By Rosanne Quinnell 5th October, 2019.

I was able to present some of the work from the Haswell Digitisation project at the recent (2 -4 October 2019) Australian Conference Science and Mathematics Education (links to abstracts below).

1. Breathing Life into Haswell’s Historic Educational Zoological Collection.

Quinnell, R., Gray, L., Philp, J., Mitchell, B., Momo Newberry, M., & Dimon, R.

This presentation gave an overview of the Haswell digitisation project (students-as-partners, museum studies meets zoology meets technology) and then spent some time on the 3D space. I used some props for this talk in the form of ‘fun size’* prints of the koala skull and jaw (HM298**; in the Sydney language the koala was called ‘gulamany’, Troy 1994) and the wallaby skull and jaw (HM138**;  ‘wallaby’ is pretty close to the word recorded by colonists for the wallaby Troy 1994). Audience engagement came from a combination of:

  1. objects being ‘fun size’ (30%)
  2. re-articulating  skull and jaw became an activity,
  3. learning some words of the Sydney language by the re-linking the Aboriginal Sydney name (i.e. Gadigal clan) for the animal and
  4. realising the capacity for sharing the .stl to enable anyone interested to print objects from the Haswell collection
  5. realising the capacity of cross-disciplinary teaching:
    • language teaching,
    • comparative zoology,
    • selection of appropriate technology to generate other objects.


2. Implementing Strategies to Engage Students Across Disciplines as Partners to Support 3D Object-based Learning.

Quinnell, R., Plumbe, B., & Rampe, M.

Michael Rampe (Pedestal 3D) and Rosanne Quinnell (OurFlora/CampusFlora) met in 2017 when they were co-leads of their ‘OnPRIME’ teams.  OnPRIME being a CSIRO mentoring initiative for “big ideas waiting to break out”.

a. Pedestal3D system:

Michael Rampe: Pedestal 3D is an innovation out of Macquarie University. Pedestal3D Pty Ltd Website: Pedestal 3D and and Australian Museum collaborating to render and share digital objects.

b. Dusting off departmental collections

Rosanne Quinnell: leading the Haswell digital audit to enable the online 3D value of the Haswell collection to be realised. Comparison of CT, laser and .gifs for 3D objects to render digital objects. See technical notes below.

c. Opening the Archives

Trial of Pedestal to improve access to the Nicholson Museum teaching collection for first year Archaeology students was established.  Bec Plumbe is the project manager and edTech developer. USYD Archaeology (lead: Ted Robinson) and Sydney University Museums (lead: James Fraser). Acknowledgements to Chancellor’s Committee for funding support here.


Technical notes: the koala and wallaby skulls and jaws were generated by laser scanning. On Pedestal the laser scans don’t look as good as CT scans (see HM174 The Greater Glider).  The .obj files were uploaded into Pedestal and the .obj files converted to .stl files, and these printed to 30% scale. I also had the Greater Glider skull and jaw printed at both 30% and 50% scale (50% for the Greater Glider was superior to the 30% print). The resolution of the print system was a better match for laser scans of objects the size of the koala and wallaby skulls (surface scanning rendering hollow structures solid) than for the smaller CT scanned (and so hollow) glider skull.

*printed to 30% original size

**HM— is the new Haswell reference number generated by the digital audit; links for the skull and jaw take you to the USYD Pedestal3D site.