Surveying, Mapping, and Drones with 6th & 7th Graders in Florida
GeoMentor Volunteer: Patrick Phillips
Location: Orlando, Florida
Grade level of participating students: 6th & 7th
Activity Theme/Focus: Surveying & Mapping
Number of Participants: 110
In conjunction with National Surveyors Week, Southeastern Surveying & Mapping Corp., Inc. (SSMC) participated in presenting Surveying & Mapping as a career to two Orlando area middle schools. James Mazurak and Patrick Phillips from the Orlando office of SSMC along with Lenora Spence, Outreach Coordinator from Florida Department of Agriculture visited the two schools.
At one school the presentations were made to about 50 students (30 6th graders, and 20 7th graders). At the second school, three or four classes of mixed grades and ages met in the school’s media center as one big group of about 60 students. James explained about Surveying & Mapping using videos, slides and personal experiences, while Patrick physically demonstrated his drone skills in the school yards. This was part of the ongoing community involvement & education that SSMC is involved with throughout the year with students ranging from Elementary School to College.
Beyond the math, science and technology involved; James explained that what draws him to the surveying profession is the time spent in the field. Most geographers, regardless of specialty, are drawn to the outdoors and all that nature has to offer. Much of surveying & mapping is following in the footsteps of those who came before us. Consequently; many practitioners are also historians and conservationists.
I have to admit, though, the technology is pretty cool and that is what drew me to the profession. I studied computer science in college but like many mappers, followed my family into the profession. So I am now applying my computer skills to surveying and mapping. The UAS portion of SSMC’s presentation primarily explained the technology behind the aerodynamic capabilities of the UAS; GPS, IMUs, accelerometers and counter rotating propellers. The students asked questions like “how high can it go?” And “can you make it flip?” Far fewer students were interested in the photogrammetry and math required to process the data.