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Ordnance Survey donates giant ‘MaxiMap’ to INTECH Science Centre

Ordnance Survey has donated a prize-winning, giant floor map of Great Britain to INTECH Science Centre in Winchester.

The MaxiMap is a huge 20 square metre map of Britain, designed to be walked and played on, with the aim of exciting children about geography, teaching concepts like scale and distance and the impacts of climate change.

The giant floor map, which is worth in the region of £300, is being donated by Ordnance Survey to INTECH so that it can be enjoyed by the tens of thousands of schools pupils who visit the centre every year.

The map is the brainchild of former teacher Ann Jones and her business partner Rowena Wells. Last year they won Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation Challenge, earning them an £11,000 with which they have developed their MaxiMap idea.

Angela Ryde-Weller, INTECH Education Manager, says: “The MaxiMap provides a fun way to learn about size, scale and direction. Using their own bodies as measuring devices, pupils can find out how far it is from John O' Groats to Southampton, that Liverpool is further east than Edinburgh and just how long our coastline is.

“They can then compare all their results and consider how accurate their measurements are. This cross curricular activity, linking mathematics and geography on an enormous scale, really adds a new dimension to these topics.”

Chris Parker, of Ordnance Survey, adds: “It’s a pleasure to be able to donate the MaxiMap to INTECH because it helps bring geography for life for children in a fun and unique way. I’m sure it will be well used.”

The GeoVation Challenge aims to help entrepreneurs bring their geography-based business ideas to life. Ann and Rowena overcame competition from eight other shortlisted entries to win the grand prize at a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style event in January last year. Since then their business has continued to grow and expand.

The current GeoVation Challenge, which is seeking ideas about ‘How to Improve Transport in Britain’, is still open to submissions, but only until 11 February.

Chris Parker, comments: “We’re looking to support ideas that use geography to help improve our lives and how we all get from A to B. There is £150,000 in seed funding available for the best ideas so there is a real incentive to get involved.”

For more information on GeoVation and to enter an idea, visit www.geovation.org.uk/geovationchallenge

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