Thursday, April 18, 2013

Geocaching and Education, part 11 - A breath of fresh air...Two Quick and Fun Activities

This is post #11 in a series of free resources for educators interested in using geocaching in education and other community groups like scouts or camps. The material is pulled directly from Educaching GPS Based Curriculum for Teachers. If interested in more resources, check out

Jason Hubbard, Author

Tennis Ball Madness - Give each of your student groups a tennis ball and a GPS receiver. Have the groups go out into the schoolyard to hide their tennis ball and mark a waypoint at the location of the ball. Give them a time limit and assist them with their receivers if needed. The students then return and give their GPS receiver to another group who uses it to go find the ball. A tennis ball, or plastic Easter egg if you prefer, provides an easier to find cache that will be a little easier to find. This activity gives students practice in mastering the GPS functions, especially in marking (saving) waypoints.

Grab It And Go – This one is very similar to the activity above, but is more of a relay. Give each team an object (i.e. golf ball, craft stick, action figure, etc.) and a GPS receiver. Each team hides their object, marks the waypoint in the receiver, then return. Teams trade receivers, then when you say “GO,” all teams find the other group’s hidden object, grab it, and race back to you as fast as possible. The team that makes it back first, wins! If you want to add another skill to this, give each group a map that they must mark down their object’s location on, along with the waypoint. Then, when they go find the other team’s object, they must also draw its location on their map, along with the waypoint before they bring the object back to you for the win. With younger students, this can be a great way to review cardinal directions and basic map skills. It is also a great way for ALL students to get some exercise!