High Tech Treasure Hunt: Using GPS & Geocaching as Instructional Tools Paul Weaver Science Teacher Lexington Traditional Magnet School http://www.staff.fcps.net/pweaver E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org@fayette.k12.ky.us Ideas from Lynn M. Lary, Lane ESD, Eugene, Oregon
Today Learn about Geocaching Learn how to use a GPS Participate in a Geocache Prepare ideas to use in your Geocache lesson for school
Geocaching Overview http://t4.jordan.k12.ut.us/teacher _resources/Science/gps.html http://t4.jordan.k12.ut.us/teacher _resources/Science/gps.html Jordan School District Information Systems and Curriculum Departments T4 Home | Contacts | JSD T4 Home Contacts JSD GPS Resources for Teachers and Students
Geocaching Defined Geocaching is essentially a high tech treasure hunt that relies upon the use of GPS technology. You can use Geocaching as an instructional tool to hook kids into learning about essentially any subject by creating community- based caches.
Whats in a Cache? Caches come in many forms but are usually in a waterproof container such as Tupperware or ammo boxes Inside youll usually find a log book, pen and official Geocache information Plastic bag to keep materials dry Prize or collectable, often with a theme designated by the person who created the cache Travel Bugs (more on this later!)
Types of Caches Traditional Multi Letterbox Hybrid Event Mystery or puzzle
Traditional This is the original cache type consisting, at a bare minimum, of a container and a log book. Coordinates listed are the exact location of the cache. If you take an item, leave an item, and write in the logbook. Some caches are themed, so make sure that you read the description before going geocaching.
Multi This cache involves two or more locations with the final location being the physical container. There are hints at each cache location. An offset cache is a location where you go to get hints for the actual cache.
Letterbox Hybrid This is a form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates. Sometimes coordinates are used. Read more about letterboxing at http://www.letterboxing.org/ web site.
Event Occasionally, local geocachers and geocaching organizations designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching. After the event the caches are archived.
Mystery or puzzle This is the catch-all of cache types. This may involve complicated puzzles you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. The coordinates listed are not the actual cache location but a general reference point. This leads to new and unique geocaching challenges.
Look and learn about something. Skinner Cabin Replica And Applegate Trail Signs, Skinner Park, Eugene, Oregon Virtual
Webcam Existing web cameras are used to monitor various areas (road conditions and parks) and the idea is to get yourself in front of the camera to log your visit. Webcam caches are now in the http://www.waymarking.com/ web site.http://www.waymarking.com/
Earthcache This is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Educational notes and details about the location (lat and long) are given. More information can be found at http://www.earthcache.org/. http://www.earthcache.org/
Sample Cache Containers
Unusual Cache Containers
Dont have a GPS? "Locationless" caches are a great way for teachers to bring the world into their classroom as people from all over assist in the creation of a "virtual exhibit."
What is a GPS Receiver? A GPS receiver is a tool for determining your exact location on the planet (within a few meters) Coverage is worldwide Problem areas: trees, canyons, buildings Coordinates are normally given in Longitude and Latitude You can use the receiver to navigate from your current location or to another location Easy to use!
How Does It Work? Requires minimum of 3 satellites 12 can be received at one time Transmitter power- 50 Watts Signal travels 186,000 miles per second One satellite for time correction Improves accuracy
Who Provides the Information? Developed by the Department of Defense 24 Satellites Altitude of 11,000 miles Orbits the Earth every 12 hours Transmits signals used to determine exact Position Velocity Time Removing SA GPS signal degradation (Select Availability) was removed by the Clinton Administration May 1st, 2000. This allowed civilian users of GPS to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately than before.
Using a Geko 101 Buttons Changing Screens Checking Satellite Status Navigating to a Location
Map Page See a breadcrumb trail of where you've been with waypoints that have been marked along the path. Compass Page This screen shows the distance and direction to your destination while displaying actual speed and distance traveled beneath the graphic compass Mark WayPoint Feature Mark an area along your journey as a waypoint to easily track and find important locations. Garmin Geko 101 Screen Shots PanTrack Page Pan along your track and "go back in time" to select a location to 'Mark', or perform a 'TracBack' or 'Direct Go To'.
Press the red button on the right. Please wait Tracking satellites When the satellites are located and being tracked, then proceed. Press page button (immediately to the right of the OK button) Press page button until the Compass page appears. Press the up or down button until the Location (longitude and latitude) is shown. Keep the screen on this page for easy use and follow the numbers. Finding your way
Possible Activities Science Math Language Arts Social Studies Any topic that you are able to teach
Which way is it? Its this way. No, its this way.
N44 05.928 W123 04.489 Shall we have a picnic here? N44 05.944 W123 04.513 Should we climb it or decorate it? Traditional /Letterbox Hybrid Geocache
More locations with hints. N44 05.937 W123 04.464 Look for a structure that could cross over water. Over, under, or around? N44 05.987 W123 04.460 Walk along a concrete path until you find three metal boxes. N44 05.952 W123 04.455 Whats blue with red springs and makes tipsy fun for everyone? N44 06.006 W123 04.522 This place can hold lots of things in the sea and on the land.
Travel Bugs Serial Number Travel Goals Trip Tracking
Service Learning Ideas Trail Mapping Wetlands Mapping Plant Inventory Community Boardwalk Interpretive Signs Cemetery Mapping Projects River Exploration American Red Cross Disaster Plan Park Information for Maps Geocaching and CITO (Cache In, Trash Out) Collecting Data for the State Teach each other something
Your Ideas When you have a few moments blog your ideas on geocaching! http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index. php?s=7dd6c7986e5cb6b76b2e3ccec0 127239&showtopic=86820