etrex.pngGeocaching in the Classroom

S. Brooks and S. Wise,
Technology Integration Specialists, Lexington School District One

What is Geocaching?

http://www.geocaching.com/

What Do You Need to Geocache?

  • Containers and a GPS unit
A GPS unit:
Communicates with global positioning system
Utilizes Coordinates: longitude and latitude
Geocaching requires a GPS unit to find the hidden caches.

Why Geocaching?

Adventure
Movement in the classroom
Mapping
Geography
History
Math-distances, grids, estimating
Problem solving
Higher level thinking
Integrates with any subject area

Travel Bugs

A trackable item that moves from place to place and you can track its progress online. Purchase tracking number/dog tags and attach to your item.
Travel Bugs in the Classroom
  • Decide on a class goal of where you want the travel bug to end up or accomplish:
  • Track Favorite children's books of whoever moves it.
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Visit Civil War/Revolutionary War sites
  • Global or cross country journey - class researches where it travels
  • World Release - Email several travel bugs to participating geocachers overseas - which one gets home the fastest traveled the farthest (start - finish vs total).
  • School mascot - meet other school mascots

Geocaching in the Classroom:

Cache in Trash Out - Connect to Recycling
Find caches near field trip sites.
Map out "unofficial" caches on your school property:
- Review Questions
- Jigsaw information found - combine your info with other caches found to match information
- Each cache provides a question or challenge that leads to the next cache
Scavenger Hunt for SC Symbols on campus
Architecture/history hunt in town
Drawing shapes using coordinates in a field
Time Capsule to hide for end of year/next year advice.
Hide cache on school grounds and register with geocaching.com for others to find.
Hide and then Jigsaw questions and answers for any topic
Golf Ball Math (source: Educaching.com)
Working as a team/cooperation
Puzzle/multi-stage caches- answer questions hidden at coordinates to determine next coordinates to visit
Story elements in order (5-6 caches) Three Little Pigs - what happens next, go to the coordinates that are next to their answer.
Fairy Tale - Cache 1 -find together, inside is name of a fairy tale. Each group selects one slip of paper with coordinates (teacher prepared 5 different locations each with a different character's name). Student writes the fairy tale from that character's point of view.
Types of Rocks Scavenger Hunt
Write own "treasure hunt" story.

Get more ideas:

http://educaching.com/
http://www.ucet.org/inUCETnew/archives/2008/Conference/2008Presenters/ClintStephensGPS/Geocaching%20Classroom%20Ideas.pdf

Making Your Own Cache

  • Waterproof container
  • Logbook (if permanent cache)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Item about your class (or instructions/questions for your students if local cache)
  • No food, perishables, weapons, etc...

Hiding Your Own Cache

  • Get permission (if permanent cache)
  • Hide in a low traffic area
  • Using GPS, determine/mark your location.

Sample Activities