On November 28th, Advanced Mathematics students from grade 9, 10 and 11 at Norfolk Island Central School became honorary surveyors for a day.
Norfolk Island was the site of the latest Maths in Surveying Day, an engaging, challenging event that puts maths students through their paces with a number of activities that show off the mathematic aspects of surveying.
“It’s very helpful if your mathematics level is high, which is why we want to encourage the ones who are good at maths to understand what they can use it for,” surveyor John Brock explains.
For the past thirteen years, Maths in Surveying Days have been run three times a year in Sydney’s Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay. Each year, 270 students take part in the Sydney excursions.
Building on this, the Norfolk Island event saw mainland surveyors like Mr Brock join local surveyors in donating their time to bring challenging and inspiring activities straight to students’ doorsteps.
The students were exposed to some cutting-edge surveying measurement technology. These included total stations, designed for recording bearings and distances, and GNSS devices, which draw on the satellite navigation systems to aid with geospatial positioning.
Students were also treated to a slide show presentation from Mr Brock outlining the history of mapping and surveying on Norfolk Island. The presentation also addressed famous explorer surveyors such as James Cook, Matthew Flinders and Phillip Parker King, focusing on their time spent surveying and mapping the island.
“The kids loved it, the surveyors were fantastic,” said supervising teacher Lance Miller. “It actually made a couple of the senior students re-evaluate their uni choices.”
The Maths in Surveying activities weren’t the only signs that surveyors were on the island. Mr Brock took to the Radio Norfolk airwaves on the morning of Tuesday November 26thto discuss the Maths in Surveying Day program. Mr Brock also found time to give a guest talk to Norfolk Island History Society members in Christian’s Cave, which cast further light on the history of surveying on Norfolk Island.
Following the success of the Maths in Surveying Day and its associated activities, plans are already in place for a follow-up event in 2021.
“I’d like to say how proud we are that the Norfolk Island school has taken an interest,” Mr Brock says. “We intend to come again… we’re very happy to help the students understand what value their teaching has in later life.”
To learn more about the Maths in Surveying Days, click here.