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  #1  
Old 10-28-2006, 04:25 PM
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Question 1st grade - did I post in wrong place?

Hi, all --

I had a question about trying to develop an idea I had for a first grade project. But I posted it in the forum >All Science Fair Projects >Don't Have Any Ideas Yet? >Elementary Science Fair Project Ideas. Now I'm wondering if it belongs here more?

The thread is "1st Grade - Project idea with maps." Can I just ask helpful persons to take a look at it? should I copy it in this forum? Do I even have the correct forum here?

I would appreciate any help so we can get started on our project before the VERY last minute. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:40 PM
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This is the right place. What is it that you need help on?
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:59 PM
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Question tweaking or complete change?

RaZor --

I am trying to frame my idea in a scientific way. I will copy the other post below, but talking to someone today I had the thought that I can treat this whole idea just like a collection, only instead of collecting objects we could "collect" geodetic survey markers - set up a notebook, document finding each (or not) in our local area with notes and photos, display careful notes, etc. I don't know - it's a project that still is percolating. Any ideas or help in framing the project itself, or hints on best display of results, anything really would be welcome.

Thanks for your reply.

Original post - 1st grade - project idea with maps... (long)

...and I would love help shaping it into a SCIENCE project.

First, the local categories allowed for 1st graders are 1) hobby or collection, 2) model building 3) laboratory demonstration. The hobby or collection category only lists examples of collections, but as I understand it, the object is to display a collection and show what having/acquiring that collection has taught about the subject (types of rocks, classification of dinosaurs or insects, etc).

So, my son has an above-his-age interest in maps, something he has had for more than 2 years. If a "hobby" could be used to demonstrate knowledge acquired, could I use his interest in maps? I was interested in teaching him about geocaching - a hobby using a GPS device and longitude/lattitude coordinates to find small hidden boxes. While researching this, I also found that many geocachers search for benchmarks as well. I didn't know what these were - here is the explanation they had:
----------
Benchmark Hunting - Using your GPS unit and/or written directions provided by NGS, which are available for review by the public, you can seek out NGS survey markers and other items that have been marked in the USA.

What is a benchmark?
Geodetic control points are permanently affixed objects at various locationsall over the United States to enable land surveying, civil engineering and mapping to be done efficiently. These objects are usually metal disks, but can be any other object that serves as a control point.

These markers are part of the geodetic control network created and maintained by the National Geodetic Survey(NGS). The NGS maintains a database of these locations. In the database, each geodetic control marker has a PID (Permanent IDentifier) number, and a datasheet of information about it. Although much of the descriptive (how to find it) data is outdated, the surviving markers remain vitally important to the conduct of our nation's commerce.

Why search for geodetic control points?

The interesting thing about benchmarks and horizontal control points is that a majority of them are located in plain sight (though largely ignored by the general public). ... Some of these points haven't been visited and documented as being still in existence in a very long time, so you may also be rediscovering long neglected objects of American history as well!

--------------

It seems to me there is some scientific basis involved in this type of hobby - longitude/lattitude, principles of using a compass, learning about topographical maps, ???? But it doesn't easily fit into the comments I see most often on science fair sites, especially concerning scientific method. But then again, I'm not sure that the "collection" idea fits that either.

Any help in shaping this idea into a project would be appreciated. I think it could be fun for a kid, especially one interested in maps (it's essentially like a treasure hunt). It has lots of potential for display interest, in maps and photographs of locations or geodetic markers, especially as they are set into the local (city) landscape.

In case it makes a difference, this is our first science fair, all K-6 students at the school are required to participate, the students will not be present at the judging (no questions or interaction with judges) and we have just over 3 weeks before the fair.

Thanks for your help
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Old 10-28-2006, 05:08 PM
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So you want to basically do pioneering with him as a science project?

Sounds like he really likes maps. I think that maybe he could go hiking with you or another one of his relatives or loved ones to plot a map of a small area. I'm not sure if you can do this within a 3 week period. But if you have any more questions regarding map science projects presentable to judges, just ask me.

Thanks for your time!
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:08 PM
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Red face Pioneering?

RaZoR --

I don't know if you are using "pioneering" with a specific meaning or in general. I was trying to see if the act of finding and documenting the NGS geodetic benchmarks in our area would be considered a project (this made me think of "collections." I would think it would be as legitimate a project as displaying a "collection" of dinosaurs -either models or pictures). I've been on the National Geodetic Survey site and get the impression that there is a branch of science (?) called geodesy - and that the NGS employs scientists for the purpose of measuring, adjusting and mapping. They are involved, in charge of ? setting the standards for GPS locating in the US. Do you not think there is a judge-acceptable project here?

I was a little intimidated at the idea of plotting our own map of an area. Hmmm. It would depend on how large an area as to how long it would take. Could you do something as small as a yard/property, or even a neighborhood? Could you do more than one type of map for a small area, like a topo map, political, civil?

Thanks for you responses. It's good to have someone to bounce this around with.
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Old 10-28-2006, 07:22 PM
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He could make a map of your neighborhood, but I would check with your school's rules to the fair. Also, I'm not sure exactly how bright your son is, but I'm not very sure he could handle this sort of project.

Question: Do you want to make a regular, or a geographic map of your area/neighborhood?

Thanks for your time!
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