"Bricks" - LFM Act. 1.2 in 3-D

From: cxtdm@eiu.edu (Tim McCollum)
Subject: "Bricks" - LFM Act. 1.2 in 3-D
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 23:18:59 -0600

Hi Fellow PTK-LFM Teachers,

        Last week my students completed Activity 1.2 - Mapping the
Topography of an Unknown Surface. If you have not as yet attempted this
lesson, I'm confident that you'll find it a wonderful modeling of the laser
mapping of the Martian surface by the MGS.
        Since first reviewing this lesson, I've had an interest in
extending the results beyond those of the teacher's guide into 3-D computer
rendering.  I have already purchased Vista Pro and hope to explore
possibilities with this program in the near future. However, Lou Conwell,
an elementary teacher in my district and mother of one of my students,
introduced me to a neat software program which allowed my students to do
some "entry level 3-D work" in rendering virtual versions of their paper
models.  The program is called Gryphon Bricks and they are basically Legos
( minus the trade name ) for the computer. The students recreated their
paper models by stacking the "bricks" in rows. By going to the "select all"
option (mac menu), the entire columns could be rotated so as to allow the
students to view their work from different angles.  I'm sure JPL will use a
bit more sophisticated modeling program - but for our purposes it worked
great.  I could hardly pull the kids off the computers at the end of the
        A FREE demo version of Gryphon Bricks is available for downloading at:


        I have posted some samples of the student work on our web site
linked to the Kids Corner on the LFM page.  Hope you find this extension of
a LFM activity useful and fun for your students.

Happy Holidays :)

Tim McCollum



Tim McCollum                                     217-345-2193 (school)
Charleston Jr. High School                       217-345-8121 (fax)
920 Smith Dr.                                    cxtdm@eiu.edu
Charleston, IL  61920