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Geocaching In School?


codeman3
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I am a student currently in 8th grade. Im also in this really kool class and instead of changeing classes and sitting in school all day, we (the EEP class) go to the local wooded area since we live in more of rural area. Now EEP stands for enviromental and ecology project. And this is where i picked up geocaching. But allthe other "regular" classes still have no idea what geocaching is. I think schools should teach us, or atleast show us this wonderful sport. what do u think?

 

 

ThanQ

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A lot of times geocaching is done through the physical education department and there is a whole section in this forum about geocaching and education. As a soon to be certified PE teacher I know I want to try to teach it when I can. I know it is taught in both an elem. and high school in one area and the high school kids kind of help guide the elem class. So YES it needed to be taught more in schools :-D

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I too am in EEP and it's only from my experience in the program that I learned of the GPS and all that goes along with it. I do feel that other students outside the program should be taught of the technologies that GPS is associated with because personly once I was taught how to use the GPS I'v found that I use it on alomst an every day basis.

 

-!!!Isn't EEP GREAT!!!

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Ahhh...well said my young grasshopper. As an 8th grade teacher in an economically challenged school I too want to expose them to something outside the norm but worry about cache vandalism. And they would. So I have introduced the website...they know where it is...but for actual experience, I just type up my own sheets and hide caches just for them. Only one has been vandalised. :P

Edited by T-Bone and Maddawg
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Ahhh...well said my young grasshopper. As an 8th grade teacher in an economically challenged school I too want to expose them to something outside the norm but worry about cache vandalism. And they would. So I have introduced the website...they know where it is...but for actual experience, I just type up my own sheets and hide caches just for them. Only one has been vandalised. :laughing:

 

Speaking as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher in a economically low school, I, too, have hidden geocaches for my students as rewards. One student actually got a gps for Christmas and has now started caching on his own. All that being said I wouldnt take my kids out to local caches for fear they would damage them later.

 

Although I will say I have been really suprised that when I have hidden caches at school they have not told the DNF's where they were. Everyone gets a turn and if they don't find it they will get to go back and try again later-just like real caching.

 

We are going caching on Friday :( It is already hidden on campus and waiting.

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Hi,

 

I agree that there might be problems with kids finding caches as a class and then mucking them up, but I think the experience of doing the geocaching would be invaluable and would outweigh the problem. As a Director of Programs and Student Services of a school board (like Assistant Superintendent in the US) I am all for doing this, and we have a project for Earth Day that is a "Cache in, Trash out" simplified GeoCache exercise - the kids will go to a spot along a waterway and find a cache of garbage bags and trash their way out to school.

Information on it: here

 

GeoCaching in general, especially when connected with mapping and even Google Earth and digital maps/photos, is just too good as a hands on, minds on, educational exercise to miss!

Edited by flyfishNS
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I am now in college. But in high school I took "Conservation" class where we had a 2 week unit on GPS. We didn't actaully go geocaching, but we did goto a local forest unit and went waypoint hunting and turned on the tracking feature. Once back at school we dumped our waypoints and tracks on the computer. In class though we did talk about geocaching and what it is about.

 

Team Everest

 

Wisconsin

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I teach at a thoroughly "out of the box" charter school in northern California. We are working toward making geocaching part of both our PE and geography programs. It will be available to students in sixth through twelfth grades, and I expect it will be one of the more popular classes on our campus. I will be building custom geocache courses for our students, so vandalism won't bother the caching community at large. The idea that students would purposely damage caches hadn't really crossed my mind; this is a reflection of either the trustworthiness of our students, or of my naivete. Either way, I'll hope for the best! I agree with flyfishNS that the potential benefits outweigh the posibility of damaged sites. Just my two cents worth.

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Geocaching and Education will be coming together in the near future. We have been teaching GPS and GIS for several years and finally we can sday the interest in the educational world is catching on. We actually have classes for teachers in place for GPS and Geocaching.

 

We are developing a site for educators in IL for possible GPS projects. Also a place to post their unique site that can be shared with other teachers across IL. Sort of building a museum without walls to use GPS with.

