Students investigate maps in science project

25 May 2011

Students attempt to locate metals hidden beneath a map of Queensland. Copyright Mathew Thompson.

Students attempt to
locate metals hidden beneath
a map of Queensland.
© Mathew Thompson

As a general rule, the focus for printed maps prepared by Geoscience Australia is the material on the surface, but for a group of around 120 Year 10 students in Queensland, the important element was what lay under the maps.

The students were attempting to locate coins hidden beneath maps of Queensland using metal detectors and then, by identifying their location, determine what mineral was represented.

The exercise was the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Extreme Science Experience workshop run as part of the annual Clunies Ross Awards which recognise Australian scientists and engineers who turn their research into commercial success.

One of this year's winners, an expert on the commercial application of magnetism, is Mr Bruce Candy from South Australia and founder of Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd, who ran a workshop based on the company's expertise in metal detection.

To test the abilities of the students, the maps were set up on non-metallic benches and students were required to use the metal detectors to locate the coins hidden at points under the maps.

Following the workshop, copies of the maps were distributed to schools in Queensland.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013