Friday, April 20, 2007

Hey-o to Mrs. Janes's classes!

I spent a couple hours this morning in school! Mrs. Janes, an enthusiastic sixth grade teacher, asked me to speak to her social studies classes about geocaching. She has her eye on placing a geocache in the school's outdoor classroom. Hopefully the board will approve such a placement, because I think geocaching and gps units make a great fit in a school's curriculum. I also think of it as a small part of education -- reading, playing volleyball, singing, using a gps unit, etc. are all lifelong leisure activities, and all are certainly appropriate to introduce at school. I am not saying that a school is obligated to teach geocaching or mapping, or that geocaching is equal to reading, but I will say that most everything in life is educational. And that makes everything a candidate for learning in (and out of) school. Mrs. Janes also had me talk about travel bugs with the idea of having class travel bugs. Here are some of the kids I talked to -- see the yellow Garmin in the front? Nice Statue of Liberty stance, by the way. Very good form for reception. Watch for a new cache, all you geocachers in the area!

I thought about what Mrs. Janes said in class -- relating my adult geocaching in terms of sixth grade life, making parallels between geocaching lingo and abbreviations and sixth grade text messaging lingo and abbreviations, and comparing the cost of an iPod to a gps unit. I forgot to mention PodCacher -- one of her classes was creating a podcast.

On a related note, I love that geocaching has opened me up to great new places. I ran a new trail twice this week, and got a kick out finding a humorous geocache along the way -- GC102A0, The Easiest Cache in the World. I would not have tried running in this area until I saw the traffic it got during our cliff swallow trip (see _Testing My Photo_ , a post from March 2007), which was also a geocaching trip. My new wish may be to get the family some off-road bikes. The hills there are fairly fun on foot, but with the speed of a bike, I think the fun meter would go up a couple notches.

I could take the gps-r along to record bike speed and relate speed to a map our bike travels, an idea I got from _Fun with GPS_, by Don Cooke. I found the book while walking out of the Clive Public Library earlier this week. I already like running with a gps unit. Now I am inspired to try a couple new things with it.

Lastly, I promoted a phenological survey (done online) a while back at the IGO Forums. Today, I finally got to take a couple waypoints for it (although no flowers yet). Peace to all!

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