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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

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Geocache dash

Geography – geographical inquiry skills, geographical tools

Program overview

Students work in small groups (2-3 students) and use GPS devices to complete a geocache (scavenger hunt) around their school grounds. At each cache (hidden point), they will complete a task that addresses a geography skill or tool.

Session details

75 minutes. Up to 3 sessions (one class each) per day.

Key syllabus outcome

  • Students acquire, process and communicate geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry (GE3-4)


Acquiring geographical information


  • collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from primary data and secondary information sources, for example, by observing, by interviewing, conducting surveys, or using maps, visual representations, statistical sources and reports, the media or the internet (ACHGS034, ACHGS041)

Processing geographical information

  • interpret geographical data and information, using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate, and identify spatial distributions, patterns and trends, and infer relationships to draw conclusions (ACHGS037, ACHGS044)

Geographical tools

  • Maps (M): large-scale map; maps to identify location and direction
  • Fieldwork (F): fieldwork instruments such as measuring devices, maps, photographs, compasses, GPS
  • Graphs and statistics (GS): line graphs; climate graphs
  • Spatial technologies (ST): virtual maps; global positioning systems (GPS)

Learning experiences

Students learn about GPS and how to use the Garmin etrex GPS devices. They split into small groups of 2-3 and use GPS devices to complete a geocache (scavenger hunt) around school grounds. At each of eight caches (hidden points) they find a tub containing a stamp and activity card, and any required tools for the task. They complete the task, record their answers and stamp their team worksheet before moving on to another cache. Tasks include using fieldwork instruments to measure weather, using a compass to find direction, identifying a building on a large-scale map of their school, identifying cloud types using an id sheet, and interpreting climate graphs. Early finishers can embark on challenge tasks where they use the GPS device to mark new waypoints, calculate area and even set up their own mini-geocache.