GPS Stash Hunt is one enrichment option for middle schoolers

Geocaching, otherwise known as the GPS Stash Hunt, is an entertaining adventure game for tech savvy treasure hunters. Geocaching is one option available to middle school students at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies in the enrichment classes, which are new this semester.

The enrichment selections were designed to provide offerings geared for multiple intelligences so that every student has the opportunity to be challenged, as well as experience a high level of achievement. They are effective, observes geocaches enrichment advisor teacher Linda Austin, because students selected their enrichment courses from 13 offerings, based on their particular area of interest.
In Austin’s enrichment option, students use Global Positioning Systems, handheld GPS devices, GIS skills, and a bit of brain power to identify and locate hidden geocaches. With nearly 500,000 caches worldwide (more than 8,000 in North Carolina alone) and more than 46,000 active members, geocaches can be found just about anywhere, Austin explains. Hidden caches can rank in difficulty from easy to extreme, with terrain ranging from accessible to requiring specialized equipment.
“By exchanging cache data online with the geocaching community,” Austin says, “students locate hidden caches, as well as create, stash and track their own cache. They are all able to participate fully. For example, one of our first projects involved a trigonometry lesson on triangulation and trilateration as they discovered how to locate an object's position based on three known reference points.
Students who participate in Austin’s geocaching class will have the opportunity to apply their geocaching skills both on and off campus, as well as participate in the development of the Great GPS Adventure Challenge.


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