The following are science-related GPS or geocaching activities:

  • Weather Cache: Create a school cache and register it on Geocaching.com. Include a log book, pen, and thermometer. Ask visitors to the cache to record the weather conditions (sunny, cloudy, etc.) as well as the temperature in the log book including the date and time of their visit. (You may want to make a custom log book to make recording of the data easier or create an online log.) Use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to graph the data collected.

  • Biomes: Hide caches with the names of different biomes. Students research the caches and then use a comic tool (such as Comic Life) or a poster tool such as Glogster to create an information poster.

  • Rivers with Excel: Place packets of word cards with different rivers from around the world inside. Use the Internet to research each river's length, volume, location, and any other special feature. Create an Excel spreadsheet.

  • Identifying Native Trees: In addition to physical caches, native trees across campus are marked as waypoints. Each cache holds a laminated card with information about the tree species. Students use the GPS units to locate the sites and read information about each species. Students then record facts and/or note their observations in field guides. They can also make rubbings of the trees.

  • Identifying Plants: Native and non-native plants species along with a physical cache are marked as waypoints. Students use the GPS units to locate the sites and digital cameras to take photos of the plants. Upon returning to the classroom, students can print out the pictures and use an online plant identification site to find the common and scientific names of each plant as well as determine which species are native.

  • Earth Day: Hide ten caches around the school. Inside the caches will be questions related to four different environmental topics: recycling, pollution, water, and composting. (See questions below.) The caches were used by four different classes, one topic per class. To help the students stay organized and remove the proper questions from the cache, I color coded the questions by printing each set on colored paper. Students were given a list of websites to use for research and then created posters on their topic to hang around campus.

  • Landforms: Hide caches with the names of different landforms. Student research the features of the landforms and create slideshows or digital alphabet books.

  • Bodies of Water: Hide caches with latitude and longitude locations of different bodies of water from around the world. Students need to identify the location and then research facts about the body of water. Student then write riddles from the research.

Online Resources


RECYCLING
COMPOSTING
POLLUTION
WATER
What is Recycling?
Wedell The Worm
Acid Rain
Earth Savers
Resourceful Schools
Herman the Worm
Air Quality
Water Conservation
Kids for Recycling
Composting for Kids
Global Warming
Wakulla Spring Watershed
Recycling Codes

Footprint


Questions Inside Earth Day Caches
Recycling (Green)
1. What are the 3 steps of the recycling process? (Not the 3 R’s)
2. In your own words, what is recycling?
3. How much trash is disposed in landfills in the US each year?
4. What is special about the design of landfills?
5. Name 6 types of trash that can contaminate land, water, or air if not disposed of properly.
6. Why must you sort different types of glass when recycling?
7. What can be made by recycling high-density polyethylene?
8. Name 6 different ways old tires are recycled?
9.How can you determine if your can is made of aluminum and recyclable?
10. Why are there seven different recycling codes for practice?
Composting (Blue)
1. What are the four ingredients of a compost recipe?
2. Why don’t you put meat or meat products in a compost bin?
3. Why don’t you put diseased plants in a compost bin?
4. What are 5 foods that worms will not eat if placed in a compost bin?
5. What is a worm’s job?
6. In your own words, what is a decomposer?
7. What type of worm is best to use in composting bins and why?
8. In your own words, what is aeration?
9. Why does worm bedding need to be moist?
10.What are castings and why are they important?
Water (Pink)
1. How much water does an average washing machine use per load?
2. Name three ways to help you remember to take a shower less than 3 minutes?
3. How many gallons of water are wasted in one day by a dripping faucet?
4. Why must old batteries not be thrown in with your regular trash?
5. What percentages of the world’s water is salty, frozen, and drinkable? (Hint: Totals 100%)
6. What can you do to prevent pool evaporation?
7. What is an aquifer?
8. What are 3 dangers to the Wakulla Spring watershed?
9. How does fertilizing your lawn affect the watershed?
10. How does storm runoff affect the watershed?
Pollution (Yellow)
1. In your own words, what is acid rain?
2. What are the main gases that cause acid rain?
3. What effects does acid rain have on trees and plants?
4. What effects does acid rain have on lakes and water life?
5. In your own words, what is air pollution?
6. What are the two main sources of air pollution?
7. What two greenhouse gases (bad gases) are colorless?
8. What are four possible sources of air pollution inside homes?
9. In your own words, define “Greenhouse Effect.”
10. Name 3 ways you can measure your ecological footprint (environmental impact)?