Digital Quest S.T.A.R.S. Students Showcased at ESRI User Conference

August 25, 2009 -- Ridgeland, MS -- Digital Quest congratulates Joppatowne High School of Harford County Maryland for their featured appearance at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference, held July 13-17, 2009, in San Diego, California. Teacher Jackie Smith, coordinator and mentor Eric Cromwell, along with students Joey Hightower and Matt Kelly were recognized during a session that focused on “strength through community” with an emphasis on geomentors.

The students are participants of Maryland’s signature program, “Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness”, the only one of its kind in the nation at the high school level. The program is dedicated to providing students with career skills and technological expertise by working through the GIS curriculum and STARS certification from Digital Quest, Inc.

“We are excited to have our GIS in Homeland Security course and the STARS Entry-Level GIS Technician Certification provide the foundation for this unique and innovative effort,” said Eddie Hanebuth, Founder and President of Digital Quest. “Our software and certification combined with the commitment from the teachers and talent of the students has resulted in quite a successful program.”

STARS (Spatial Technology and Remote Sensing) is a fully developed “turn-key” certification program for high schools, colleges, and universities as well as career professionals looking to integrate geospatial tools into their on-on-the job skill set. STARS is the first industry-recognized geospatial certification recognized by NASA and the U.S. Department of Labor.

“One of the reasons for the success of this one-of-a-kind program is our partnership with Digital Quest,” said Eric Cromwell, Coordinator of Accelerated Learning Programs for Harford County Public Schools. “The GIS in Homeland Security curriculum and the Geospatial Technologies Certification Program were a ready-made fit to get this program up and running.”

Digital Quest focuses on designing, developing, distributing, and supporting geospatial/remote sensing educational, classroom-based products including:

  • STARS: A series of courses that prepare students to take the GIS certification test. STARS is the first and only competency based, industry recognized, entry-level, geospatial certification. 
  • SPACE: A series of courses, developed by the SPACESTARS partnership, designed to allow students to use GIS skills in the context of selected community based topics. 
  • AGIS Book Series: A Geospatial Industry Series that examines an entire industry/ career cluster to show how geospatial technology impacts and improves those industries. These courses feature detailed narratives about the relationship between the particular industry and geospatial technology. In addition, guided lessons and scenarios give students hands on experience with GIS Software.
The Joppatowne students and teachers were recognized by Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI and Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland.

Digital Quest, Inc. is a Mississippi-based development and training oriented company with a primary focus of enabling educational institutions to provide skill training in the new and ever-more vital field of Geospatial Technology. Digital Quest, an active member of the EIGS geospatial technology cluster of the University of Mississippi, operates the SPACESTARS Geospatial Training Laboratory at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. For more information about Digital Quest, visit or contact Scotty Weller at 1-877-573-6683, Email Contact.

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