 

The site's address is: www.ilega.org

Our other site is: www.gis2gps.com

 

Our classes for educators are filling up early for the summer. We are adding a "THE AMAZING GPS RACE" for one of the evenings during the class.

 

Yes geocaching is coming to education.

 

Ed G

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Ahhh...well said my young grasshopper. As an 8th grade teacher in an economically challenged school I too want to expose them to something outside the norm but worry about cache vandalism. And they would. So I have introduced the website...they know where it is...but for actual experience, I just type up my own sheets and hide caches just for them. Only one has been vandalised. :anitongue:

 

I agree with both you and the very bright 8th grader. But I think it is good as you do to show the concept and direct to the website. I think showing kids caching is great on many levels where kids in our country do very poorly right now: 1) Gets them outdoors, 2) Gets them exercise, 3) Develops an appreciation for nature and the environment, 4) Helps develop an appreciation for and interest in geography, a subject that even most American adults are extremely weak in compared to the rest of the world.

 

Good luck!

Edited by hairymon
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We shall see what happens. We have our fingers crossed.

We are teaching several classes this summer on GPS only and we will be asking teachers to add ideas etc to the page. We hope to include lesson plans or activities they mght be doing.

 

Posting their own EcoCaches gives them ownership as well as placing their community for others to see. We feel that having a seperate site will give us more opportunities to add pictures, audio etc.

 

It might not work, or it could take off as an idea. We do have one Illinois Museum director behind us. He wants to create a museum without walls that students can explore usng GPS as one of the tools.

 

It is fun to think outside the box at times.

 

Ed

Edited by egorny
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I am a PE teacher in Idaho and just did geocaching as a fun end of the year unit in my classes. I only learned about it at a conference in April...but thought I would give it a shot at school. I combined it with an orienteering unit. In short, I made a powerpoint and hid 10 geocaches for them to find. They loved it! I had one class hide them, another find them...it worked very well. I didn't show them local, "real" geocaches, for fear of destruction, but our school campus served well for a beginning hunt. Some are hooked and have been out with thier families, others ask me when I am taking them, and some could care less (as always). I figured if I could just plant the idea and the how-to, they could take it and run if they wanted. I have a goal and that is to get the students moving any way possible...and this is the perfect way to get some of the video/tech junkies up and moving! Thanks to geochaching!

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Getting the students up and out is the impetus behind our pending program, too. Instead of a class, we'll be offering an on-campus club to get the kids interested. As a club, we'll have a little more flexibility as to what we do and how we do it. I will purchase six or eight midrange gps units, and students – and staff – will be able to check them out for a week or two at a time, once they've been trained. There will be some closed courses for them to sharpen their skills on, but after that, I hope not to be able to hold them back. I'll let you know how things progress.

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I am a High School Social Studies teacher at an Alternative setting in Oklahoma. I recently started caching myself this summer and love it! I would LOVE to make this a class or part of a class project. I teach U.S. and World History and Foods and Nutrition....any ideas from anyone? (can't cost money or involve travel because my site cannot afford it....) Many thanks ahead of time!

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In a non-budget situation, you might take a look at lettrboxing instead of geocaching. It's a similar activity, but without the cost of a gps and software, and with a much longer history. I don't know whether there's much activity in your area, but you might take a look at www.letterboxing.org to see if it might meet your needs. Just an idea.

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Another idea you might consider is making geocaching a club activity for your students, rather than a formal part of your curriculum. That way you could use your own gps to take small groups of students / parents / staff on outings, just for the fun of it. Spin the idea to your administrator, and your enthusiasm might just take you farther than you think. No telling where something like that might lead! Have fun!

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im going into 9th grade now. but in 7th grade my math teacher was doing geocaching. He made a club and it sounded interesting so i joined. when i was in 8th grade he only let me join as the only 8th grader (Because I Loved it so much). i taught some people in the club how to use the GPS. Me and my teacher would always race and see who could find it first. One time i found 2 in a row, so he held me back so they would get a chance.

