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GPS and Geodesy for Dummies: Do You Know Where You Are?

Geocaching and Benchmark Hunting!
The second of two web seminars on the topic of GPS and Geodesy was held on Tuesday, May 29, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was Casey Brennan, Program Analyst with NOAA's National Geodetic Survey in the Communications and Outreach branch. Mr. Brennan talked about geocaching and benchmark hunting, and shared ideas for using these in the classroom.

The presenter talked about geocaching and benchmark hunting. Sixty-two (62) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Casey Brennan defined geocaching and benchmark hunting for the audience and gave examples on how they could be used in the classroom. He also provided a bit of the history behind them and their applications. Mr. Brennan also showed how participants can find information about geocaches and benchmarks using the Internet. All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide about Coral Ecosystems, grades 9-12.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "Geocaching and benchmark hunting sound like so much fun! This is yet
    another way to get students excited about science, especially earth science."
  • "This is new territory and one that my students need to know about. As a
    technology magnet, it is a teacher's obligation to make our students
    aware of what career paths are open to them."
  • "The web seminar exposed me to new content and skills that I can incorporate into lessons and activities for my classroom."
  • "Many of my students balk at the idea of significant figures when
    reporting data. They want to give me the number they reached using their calculators. This is a real reason to report only what you are able to measure."

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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