n Monday, July 30, twelve fifth and sixth graders and thirteen parents from Wea Ridge Elementary School in Tippecanoe County braved blazing heat from the sun, sweltering humidity, and swarming insects to trek through the Boiler Mazer. Jackie Wilson, Wea Ridge Elementary science teacher, provided instruction on the use of the Garmin eTrex handheld GPS receiver. With the assistance of Purdue staff, students and parents then walked the perimeter of the maze and used the GPS receivers to mark waypoints at the numbered locations on the map below, measure the distance between each pair of waypoints and finally calculate the total distance of the maze perimeter.
Brenda Hofmann, Purdue agronomist, taught students and parents how to use the FarmWorks Site Mate field mapping software using hand-held WinCE computers for GPS navigation. With the assistance of Purdue staff, students and parents then navigated throughout the maze and used the field mapping software to create outlines (virtual bread crumb trails) of the Boilermaker Special. When all of the maze outlines are viewed together, the result is quite a piece of modern art!
The following links are to the individual outlines mapped by the teams of students or parents. The names are those filenames entered on the handheld computers by the teams.
Parents saw first-hand how the fourth grade GPS unit at Wea Ridge Elementary School relates directly to the Indiana State Proficiencies for fourth grade education. The children found the maze a fun and exciting way to apply their knowledge of GPS. Of course, cookies and cool, refreshing drinks were a welcome reward for surviving the Boiler Mazer!
Numerous Purdue staff and students participated and assisted with this event to make it the success that it was! The 'graduation portrait' below depicts all of the Wea Ridge students and parents plus the Purdue staff on hand for this inaugural corn field science event.
For more information about geospatial technologies for crop production, take a look at Purdue's Site-Specific Management Center on the World Wide Web at http://www.purdue.edu/ssmc
For more information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World Wide Web at http://www.kingcorn.org. For more information about corn mazes, check out the Corny Mazes section of KingCorn.org.