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Geocaching Challenges

The Goal: Activate the learning Environment 

The learning possibilities involved in geocaching are endless. Students will employ an understanding of latitude, longitude, and other basic geography tools. Students will learn more about the Kaw River, gain an understanding of the watershed, the native plants and animals, and how humans affect these things. Geocaching is a fun and useful technology to learn, and it will exercise both the mind and body. 

The main excercise for this lesson is to have the students look for hidden caches by following coordinates given to them in their GPS units. There are many things to learn and discover, some examples are: 
 Native flowers and trees 
 Locating water gardens 
 Animal tracks 
 The history of the area or of the river

A field notebook can be given to each group and they can record an interesting fact they find around the cache area. 

How it Starts 

The Instructor introduces the course. A short intro class on how to operate and use the GPS units, the Instructor will also explain the perimeters of the area (so students don't get off track or go out to far). Explain the purpose of the lesson (what will the topic be?) Have a package for each group that has a clipboard, pencil, paper, and any worksheets needed for the activity. Pass out the checklist, and have the students in each group (or pair) go through and make sure they have everything on the list. This teaches communication and working together. Each group/pair gets a different starting waypoint, that way they aren't running into each other or just following another group. Each group  however will hit each waypoint through their journey. 

Once the group/pair finds a cache site, they will write down an answer to questions on the activity sheet, take a copy of the questions for their notebooks and put the cache back in its hiding place. When all the groups finish, everyone will get together and each group will present the information they learned at each site, and together they will complete the activity field notebook.

Grade Level: High School

Kansas Grade Level Expectations – Standards/Benchmarks

Standard 5: Science and Technology 
Grades 8-12 
Science and Technology- The student will develop understandings about the relationship between science and technology. 
Benchmark 1: The student will develop understandings that technology is applied science. 
Indicators: The student… 
1. understands technology is the application of scientific knowledge for functional purposes. 
a. Technology is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. 
b. Engineering is the practical application of science to commerce or industry. 
c. Medicine is a practical application of science to human health. 
d. All technological advances contain a potential for both gains and risks for society. 
2. understands creativity, imagination, and a broad scientific knowledge base are required to produce useful results. 
3. understands science advances new technologies. New technologies open new areas for scientific inquiry. 
a. Technological knowledge may be kept confidential because of the commercial or military potential of the idea or invention. b. Invention which produces a new device, method or process is developed from study and experimentation often utilizing technology.
Standard 6: Science in personal and environmental perspectives.
Grades 8-12
The Student will develop an understanding of personal and community health, population growth, natural resources, environmental quality, natural and human-induced hazards, and science and technology in local, national, and global settings.
Benchmark 3: The student will understand that human populations use natural resources and influence environmental quality.
Indicators: The student...
1. understands natural resources from the lithosphere and ecosystems are required to sustain human populations.
a. These processes of ecosystems include maintenance of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are altering man of these processes, and the changes may be detrimental, beneficial, or both to ecosystem function.
b. Natural systems can reuse waste, but this capacity is limited. Recycling and environmentally sound decisions improve the quality of human life.
2. understands earth does not have infinite resources.
a. Increasing human consumption places stress on most renewable resources and depletes non-renewable resources.
b. Carrying capacity is the maximum number of organisms that can be sustained in a given environment. Natural resources limit the capacity of ecosystems to sustain populations.