Geocaching 101

NCSTA 2011 Conference
Mark Case, Southern Guilford High

Gets kids interested with technology they are already using.

Worldwide game of hide and seek!

What do students learn?
1. navigation
2. elevation
3. how soil affects what grows; drainage
4. how to understand legends and scale
5. environmental stewardship: cache in - trash out
6. high level thinking: research, reading, and understanding
7. provides physical activity (brain-smart!)

Idea: Put 6 clipboards around campus with questions and place for kids to sign their names (no credit if they don't sign). Each clipboard has the coordinates to the next clipboard.

1. Traditional cache -log sheet and treasure hidden (log sheet, container with small items, etc.)
2. Multi-cache - involves two or more locations to record the cache
3. Mystery/Puzzle cache - requires solving a problem to get credit for the find.
4. Letterbox - use GPS coordinates to get to the starting point and use clues to solve the puzzle.
5. Event cache - a gathering of people involved in geocaching (ie. geocachers' flashmob)
6. CITO - Cache in Trash Out - events when geocachers clean out caches
7. Earth Cache - an earth science based cache
8. take something, leave something
9. leave the location better than you found it

GPS devices (Magellan, iPod touch, smart phones, anything that has a GPS chip in it) **Geomate Junior -

IDEA - Give kids list of coordinates and clue (ie. inside stump)

Questions for the kids:
How does the terrain affect your route to the location?
What happens to the elevation as you move around the school grounds?
Where is the highest elevation?
Where is the lowest elevation on campus?
What was the farthest point west/north?
What relationship did the elevation on the GPS have with the lines on the topographic map?

IDEA: Allows his students to sign a contract and sign out a GPS device. They have to fulfill a list of geocaching activities and he replaces their lowest test grade with a 100.

Waymarking -

Werigo - Games, stories, challenging next step to geocaching - GPS adventures in the real world!
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