Geocaching: Learning About Earth Day
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This activity was created to illustrate how to set up and run a geocaching course for educational purposes. The course is comprised of virtual geocaches, which are objects already on the ground, such as flagpoles, rocks, benches, and irrigation pipes, as opposed to geocaches planted by geocachers and listed on www.geocaching.com or equivalent sites.
This course was established for Earth Day in Lakewood, Colorado, 2008, but the course could be adapted for other themes and geographic areas. If many participants are involved, run a clockwise version, a counterclockwise version, and a midpoint version—these versions include the same clues and points, but one runs the opposite direction, and the third one runs from the midpoint in a clockwise direction (clockwise from above). This will ensure that not every participant is trying to find the same geocache at the same time.
An answer key is included, which you may wish to withhold until the participants have completed the course. Estimated time to complete the course: 1 to 2 hours, depending on navigation and GPS expertise.