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Geocaching In the Classroom

Buckeye Geocachers Society

Nick Bush

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of Geocaching In the Classroom


Many geocaching clubs adopt parks and roadways
CITO - Cache in Trash Out
Bringing people to long lost historical places
Mapping out historical Spots in your own Town

Community Service



How do I get a GPSr

How does this apply to the Classroom?

How do I get Started

Different Types of Geocaches

Where are Geocaches Found

What is Geocaching

GPS Technology Basics

Buckeye Geocachers Society

Geocaching In the Classroom


Getting creative

Travel Bugs

Google Maps

Use your Smart Phone

Difficulty and Terrain

Difficulty and Terrain

What do I need to Geocache

The Global Positioning System was developed by the US government for military purposes. Now anyone with a GPS Device can utilize these signals for many applications:

Aircraft and Sea Navigation
Surveying and Mapping
Civil Engineering
Forest Firefighter

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache, and a Geocaching.com membership which is free. You can become a premium member for $30 a year and have added features but you can geocache using a free account.
Geocaches can be found all over the world. Most geocachers place caches near places that are important to them that they wish to share with others.
These can be at your local park, grocery store, up a tree or even underwater.
There are currently 2,292,694 active Geocaches around the world and over 6 million geocachers.
Mystery or Puzzle
Letterbox Hybrid
Virtual Cache
Go to Geocaching.com and sign up for a free account
Click on the link Hide and Seek a Cache
Enter your zip code and it will list all the geocaches in that area and you're ready to hunt.
Then, you decide which ones you will go after as caches have different Difficulty and Terrain ratings.

There is a one to five star rating for both Difficulty and Terrain for each cache.
One star being the easiest and 5 being the toughest
A 5 star terrain could have you climb 90 feet in the air and need special climbing equipment. Or a 5 difficulty could have you searching for hours.
And on the other side of this a 1 star terrain means the cache is handicap accessible and a 1 star difficulty is extremely easy to find.
Geocaching can teach students many lessons and subjects that go along with State Standards
Math, Science, English, Art, Creativity, Teamwork are just a few ideas.
Geocaching offers students a great opportunity to work together in groups, solve problems, and learn about a variety of different subjects. Teachers can take this technology outside the classroom, create new lesson plans, or even build upon existing ones. With a little creativity, geocaching can be used to study almost anything!
They range in price from about $100 to well over $1,000.
You may consider writing a grant to get some units at your school.
Borrow them from husbands, friends, or parents of your students to use for a Geo-cache Project.

Smart phones have GPS built in(not as accurate as GPSr)
Free Apps for geocaching and using waypoints
Google maps!
Ipads and Android tablets have geocaching apps for free

Many first time geocachers can find caches just using Google maps on their computer
Also, Google maps is an excellent way to understand GPS coordinates
Use google maps to lead kids on a virtual scavenger hunt

Travel bugs are trackable geocaching objects( dog tag, barcode, tshirt)
 It is moved from cache to cache, with a unique tracking number allowing its movements to be tracked online
Great for long term projects and sharing with other students
Have kids create their own cache containers or come up with ideas for creative or tough hides.
Have them create their own puzzle cache and let other student groups try to find the cache even inside the building - no GPS needed
Have them actually hide a cache while following the geocaching.com guide lines

Adding and subtracting coordinates to find a location
Triangulation using google maps
Sudoku cord puzzles
Solve Problems in Multi-caches and compete to reach final answer
Plot shapes on school grounds then translate to Google maps
Word Puzzle Caches
Cache log writing for younger groups
Geocaching terminology TFTC, FTF, Muggle, FMTC
Collaborative Story telling about adventures

Cemeteries almost always have geocaches
Earth Caches point out geology lessons
Almost all historical sites have geocaches

Variables Affecting Coordinates Calculations
Puzzle caches that require batteries and lasers
Plant species identification and avoidance
Nature of all types

Starter kits

Forums for teachers broken down by grade level
What are Caching Containers?
Water tight containers - Lock N Locks, Matchstick Containers, Ammo Cans
Logs, Sticks, Fake Animals, Rocks etc
4th Grade Jamestown Geocaching
Use Google Earth for a Scavenger hunt
What shape is this man-made lake in Brazil?
-21.805149, -49.089977
Used iPads and downloaded video podcasts of subject from iTunes at historyisfun.org Podcasts
Hid caches with questions about the subject for the kids to answer using the videos
The answers led them to the next cache and questions
Geocaching Quizzes
This can work for any subject. At each cache location pupil teams must complete a short quiz. They then seal their answers in an envelope before moving onto the next cache. The winning team is the team that has the most correct answers from all the quizzes combined.

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Benjamin Franklin
Full transcript