The University of Manchester, Tuesday 19 March – Friday 22 March 2013
The University of Manchester has organised a week of activities to enthuse school children about studying science and engineering. The programme is designed to showcase how science, engineering, technology and maths impact on everyday life,and shape daily decisions. Pupils have the opportunity to get up close with some of the cutting-edge research going on at The University of Manchester and take part in a range of activities designed to inspire them to become the scientists of the future.
UKMap Augmented Reality (AR) App
One of the cutting-edge technologies being showcased is the new UKMap AR App which allows pupils to interact with different mapping layers from the UKMap database originally collected by The GeoInformation Group and hosted at Landmap, Mimas. Matt Ramirez at SCARLET provides further details of how the app was developed in his blog post "Visualising rich spatial data with 3D and AR".
It is personally rewarding to see school children excited about discovering geospatial data in this unique way with comments such as "cool" as they flick between layers of geospatial information such as building heights, land use and retail classifications. Anyone can try out the application with an iPad or Android device by scanning the postcard or QR code with the free to download application Junaio. For the National Science and Engineering event a quick quiz sheet was devised where pupils answer 5 questions based on the geospatial layers.
Download UKMap AR Postcard PDF (1.5 MB)
Download UKMap Exercise Sheet PDF (305 KB)
Pupils preferred working as a small group when doing this exercise, with a couple of pupils operating the app, whilst another pupil took the lead in writing down the answers. Many pupils were so enthusiastic about the app that they took the postcard home so that they could scan it and show the UKMap data to their parents.
Having this experience, watching pupils in action with the UKMap AR App has highlighted how much potential there is in using AR in education, especially in the geospatial field. The experience also highlighted parts of the app that could be improved such as more distinct colours for the classification of building heights and changing the icon for the freeze/transparency function, as pupils tried to swipe the icon rather than just touch it. Such observations will help to improve the usability of the app in the future.
Further details about the event can be found below:
10:00 – 12:30
Interactive workshops led by current PhD students in a range of science subjects
Hands-on Science Fair where pupils can interact with academic staff and students from across the University about their research
13:30 – 14:30
Expert Lecture delivered by a leading academic staff member from the University
This is a free event for pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9. Schools can bring a group of up to 25 young people.