be necessary to complete the lesson. Lesson related links for further study are also supplied with each overview page.

Presentation Notes

Each student lesson comes with a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of the lesson including concepts, the skills covered, and the study area involved. The teacher’s manual is supplemented with detailed descriptions and commentary for each slide allowing a diverse range of instructors to lead classroom lecture.


Lessons will conclude with a full page color layout of a successfully completed exercise. If questions are presented within a lesson, the teacher’s manual includes answers to those questions.


The courses delivered in the STARS curriculum series are designed to both teach and assess a student's level of competence in geospatial skills and project management. This 4 semester series of courses provides students with the skills to be an entry level geospatial technician. The introductory series covers topics from basic concepts in Project Management to GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing. It is in this course where students learn about history of mapping, projections, coordinate systems, scale, multispectral imagery, and various other concepts that are essential to being effective in GIS/RS. The advanced series (Series Two and Three) will discuss the uses and applications of ArcGIS software and its extensions including: Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Network Analyst, and ERDAS's Image Analysis extension for ArcGIS.

The fourth series is a capstone project. This project allows students to show application of geospatial skills and concepts learned in previous coursework and experiences. Upon completion this project is submitted to the STARS Certification Committee for review.

Our Philosophy is to give both the teacher and the student every thing they need to be successful. The STARS curriculum is a turn key solution that is delivered with locally customized data sets, Lesson Plans, Assessments, PowerPoints and PowerPoint Notes to help facilitate the class.

Becoming Certified

A key component and benefit of STARS is that it leads to certification. And certification is the key to showing your students have retained and are ready to enter the workforce. Students have the opportunity to gain the SPACE and STARS industry certification. Turn learn more about SPACE and STARS: Click Here!

Features in This Series

  • Step-by-Step Instructions – an easy to follow format relevant for novice to experienced ArcGIS users
  • Lesson Content – provides a narrative overview of an important topic relevant to the fundamental concepts of geospatial technology
  • Lesson Exercise – applies lesson content to an exercise that features “real world” tasks at work
  • Lesson Review – reinforces knowledge gained with exercises to identify key terms and concepts
  • “Knowledge Knugget” boxes – boxes found in the margin that features tools, tips and tricks that may enhance your experience with geospatial technologies
  • Finished Layouts – to provide a self assessment tool to ensure successful completion of each lesson
  • STARS Titles

    Click on a title to see more information. Use the scrollbar at the bottom to see all STARS titles. To review all available Digital Quest titles visit the "Book Viewer": Click Here!

    Introduction to GIS
    and RS Concepts

    This introductory course launches you into the exciting world of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, while teaching the basics from the evolution of maps and projections to learning about the modern uses of a GPS, GIS, and Remote Sensing.

    Introduction to GIS
    Tools and Processes

    This hands-on book is is an ideal tool for anyone interested in ArcGIS. It introduces you to important components of the ArcGIS program. You will be provided with step by step instructions that teach the basics of these programs.

    Advanced Tools in

    Students use their knowledge to complete numerous geospatial applications, learning techniques in displaying, managing, querying, symbolizing, and creating geospatial data. Lessons are built on applications to show process beyond “buttonology”.

    Extended Tools in
    Remote Sensing

    In geospatial studies, the term “remote sensing” is viewing our world from a distance. Whether the data is from airplanes or satellites, in this book you are given the tools necessary to take images from these sources and use them to perform image analysis.

    Extended Tools in
    Surface Analysis

    This book directs you through five types of applications in Surface Analysis using the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst software extension. Emphasis is placed on the various methods and uses of displaying continuous, or grid, data over a surface.

    Extended Tools in
    3D Visualization

    This book allows users to study their local area as well as the world, in 3D and create fly-overs of those studies. Instruction is provided using ArcGIS 3D Analyst: ArcMap, ArcScene, and ArcGlobe. Change your perspective and the perspective of your maps.

    Extended Tools in
    Routing Analysis

    Roads, rivers, rails...these features share a common characteristic. They are all networks of some kind and are made of interconnected lines. GIS can be used to explore these connections. This book shows users how to utilize these datasets to analyze flow or navigation.

    Application in Geospatial
    Project Management

    A road map for the capstone application component of the STARS Certification, this book leads students through the Project Management Model to produce a complete geospatial project from planning to implementation to presentation.