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I was introduced to geocaching a couple of years ago through the South Australian Geography teacher's association. The education dept pays for all my bills and computer time. Last year i introduced my Year 8's (First year high school, about 13/14 years old), to it through geography as an extension to maps and mapping/latitude and longitude. They were so wrapped they held a quiz night and raised about a $1000 (Australian) to buy a number of G.P.S. units. They are continuing on with it this year and another class of year 8s is getting introduced. We work mainly through the American website although there is also an Australian one. Because it is a small country school there has been no problem with cache vandalism, although i usually create custom built caches off line for the introductory lessons and then follow up on line with any students who are interested. So far a few hve taken it up. The only draw back up until now is that the education dept blocks out this forum as it does most forum sites (although it leaves the main website open) I have just gained permission to over ride the filtering system for myself, and hope to spend some time getting to know the forum. This seemed like a good topic to start with.

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I used geocaching in both my math and social studies classes. I used it to create real life math problems and to also teach geography. My classes even had their own travel bugs and competed for the most traveled. I think geocaching is a great tool in the classroom and will continue using it.

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i am a student also who just finished 8th grade and my geography teacher had just started geocaching and got hooked so he bought 20 gpsrs for his class and did this lil assignment where we were supposed to go out and take waypoints of where different landforms were then he had a program called gis on the computers at school he had us add waypoints on a map of the school land then he gave aus an instruction book that taught us how to make it so when u click on the waypoint it would show a pic we took at the landform so it was fun and educational but geocaching in phy ed um is that really enough physical activity well i say it would make a great after school activity or club fun and you can meet other cachers the school district next to mine has a geocaching club i tried some of thiers and they were great. another thing about teaching geocaching it is a lil risky you dont want the wrong people finding these they could muggle or destroy the caches and if i found out this happened to one of my caches i would get really mad.

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Sounds like your teacher is really on top of things! My school's GC club will start in about three weeks, and we'll have some cache trails just for our students' use. You've given me an idea, though: I think my school is the first in our area to have a GC club, but if other schools do have similar organizations, it would be fun to set up challenge courses for each other. Like a multi-cache, each school's course would challenge the other's, and the supervisers would come up with a prize for the winner (not to mention the glory of beating the other school!). These would probably be short-term, one-use cache trails due to muggling, but I think it would be worth the trouble. If anyone out there has tried inter-school challenges of this sort, let us know how it worked. I need to make some phone calls. Thanks for the idea!

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Over this past summer, I took a class on how to use the GPS and Geocaching. I was hooked. As an 8th grade social studies teacher, I was a bit hesitant to try something like this due to many of the factors listed above. Resources: you really need to have a low ratio of students to GPS units otherwise the other students become disenfranchised with the whole project. If they feel that they have to look at the screen and be a part of it, then they have been more interested rather than sharing it with 5 people. We are part of a consortium that allowed us to use 10 GPS Units for our project. We also sent a letter home asking parents to allow us to borrow theirs. I believe there is a place on the internet where you can borrow the units from other schools in your area.

Space: we have a decent sized campus where the kids can go out and be in different parts and still be away from "mugglers". I can see where in some cases, it really isn't fun if you can't explore nature a little or if you are right on top of each other.

Age appropriateness: I thought the kids would think it was dumb and that they would trash the area. Wrong. This is a great way to introduce them to this activity, teach them responsibility and to get them away from the TV, ipod, gameboy, x-box, etc.. Yes, they are still on the computer, but it eventually gets them out into nature. I have also invited the parents to come and enjoy the activity with us to give it a more family-oriented feel. No takers yet :(

I am glad that there are both teachers and kids that enjoy this activity and support it. I think it is great for any "type" of student not just gifted. All kids can benefit from this experience.

 

Thanks for all of your positive comments.

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Nicely stated. In Illinois we are starting to look at "geospatial technologies" to be included in the math and science curriculum for the future. Well geospatial tech will include GPS and GIS. So this idea of using geocaching for the classroom could be catching on. Use GPS in the lower grades and then add GIS in the upper classes. Could be interesting.

