October 2011

Mount Rushmore Goes High-Tech

Mount RushmoreMount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial shows the faces of four American Presidents.

This year is Mount Rushmore’s 70th anniversary. Mount Rushmore is a memorial for Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Workers finished carving the faces of the four Presidents on the mountain on October 31, 1941. Today, scientists are using technology to help share the memorial in new ways.

In 2010, workers with special cameras and machines climbed the mountain. They took exact measurements of the memorial. Every inch of the huge carvings of the Presidents was scanned and measured.

Now scientists are using the scans and measurements to make three-dimensional (3-D) diagrams and pictures. They will use these to make models of the memorial. These models will be taken to schools and museums for people to study. Designers will use the information to make a virtual tour of Mount Rushmore on a computer. If the memorial were ever damaged, these measurements would help people rebuild it exactly as it was.

Image credit: ©Corbis

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Question 1
What can you see at Mount Rushmore?

Question 2
Why did workers climb Mount Rushmore?

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