High School Students discover a Passion for Spatial Science

Spatial@Melbourne had a great interdisciplinary exposure at the Year 10 Work Experience Week organized by the Faculty of Science 26 to 30 June 2017. 16 high school students – 10 female and 6 male—explored the role of spatial technologies through topics such as “Life cycle analysis of coffee cups”, “Track ing waste by IT”, and “Geocaching – a location-based game to collect data about places”.

Assisted by environmental engineers and spatial information scientists, they have been led through the complex ways we interact with our environment, and the means to capture data about these interactions and analyse them. Using GPS trackers and professional grade open-source GIS tools, the students were able to capture quantitative information about how waste moves through the city and impacts on our lives. They contrasted this with qualitative place descriptions they produced accessing a web-based game using their mobile phones, which were then used to populate a graph database that modelled their perception of the Parkville campus.

These students deliberately chose to learn about disciplines they did not know from school. One Year 10 student told us afterwards: “I found Spatial Engineering the most fascinating, specifically the creation of a complex map through datasets. This experience allowed me to pinpoint the disciplines of science I want to pursue in the future, and rekindled my motivations for study beyond secondary school.”