GeoBus

We stop for science

About Project

What is GeoBus?

We are a 40 foot city bus with a mobile citizen science laboratory focused on maps, apps, and drones that visits all K-12 schools in Florida. The GeoBus is a collaborative partnership between University of Central Florida, Citizen Science GIS, and other community partners (to be named once the ink is dry).

Why it matters

The Power of Big and the Power of Being 1st! UCF hosts the first of its kind mobile geospatial technology experience in the United States. We Transport Maps, Apps, and Drones to Science’s Next Generation: Most K-12 schools do not offer geospatial technology, geography, or mapping experiences to students. We fill the gap through mobile education! We Support In-Demand Careers: There is an annual growth rate of 35% in geospatial technology careers*. Yet, K-12 students are often unaware of these careers. We stimulate interest in these career fields! We Provide Access to All: Scheduling priority is given to Title 1 schools and schools lacking sufficient support for science and geospatial technology experiences. We believe these technologies should be shared with all in society!

Geospatial technologies on GeoBus

  • 8 32” touch screen monitors
  • 1 Augmented reality sandbox
  • 20 Mini-drones
  • 90” Interactive geovisualization wall
  • 4 Virtual reality goggle headsets
  • 10 Tablets
  • 6 Lego mini-drones

Importance

  • The Power of Big and the Power of Being First:
    UCF hosts the first-of-its-kind mobile geospatial technology experience in the United States.

  • We Transport Maps, Apps and Drones to Science’s Next Generation:
    Most K-12 schools do not offer geospatial technology, geography or mapping experiences to students. We fill the gap through mobile education.

  • We Support In-Demand Careers:
    There is an annual growth rate of 35 percent in geospatial technology careers*, yet K-12 students are often unaware of these opportunities. We stimulate interest in these career fields.

  • We Provide Access to All:
    Scheduling priority is given to Title 1 schools and schools lacking sufficient support for science and geospatial technology experiences. We believe these technologies should be shared with all in society.

    *Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Stations

Station 1: Emergency Command Center

A 90-inch interactive geovisualization wall will act as a mobile emergency command center for a hurricane evacuation. The mobile command center on the geovisualization wall is connected to WiFi and transmits live feeds on a mapping application from student first responders in the field. Student teams walk around campus and alert classrooms to a pending hurricane threat, marking locations as “checked and informed” on a mobile mapping application that updates live to the mobile command center. The mobile command center communicates realtime responses back to the field team via two-way radios for additional field data popping up on the geovisualization wall.

Station 2: Sandbox Science

Exploring Topography through Augmented Reality This station is a 40-inch by 30-inch sandbox connected to 3D visualizations that project elevation, water and topography over kinetic sand. Projected images change as students mold the sand to create a virtual landscape.

Station 3: Island Hopping with Virtual Reality

Students will use immersive virtual reality goggles to view 3D drone flights. Using four pairs of virtual reality headsets, students take an excursion to the world’s second-largest reef in Belize, to interactively experience drone flights over reef islands and underwater drone scenes of fish and coral.

Station 5: How Do I Get There By Bus?

This station uses a 32-inch interactive touch monitor where students will engage in a transportation planning and analysis exercise using Lynx Bus route data overlaid on data about health clinics and grocery stores to plan optimal, affordable routes for populations to access services.

Station 5: Safe Routes To Schools

Students will use 10 tablets to add locationbased data about their preferred safe routes to schools. They identify their routes including any traffic concerns, safe or unsafe areas, bullying sites, barking dogs, broken/ missing sidewalks and other characteristics.

Station 6: Mapping Migration And Movement Around The World

Students will engage with a 32-inch interactive touch monitor for a mapping exercise in migration. They will analyze a 3D time-series mapping application of countries around the world to see which are losing and gaining population.

Station 7: Sustain Our Schools Mobile Mapping

Students will walk their campus, using 10 tablets, to map any and all sustainable features including recycling bins, compost piles, solar panels, gardens, rain barrels and any space where future sustainable features might be desired. The project promotes sustainability and identifies which portions of campus are optimal for future, sustainable features.

Station 8: Rainy Day Mapping For Citizen Science

Students will use rain gauge data at each visited school to map and analyze rain patterns throughout Florida. Each school visited is provided with an affordable (less than $10) rain gauge to collect and update data each morning into a web mapping platform quantifying rainfall at the school. All data is shared on an interactive, citizen science rain map over the span of several months. Using this data, students create density surface models to show potential rainfall estimates across the region and to show a time-series analysis of regional rainfall.

Station 9: First Flight With Mini-Drones

Students will code, flight plan and pilot mini-drones over a 3-foot by 5-foot 3D model of a coastal community simulating a pre-and post-disaster scene. They will compare and contrast the before and after imagery collected from the mini-drones to identify impacts of a coastal disaster. Note: Station 9 does not occur on the bus, it occurs in a classroom at the school the day of the event.

Station 10: A Day On The Geobus Story Map

The story map will be completed by students just before leaving the bus. Each student team adds a five-word message (and accompanying photo/video) to an interactive story map about the GeoBus. The map tells the story of the GeoBus and its passengers and serves as a promotional tool for other schools to see the excitement and fun that accompanies the learning and research completed on the bus.

Station 11: Tinkering For Flight

Students will build mini-drones out of legos to understand the basic parts and operations of drones. This emphasizes tinkering, trial and error, crashing and rebuilding. *These stations utilize crowd-sourced data for real-world citizen science projects that build as more schools contribute, creating comprehensive datasets for continued learning after the GeoBus leaves a school

Activities

  • We Offer Fun, Hands-On Science and Technology Learning in Maps, Apps, and Drones. We fly and build mini-drones, code and launch crowd-sourced mapping apps, engage in real-world geospatial problem solving, and create social media mapping challenges.
  • We Connect Central Florida Youth and UCF Students. We engage and inspire youth to believe in their talents and to believe in UCF as their destination of choice.

The GeoBus includes interactive learning stations with hands-on activities that emphasize geospatial technologies, citizen science, creativity, imagination and teamwork. Eleven stations will rotate based on grade level and time allotted at each school. Multiday school visits are possible to experience all learning stations.

Apply for a stop!

GeoBus Team


Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne

Founding Research Director



Lain Graham

PhD Student



Dr. Hannah Torres

Post-Doctoral Scholar



Amber Rutstein

Student Staff



Sara Peluso

Student Staff



Patricia Bencivenga

Student Staff



Carolynn Turneur

Student Staff



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