The Thrill of the Hunt


Zoo Group
“In order to prepare students for the real world, educators must think outside the box. Integrating technology and science is an excellent way to enhance experiences for students.  One of the ways we did this for 6th grade students in Richmond County, North Carolina , was to use GPS on a trip to zoo, but this was far from your ordinary field trip. During the summer, one of the teachers traveled to the NC Zoo and marked the waypoints of various exhibits with GPS. We then created group notebooks which included the waypoints for each group to rotate through as they completed observation sheets for collecting animal and habitat data. Students were instructed on the basics of using the Garmin e-Trex Legend GPS. Special vocabulary for GeoCaching was introduced along with a review of latitude and longitude. Practice caches were set on the school’s campus. Students eagerly mastered the use of the GPS and quickly were able to mark waypoints and find sites. For the actual field trip, all seven groups (49 students) were accompanied by a teacher trained in the use of the GPS. Each group had a digital camera, 2 Garmin eTrex Legends, observation data sheets, and a map of the zoo.  Each group of students located their assigned exhibits using the GPS. Teachers observed high level problem solving skills, teamwork, and collaboration. The hunt for the animal exhibits was thrilling and stimulating.  This project allowed a mundane field trip to morph into a 21st century technological adventure!”

-S. Griffin

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