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Surveying and Spatial activities for school Science Academy students

Thursday 30 January 2020 3:00pm

Our OUASSA students with School of Surveying student helpers image
Our 6 OUASSA students with School of Surveying student helpers (Jessei, Rewi, Devon & Liam) and Richard Hemi.

Last week the National School of Surveying hosted a keen group of 6 students from The Science Academy (OUASSA) for a morning of measurement science fun.

The Science Academy is a residential science camp aimed at extending year 13 students who are passionate about science, and who come from small, rural/provincial or lower decile schools. The camp gives the students the opportunity to work alongside University scientists and participate in research projects.
Visit the OUASSA website for more information

Our group members had chosen the surveying activity as one of their elective projects and were very eager to learn all about it!

Measurement science and sea-level rise were the themes of the morning activities. The group started by meeting with summer research students Devon Allen, Liam McElwain and Jessie Scurr, and staff members Richard Hemi and Emily Tidey who briefly explained some of the tools surveyors use in measurement science, and talked enthusiastically about their summer student projects, teaching and research interests.

The students then ventured outside to complete a resection using a total station with professional practise fellow Richard Hemi and our technicians Craig Tidey and Judy Rodda.

OUASSA students get hands on with a back lawn resection exercise
OUASSA students get hands on with a back lawn resection exercise.

Next they visited our Spatial Computing Lab with professional practice fellow Aubrey Miller, to complete a GIS (Geographic Information System) exercise exploring both sea-level rise in South Dunedin and the gradient of Baldwin Street – two very topical and important issues surveyors are involved with.

After a short ice-block break, the group was split into two to explore more of what surveying has to offer.

Dr Greg Leonard used our state of the art Augmented Reality (AR) sandtable to explain contours, landforms, engineering and sea level rise, then challenged the students to model South Dunedin using the table.

OUASSA students learn about the effects of sea level rise with engineering lecturer Greg Leonard image
OUASSA students learn about the effects of sea-level rise with engineering lecturer Greg Leonard.

Professional practise fellow Richard Hemi, alongside summer research students Rewi Ross-Hotene and Jessie Scurr, helped the students explore the cadastral side of surveying – using Landonline to search for plans of their hometowns.

OUASSA students search for survey plans using Landonline image
OUASSA students search for survey plans using Landonline.

After switching, the groups reconvened in the Spatial Lab, and used Trimble Realworks software for some point-cloud processing to create a 3D model of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum.

Great fun was had by all involved. We really enjoyed spending our morning with such enthusiastic and inquisitive OUASSA students, and we hope we might see some of them back at the School of Surveying in the future!