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Spotlight: Anna uses 3D technology to recreate 150 million year old fossil

I am Anna A., I just turned 10 years old. I am in year 6 at Newton Prep School in London. I am very interested in geology and paleontology. In August I participated in the Rockwatch residential trip. Rockwatch is a geological society for kids and I was a member of Rockwatch for 3 years now. In this year’s residential trip we visited Chapman’s Poole on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. 

In Chapman’s Poole there are one type of fossils and it is Pavlovia Rotunda Ammonite. These Ammonites is very fragile because they are hidden inside Kimmeridge Clay and they come from the late Jurassic period (this means they are more than 150 million years old). 

Me and my mum didn’t only find the imprint of the whole Ammonite, but we found a section of the real Ammonite!  This year I decided to enter the Rockstar 2016 competition which is organised by Rockwatch. Many young geologist enter each year,  but for me this will be the first time.  

I decided to enter my Pavlovia Rotunda Ammonites, but not only them, I wanted other models of them. I wanted to model the whole ammonite using the section that I found.  My mum and I found Machines Room in North London where I could 3D scan my fossil part. It was really fun because we had to construct our unique spinning device to scan my fossil. We screwed off the wheels from a spinny chair and put a square piece of plastic to make the base. The scanner was handheld and was very hard to keep still. The scanning turned out very well. 

Later I attended Fire Tech Camp, which I like very much.  It is a club for young coders and I also attended 3D scanning course there in the past. At Fire Tech Camp we had to re-scan my fossils using different technology.  It was amazing, but took us very long. The Fire Tech team had to take many (I think over 400) pictures of my fossil section and upload them.  After that a special program created a 3D image which had all the ridges and detail.  I was amazed and it didn’t stop there.. 

Fire Tech teacher helped me to model a complete Pavlovia Rotunda Ammonite from my scan.  We used Tindercad to recreate the missing parts! Then I 3D printed my complete Ammonite..and I also got to lasercut my fossil. 

I was very happy with the result of my work. In the end I made a video using imovie. I inserted all my images and videos that I took throughout the process.

I put my video on youtube and you can see it here.

Now I have entered the competition and I hope I will win. I want to thank Fire Tech for helping me.  I am looking forward to attending other courses to model my future geological discoveries.