Yesterday, we had a great time introducing the school age group of the Campus Summer School Program to geocaching. Geocaching is a high-tech scavenger hunt that uses GPS satellite technology to pinpoint a location where a container with a log and/or trinkets is hidden. (See this web site for more information.)
After an introduction to geocaching by Dr. Jodie Winship, we divided the kids into two teams--the Cub Cachers and the Red Wrangers. We had seven kids in each group with 2 or 3 adults supervising them. We used GPS applications on iPhones to find the hidden caches in Livingston and on the UWA campus.
The Cub Cachers searched and found four of four caches around Livingston. The Red Wranglers searched and found four of five caches that were mostly on the UWA campus. We learned some science, some local history, and some group skills while we were on our treks. In fact, at Livingston City Hall we met two really nice ladies who told us they knew about the geocache. Then, when we returned to the Campus School, we asked the kids to draw and write about their experiences.
After the searching was done, we also provided the Summer Program teachers with activity sheets for the students as well as Geocaching University I.D. cards for participating in the geocaching activity.
The kids were very excited about it and wanted to know when we were going to do it again. They also wanted to know how to hide their own caches. I think this activity will continue to grow with not only the school age kids in the area, but also with our UWA undergraduate and graduate classes. Dr. Winship, Dr. Kelley, and I hope to get many more people involved in geocaching in Livingston.