South Holt High School
2011 Region IV
Ideas Unlimited Winner
Geocaching Leads Students on Technology Treasure Hunt
When Lindy Holt, an agriculture teacher at South Holt High School in Rosendale, Mo., brainstormed about ways to incorporate more technology into her teaching and raise student interest, she came up with the idea of using Geocaching.
A few years before, she had learned about the hobby, and the activity had stuck in her mind as having potential for the classroom. In Geocaching, items are hidden at various points with a large area (in her case, a few acres), and students must use global positioning system devices, along with longitude and latitude coordinates to locate them.
Before Holt’s students are turned loose to find their hidden “treasure,” they learn to read longitude and latitude coordinates, and how to use their GPS devices to record their coordinates as the move around the course.
Holt used the Geocaching activity during the week her eighth grade students were taking standardized tests. It gave them an opportunity to get outside, move around, and engage in a fun, hands-on activity that involved higher-order thinking skills. Students were grouped into teams that were challenged to find a number of hidden items. Prizes were awarded to teams who completed their campus-wide treasure hunt.
“Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment,” said Holt. “I believed this would introduce my students to a life-long hobby while still incorporating technology into the lesson.”
Next year, Holt plans to incorporate riddles at each cache or waypoint to boost problem-solving skills. She also plans to collaborate with teachers in other subject areas in her school so more students can take part in this fun activity.
For more information about Lindy’s idea and Geocaching, you can connect with Lindy on NAAE’s Communities of Practice, where she facilitates the Horticulture/Greenhouse Management community.
For more information about the Ideas Unlimited award, sponsored by Delmar Cengage Learning, visit http://www.naae.org/awards/applications/