 

Ed

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Wow! A lot of great ideas on this thread. I am a high school PE teacher and have thinking about teaching a unit on this. Little difficult with all of the budget restrictions and worry about kids who will abuse this. I have picked a few that I think would be interested and respectful, took them to the website, and got them started. I am always a little worried that a parent will be upset about the kid wanting a GPS, but all has worked out so far. In fact Kourtbor74 is one of my students and is doing a great job.

 

I just told a parent at parent-teacher conferences last night about geocaching. He said his son was addicted to video games so I gave him the site hoping the student will get addicted to this instead. I know I can't stop caching.

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Exhibit reveals the many TREASURES OF NOAA'S ARK

 

A National Legacy.

Yes I think Teaching GPS in schools is great.

I wish they had them when I was in school.

OH yes I forgot...life is school.

 

I have posted in this forum about doing events along the lines of the 200th Anniversary of NOAA.

 

I wish some of you could excell in your learning and one day become a part of this living legacy.

 

You can do just that through geocaching/benchmark hunting.

The US C & GS NGS marks placed in our country are amongst these benchmarks.

And they are also listed here for your Historical treasures or pleasures.

 

From our Founding Fathers to Lewis and Clark and the many others to the Present 3-D models we see of the Earth.

 

Just a thought for both teacher/learner.

It may be a very good way to learn things.

 

For me it will be because I will be a part of this Living legacy in some manner,at least if only in my own mind.

 

Please join in and be a part of it as well.

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I believe that your language, punctuation, and spelling indicate that you need to study more important things than geocaching. Along with the above, perhaps personal finance (budgeting, paying bills on time, saving money so that you never go into debt, etc. ), and civil responsibility.

 

Geocaching is best left as a hobby, done after your school work is completed.

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i fit geocaching into our standards where i see it fits. we launched 3 tbs last year (word, .cottoncash, and hammerman) i incorporate map reading skills, measurement, government, economics, geology, space, etc. the earthcaches have been a nice plus for virtual fieldtrips (along with some of the archived caches..dash to the cache, etc., etc.) until "trash bags #3 is traveling" was archived, i moved it to our school each year for the annual 3rd grade picnic and used it to both teach environmental science standards and gpsr technology. it's a cool real world activity. i'm pleased to have learned about this sport and its' advantages.

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Not just gifted classes. I teach ninth grade in an economically disadvantaged school. I don't think all students should be taught to Geocache, that's for sure. But not just the gifted classes. I find that many gifted students have many hobbies, the other kids do not. I think that with the right instructor, Geocaching can be taught to any student without worry of vandalism.

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My bro and i are in high school and at our school we have an elective class called Minnesota Outdoor Connections. this is a great class even though i havnt taken it my bro says we work with gps's and by the end of class to get your credit you need to do a outdoor recreation activity out of the teachers recomendations geocaching is 1 of them so ill be helping my bro get his credit soon :) but my sister also has a gps 101 class included in her tech ed class where they will learn about gps's and geocaching.

 

all in all since i started in this forum a lot of new gps classes are popping up. but lets try to keep this activity to the trustable i dont want a couple local muggles picking me off even if thier my class mates :mad:

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I think it could be offered as an activity for the students. Learning how to GeoCache is half of the fun. Today's kids are smart. Once they figure out the GPSr and they are shown the website, I'm sure they will figure it out if they are motivated to get outside and walk around (something they need to start doing more of).

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Hi,

 

I agree that there might be problems with kids finding caches as a class and then mucking them up, but I think the experience of doing the geocaching would be invaluable and would outweigh the problem. As a Director of Programs and Student Services of a school board (like Assistant Superintendent in the US) I am all for doing this, and we have a project for Earth Day that is a "Cache in, Trash out" simplified GeoCache exercise - the kids will go to a spot along a waterway and find a cache of garbage bags and trash their way out to school.

Information on it: here

 

GeoCaching in general, especially when connected with mapping and even Google Earth and digital maps/photos, is just too good as a hands on, minds on, educational exercise to miss!

 

Can I get the information on the Earth Day activity? I'd like to try it this school year, but the link would no longer work. Thanks!

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