EarthCaching:Gary Lewis, Geological Society of America
Intended Audience: EarthCaching is open to all. There is a free educators guide available from the website.
EarthCache can be used worldwide - to search for locations, visit the EarthCache website.
Summary:EarthCaching is the educational part of the wider international game of geocaching. Earth EarthCache is a site that people can visit to learn about some aspect of the earth. You obtain information from the EarthCache website for each site, including the latitude and longitude. Then, with your GPS, you find the site and undertake the educational logging task. Once complete, you log back onto the site to register your experience.
EarthCaching was developed to provide Earth science experiences to everyone. No background knowledge is required. Each site has its own terrain rating (based on the geocaching rating scheme).
Participants gain skills and experience related to location (e.g. longitude and latitude), navigation, and the use of geospatial technology. As a part of the teacher's toolbox, EarthCaching can be incorporated into a lesson plan to support learning objectives by giving students the opportunity to see geologic and geographic features of Earth firsthand or online.
EarthCaching can support standards and enhance learning in a variety of disciplines. Its applications are most obvious in the fields of Earth science and geography. The development and/or study of an EarthCache™ site will help students study the composition of Earth, its history, and the natural and physical processes that shape it. By studying similar EarthCache sites around the world or comparing various sites in close proximity to each other, students can develop and test hypotheses, make observations, and draw conclusions about Earth.
EarthCaching also provides the opportunity for students to experience how science and technology interact and to gain proficiency in the use of technology in science (e.g., GPS unit, computer, and the Internet).
Assessment and Evaluation:
Students should be able to locate the EarthCache site and answer questions about it provided by the teacher. Lesson plans for EarthCache sites are provided in the EarthCache Educator's Guide (Acrobat (PDF) 4.6MB Jul15 08).
Materials and Handouts:
EarthCache Educator's Guide (Acrobat (PDF) 4.6MB Jul15 08) - large PDF file with background information about the EarthCache Project and example lesson plans that implement the program.
EarthCache website - provides more information regarding EarthCache locations, background, and use in the classroom.