Students Present Work at Inaugural AP Human Geography Fair
On Tuesday, May 29, and Wednesday, May 30, AP Human Geography Students presented their fourth quarter projects at Loyola’s inaugural Human Geography Fair.
New to the social studies curriculum, the AP Human Geography course focuses on the distribution, processes and effects of human population on the planet. “The content of the Human Geography course helps students develop critical thinking skills through the understanding, application and analysis of the fundamental concepts of geography,” explains Social Studies Department Chair Jeff Dees.
The course introduces students to the basic concepts of human geography and provides a geographic framework for the analysis of current world problems through the use of historical and modern case studies, the interpretation of maps and the analysis of geospatial data. Specific units of study include geography nature and perspectives, population, cultural geography, political geography, agriculture, industry and urbanization.
“My favorite was unit 3—cultural patterns and processes—because I was able to learn about cultures and languages around the world that differ from my own,” says Margaret Kolada ’21.
Beginning with the 2017–18 school year, AP Human Geography replaced Honors World History in the lineup of social studies course offerings. Instead of following the chronological development of the Honors World History class, AP Human Geography uses thematic and geographic approaches to cover the key events in the development of mankind. Students encountered questions such as Where and why do people migrate? How are language, ethnicity and geography interconnected? How are political boundaries decided and maintained? and How do demographics interconnect with urban development?
The 2018 Human Geography Fair showcased the students’ second semester projects, which challenged them to apply the knowledge and skills they developed over the course of the year to a timely question, problem or issue. As part of the assignment, students were required to draft a project proposal, conduct research and organize their findings into a visual display.
Students explored topics such as the U.N. Involvement in the Rohingya Crisis; the Native American Mascot Conflict; Genetically Modified Organisms; and Immigration; and asked questions such as Is it Ethical to Eat Meat? Should the U.S. Government Buy Domestic or Foreign Made Clothes? Should You Leave Your Location Service On or Off? Should English Be the Official Language? Can Earth’s Resources Support Our Growing Population?
Kolada’s project was titled “Is the Gender Pay Gap in the U.S. Ethical?” and her group compared the pay gap in the United States to other countries, cultures and across industries. “This interested me because the gender pay gap is a highly debated topic in today's society, and I wanted to see how the pay gap affects other countries and cultures,” she said.
Nearly 200 students enrolled in the first year of its offering at Loyola, led by social studies teachers Priya Amin, Chris Masello, Andrew Waple and Rose Wysocki.