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Mapping out the city

Krystle Wagner • Apr 27, 2018 at 11:00 AM

After learning about mapping, sixth-graders put their knowledge to use.

The Grand Haven Christian School students on Thursday morning used the GPS on cellphones to find the coordinates of street signs and fire hydrants around their school.

While the students completed the project for class, Matt Wade, the streets and utilities manager for the Grand Haven Department of Public Works, said they also hope to use some of the information the children gathered.

Wade spoke with the students about the importance behind knowing where street signs and utilities are in municipalities. For example, water and sewer lines run underground where the new parking lot is taking shape at Mulligan’s Hollow, he said.

Wade said he thinks it’s great that students are gaining exposure to the geographic information mapping system (GIS) early, and there are job opportunities in the field.

“It’s being used for more and more things every day,” he said.

Starting outside the school and working their way down to South Beechtree Street, sixth-graders Charlie Kuiper, Lucas Dick and Fisher Campbell mapped out all the water valves, fire hydrants and street signs.

Kuiper said he enjoyed learning where the utilities were in the city.

As the students started writing the latitude and longitude coordinates of signs, Roman Smith said he thought it was “pretty cool” the city would use information they collect.

“It makes us feel older,” Kaiya Betten added.

Elyse Powell said it was fun having the opportunity to help the city while also getting out of the classroom and doing something new.

“It’s nice to get out of the classroom and still learn,” Smith said.

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