15 min. Introduction
10 min. Investigate
30 min. Map a Test Surface
10 min. Reflect
65 min. Total
Prep Time: 10 min
Set up Materials Table.
Create a sample LiDAR device.
This snapshot intended for quick reminders and is not a replacement of the guide. Be sure to use the guide for detailed preparation instructions and implementation scripts.
Bird’s-eye view: a perspective from above
Radar: radio detection and ranging
Sonar: sound detection and ranging
Topographic map: a representation of the shape of land in an area
Topography: the shape of land in an area
21st Century Skills Connection
Habits of Mind
- Construct models and simulations
Youth engineer a model of a LiDAR technology to capture the shape and height of a landscape (topography).
How can we gather information about topography?
Youth Will Do
- Use bundles of straws as models to represent how remote sensing with laser technology can produce topographic maps.
- Develop ideas for changing the design of the straw model to better map the surface of objects.
Youth Will Know
- Engineers often use models to represent the technologies or materials they are investigating and test their technologies in model conditions.
- Engineers design technologies that capture complex data to make it easier to understand and use for different purposes.
- Engineers must evaluate the quality of the data their technologies produce.
Videos Related to this Activity
Science Snippet: Build your content knowledge to help answer youth's questions.
Family Connections Story Prompt
Can you tell me a story about our landscape / the land on which we live?
Connecting Across Activities
- In Engineering Activity 2, youth used filters and scrapers to collect mineral data.
- In this Activity, they design straw model LiDAR systems to gather data on a new subject: topography.
- In Engineering Activity 4, they will put what they have learned together to design remote sensing devices that collect multiple types of data.