Olympic Geocaching Opportunity

A Travel bug

As soon as students complete their testing this week we will begin exploring a new project that has been in the works for quite some time. In order to further the geography education of my students I like to develop global projects for them to participate in. One hobby of mine is geocaching – placing “travel bugs” in secret locations identified only by their geographic coordinates. Using a GPS device of some sort, geocachers hunt for these bugs around the world. When found, many of these bugs are swapped out for other bugs and moved on their way to another cache. Bugs are registered on the website geocaching.com and tracked as they travel from cache to cache. Often, owners of the travel bugs generate goals for their items.

I have the opportunity to spend three weeks in the UK during the Olympics this summer and I’ve created a project around my adventure. During my stay, I will be travelling around England, and as far as the highlands of Scotland, “seeding” student travel bugs along the way. Over the coming weeks, students in my class will be bringing in a token of some sort to attach to a travel bug. We will be classifying each bug and develop a database of sorts containing things like mass, dimensions, color, etc. so that we can determine if any of these factors slow or speed up a bug’s progress.

A token with travel bug attached

The ultimate goal of each bug will be to return “home” to our local cache just outside of our school. In addition to gathering data prior to departure, students will be developing a backstory about each bug. Why does their bug need to return home? What adventures would the bug like to have on the return journey? Each bug’s story and goals will be accessible via a unique geocaching.com webpage (example). We will track progress throughout next year and see if any of the bugs make it home and how many goals have been realized.

Maps are automatically generated for each bug

I have five FOUR, Three, TWO bugs reserved for our friends around the world and if your class is interested, or would like more information, please leave a comment below. In order to participate, you will need to send me the item that you would like attached to the bug. I need to receive it by June 15th. It cannot be larger than a box of playing cards and must have some way to attach a travel bug chain to it. See images for examples.

There are, of course, no guarantees that any of our bugs will make it home. However, we will have a grand time tracking their adventures as they scamper across the planet in the coming months. Join us!

8 comments

  1. Mr Rockey

    Hi John. I love geocaching and have done some in the past with my class too. If you have a travel bug left I’d love to get involved with my class of Year 2s, here in the UK.

  2. Mr Marx

    Would like to be one of your international partners. Please try to contact me by email.
    Reinhard

  3. Mrs. Martinez

    Mr. Miller and class,

    I love geocaching! We were introduced to it in college and had so much fun going around our town looking for the little trinkets. I have even gotten my son into doing it and we try and do one once a week in our town. This is something I would like to start with my class too. What a great idea and I hope your “bug” makes it home!

    Mrs. Martinez

  4. Mrs. Hughes

    If you haven’t enough classes beating down your door, our school would love to participate and send you something (probably a mascot). I will be teaching the computer classes next year, with the new school year starting in July. This would be a fun adventure for all grade levels and follow. Can’t wait!

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>