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Trig-Star Program Seeks Volunteers

Type:  Featured News  

MALSCE Wants You To Introduce Students To Land Surveying


Download a Trig-Star Form


Trig-Star is High School Trigonometry Skill Awards Program Administered by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, MALSCE and a local land surveyor or engineer. 



  • promotes the study of trigonometry in high school and promotes by honoring individual students who have demonstrated superior skill among classmates at the High School level.
  • demonstrates the use and practical application of trigonometry in the land surveying profession to high school trigonometry students.
  • creates awareness of the land surveying profession among the mathematically-skilled high school students, career guidance counselors and high school math teachers.

Please volunteer to contact the High School in your neighborhood by downloading the form above and contacting our Trig-Star Coordinator, Don Poole, at  dpoole@outermostlandsurvey.com or call him at 508/255-0477.

Only one TRIG-STAR contest is allowed per high school per year. We’ll mail a contest packet with contest instructions, a test packet, and a sample news release to you. Additional resources:  http://www.nspsmo.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=522

You, as the local sponsor, will need to make all the local arrangements with the high school. The winning student will be eligible to compete in the NSPS National Trig-Star Contest. The packet includes national contest information.


Here's more:


From TrigStar Chair Donald T. Poole PLS

As the new TrigStar Coordinator for Massachusetts I am going to take this opportunity to explain the process, the time involved in presenting the exam and the fun that you can have with the process.

For the past four years I have participated in the NSPS TrigStar program at our local High School, Nauset Regional High School.  The fact that this is my alma mater makes this even more enjoyable to me.

The first year that I presented the TrigStar exam I met with the Math Department at their regular staff meeting.  The response from the teachers was outstanding! They showed enthusiasm for the project! The department head, Steve Grubiak, was extremely supportive of the exam and said, “The math department will finally get a field trip!” (Even though the field trip would only be to the lunchroom for the exam.)

The math department teachers showed me some of the old TrigStar exams that they still used for homework, even though it had been over ten years since the last exam!

The first year we had 45 students take the exam. I knew several of the students since my son was attending NRHS at the time, but he didn’t participate since math is not his strong suit. 

Here's what is needed from the sponsoring surveyor or engineer: 


First, contact the Math Department Head at your local high school and determine the extent of interest and schedule a date, sometime in April or late March. Offer to drop off sample exams for their use. 


Next make the number of copies and assemble the test packets.  Spend a little time at the NSPS website and review the TrigStar section and especially the suggested speaking points.

Then you get to administer the exam.  My wife has been gracious enough to help with timing the tests as they are completed.  The exam is 60 minutes so figure about an hour and a half.

Grade the exams and notify the State Administrator of your winner.  You are done, unless you have the State winner in your group!  We did in our second year.  This requires that you give the State winner an additional exam for the National prize.

Your total time involved can be as little as about 3 hours spread out over several months. Or you can spend more time if you want to visit the school and make a presentation about land surveying to the math classes.

When our student won the State prize the Math Department head made a wonderful speech at the High School awards night.  He gave a brief history and explained the purpose of the exam.

Our chapter sponsors a Cape and Islands competition and awards 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at our June meeting, inviting the recipients and their parents. We challenge the other chapters to do the same!

I have found the TrigStar program to be the simplest method to get involved with promoting the Profession. You can take a few minutes at the beginning to explain the Profession, bring some surveying magazines to distribute afterwards, and talk to the students after they complete the exam.  Bring some equipment to pique the interest and explain the use of the GPS or Total Station  that you brought.  Bring an old transit and explain the changes in the profession.

Most of all have fun!

Donald T. Poole PLS





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