The progress of our Toyota Tapestry Grant winning project "Strolling in Space/Time--Navigating in History and the Environment".

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Laser Ragefinder arrives

Our Nikon Laser rangefinder arrived today. It is a compact and sturdy little unit, with a eye-safe invisible laser with a range of 440 yards. Looking out from the technology room window, I note that the house across the street is 184 yards away--very cool!

We now have many ways in which the students may measure distances: Surveying tape measure, measuring wheel, laser rangefinder, digital map scaler, and topo map software. I think it will be very interesting to have them measure the same geographical areas using these various methods and compare the results. They can take measurements on a map see how close their "real world" measurements compare.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

GPS receivers (and other stuff) arrive!

Our order from Forestry Supplies arrived today. The little Geko 201 GPSrs are really neat--they are bright green with a cute geko logo--only four buttons to operate them--really easy and intuitive (for the most part).

Interfacing to the PC was no problem. I can up/download waypoints to GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife, then import/export them to any other application. MS Streets and Trips talks to the Geko nicely.

Also tried out the electronic map scaler--again, it was simple to hook up to the COM port on my laptop. The output can go right into a spreadsheet (or other app) to make data collection easy.

93 Photo Street

93 Photo Street is a (free) Windows application that allows one to easily create photo maps, using waypoints. I intend to make use of this when we get to the mapping part of this project. I think a "clickable" photo map would be a super way to share info we gather on a web page.


Monday, August 02, 2004


Without satellites (artificial, that is), we would have no GPS navigation system. Here are links to lots of information about man-made satellites.

Here is a list of all (current and past) satellites:

How GPS Works

GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) is a key factor in this project. Our students will have a firm basis of understanding of the basic concepts of the GPS Constellation and how geometry is used to locate a specific position on the Earth.

Topo Map and Aerial Views of Mount Merici and Surrounding Area

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Information on Digital Video Making

A cool site with tips for basic video making (geared towards kids).

Kids' Vid

Forestry Suppliers, Inc. 800-647-5368

A great source for all surveying and mapping supplies. This is where the majority of our mapping and GPS technology for this project was obtained.

Forestry Suppliers, Inc. 800-647-5368

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Supporting Technology for Project

In addition to the GPS and mapping equipment, we will be using the following technology to collect, process, and ultimately distribute our data:

Canon Z-65 Digital Camcorder

Canon A80 Digital Camera w/256 MB RAM

Sharp LCD Projector,1058,1224,00.html

Hewlett Packard LaserJet 2550n color laser printer

IBM Thinkpad T 30 notebook computer

Hewlett Packard iPaq 4155 PDA

Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft MovieMaker 2

Microsoft FrontPage 2002

Adobe PhotoShop Elements 2.0

Adobe Acrobat Pro

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

GPS and Mapping Equipment

We have ordered our GPS receivers and mapping/surveying equipment. Here is a (partial) list of the equipment will be using to gather/document physical geographical data:




We have also procured the following training materials:

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Fifth Grade Teacher Pam Bosse accepts the Toyota Tapestry Grant for Mount Merici School. Posted by Hello


Welcome to Mount Merici School's blog; the purpose of which is track progress on our Toyota Tapestry Grant winning project: Strolling in Space/Time--Navigating in History and the Environment.

In a nutshell, we will use conventional and GPS mapping techniques to document changes in the environment of Central Maine. We will also augment this documentation through the use of digital photographs, historical maps, and personal interviews with elder members of the area.

The final output of this project will consist of several parts.

1. On the Web
     a. This Blog will document the process through which our data is collected
     b. Our website will showcase the digital photos, scans, and research we have done

2. Video
     We will produce, using digital video, a short documentary showcasing the highlights of our research. It will be most interesting to compare the changes in a geographical location throughout time. We intend to share this film with the community, and perhaps on the Web.

3. Written literature
     We intend to produce a written document that will show, in greater detail, the research and procedures we have accomplished. This will be a "living document", in that it will be updated and added to as future students complete additional work on this project.



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