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Teen Science Cafe: Putting COVID in Its Place—GIS Mapping and Locating Our Own Experiences with the Pandemic’s Social Changes

Thursday, May 13, 2021 @ 5:30 PM-7:30 PM


Academy of Science – Zoom, St. Louis, MO United States

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Space is limited. FREE and OPEN to all middle and high school students in grades 6-12! Scroll down for registration form below. Pre-registration for Junior Academy of Science members ONLY through Saturday, May 1. General registration for all opens Sunday, May 2. Deadline to register is Thursday, May 13, 4p.m., CST. Look for Cafe login information in your email confirmation.

Click Here to learn about the Junior Academy of Science and how to become a member.

PLEASE NOTE: A separate liability waiver must also be completed by a parent/guardian for each attending teen. (Click orange button in registration form below to complete and sign required waiver.)


NOTE: Please plan to log into Zoom at 5:20 p.m., CST, 10 minutes before the Cafe start time! You will be placed in a Waiting Room before being allowed access to the Cafe.

5:30 pm – 5:50 pm: Café Orientation and Icebreaker
5:50 pm – 6:20 pm: Featured Café Scientist Presentation
6:20 pm – 7:30 pm: Interactive Virtual Activity | Q & A and Cafe Wrap-Up

IMPORTANT ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS: You will need to create or have access to your own personal Google account for this café’s virtual activity. To set up a personal account, CLICK HERE.


Dashboards and GIS maps have been a central way we have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking in seemingly meticulous fashion the progression of cases since last March. These maps are only one way we can understand the impact that the pandemic has had on our lives. In this interactive virtual café for teens with medical sociologist, Dr. Chris Prener, we’ll talk about what GIS is, how we can capture qualitative data about places and experiences, and how with maps we can communicate the effect COVID-19 has had on our lives. We’ll do this by using Google to create maps of how our own experiences with place have changed in the last year. Sometimes called “volunteered geographic information,” this approach to collecting data has a wide range of research applications.


Christopher Prener, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Saint Louis University


Dr. Christopher Prener is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO). Originally from Northern Virginia, Chris has lived in Maryland, New York, Northern Ireland, and Massachusetts before moving to St. Louis in 2015. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he majored in Sociology and History. After graduating with a Doctorate in Sociology from Northeastern University, Chris moved here to work at SLU.

At SLU, Chris is an urban and medical sociologist with an interest in mixed methods research designs that incorporate spatial data. He teaches an Introduction to Sociology course that focuses on health disparities, and Introduction to GIS.

Chris’s current research focuses on the impact that population decline and segregation have had on St. Louis, Missouri, across a number of outcomes, including vacancy, crime, and poor health. In addition to pursuing these questions, he actively maintains several open-source software projects to make spatial research more reproducible and St. Louis data more accessible.

Chris also contributes time to the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative, helping St. Louis better understand the scope of vacancy in our city. Chris is also the maintainer of a COVID-19 tracking project for Missouri, focused on harmonizing data from various sources to create data visualizations of regional and statewide patterns in cases, deaths, and health disparities.

Putting COVID in Its Place is a Gateway Teen Science Cafe Event of the The Academy of Science – St. Louis. Teen Science Cafe is underwritten in part with support from Boeing and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis, sponsoring the full array of Academy STEM Teens programming.


Thursday, May 13, 2021
5:30 PM-7:30 PM
Event Category:


St. Louis, MO United States + Google Map