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Inspiring Inquiring Minds: Using GPS in the Classroom: 

Inspiring Inquiring Minds: Using GPS in the Classroom Sheryl Crain, NBCT

What is GPS?: 

GPS is funded by and controlled by the US Department of Defense (DOD). While there are many thousands of civil users of GPS world-wide, the system was designed for and is operated by the U. S. military. GPS provides specially coded satellite signals that can be processed in a GPS receiver, enabling the receiver to compute position, velocity, and time. Four GPS satellite signals are used to compute positions in three dimensions and the time offset in the receiver clock. What is GPS?

How is GPS used?: 

How is GPS used? Besides being used by the military, GPS is used in forestry, biology, fishing, hunting, boating, racing, nursing, and many other fields. GPS technology can be effectively used in your classroom as well.

How does GPS work?: 

A GPS device receives signals from satellites orbiting the earth to triangulate your location, which will be given as a global address. Or, the GPS device can lead you to a previously marked location, much like a compass. How does GPS work?

How do I get a GPS receiver?: 

How do I get a GPS receiver? They range in price from about $100 to well over $1,000. Consider writing a mini-grant to get 4 or 5 to be used at your school. Borrow them from husbands, friends, or parents of your students to use for a Geo-cache.

What is Geocaching?: 

What is Geocaching? One of the fastest growing “new” sports. Has participants in many countries outside of the US and Canada. Is a modern day active treasure hunting activity that allows you to use GPS – and therefore a “global address” – to locate a cache.

Are there rules for Geocaching?: 

Are there rules for Geocaching? Yes, there are: 1. Take something from the cache 2. Leave something in the cache 3. Write about it in the logbook 4. Do not move the cache

What do I need to start a Geocache?: 

What do I need to start a Geocache? Container(s) with a lid – usually plastic and waterproof At least one GPS device Something to put in the cache

Versions of Geocaching to use in the Classroom: 

Versions of Geocaching to use in the Classroom Scavenger Hunt – students take a sealed clue from each cache and bring back to a predetermined location to open and solve a riddle or mystery Content Specific Caches – each cache has an activity that deals with one particular subject area (ex. – each cache has a math problem that students must solve)

Classroom, cont.: 

Classroom, cont. Interdisciplinary Cache – each cache has information or an activity from a different subject subject area Holiday Themed Cache – find Easter Eggs or Halloween candy! Science/Social Studies Cache – each “cache” is actually a tree, plant species (or something similar), or landmark that students must identify

Just Remember…: 

Just Remember… Take Something (may be physical or a “fact”) Leave Something (usually) Do not move the cache

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