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High School Visual Analytics Module: Detect the Expected; Discover the Unexpected

October 8, 2009

A three day hands-on learning module on visual analytics, developed by Ross Maciejewski, PhD Research Assistant from Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE), was presented at Triton Central High School by Marti Burns, Asst. Education Director, and Nick Klosterman, Research Assistant. Triton Central High School offers a project oriented elective course, Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HS/EM). This course is built around the development of first responder skills, exposure to emergency management careers and the fundamental principles of homeland security; prepare, protect, respond and recover.

The module was integrated into the course curriculum and focused on the following topics: how visual analytics can be beneficial to homeland security related fields, critical assessment of visualized data, pros and cons of visual analytic tools and current VACCINE projects.

A key component of the HS/EM class will be to conduct a semester-end Tabletop Exercise (TTX) with a scenario that involves an explosion at a local cold storage plant. The module consisted of creating a custom Google Maps application to explore affected areas due to the explosion. Crime data was also visualized and analyzed to identify events indicative of larger criminal activity that may have been preventable prior to the disaster.

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