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Floyd County

September 27, 2008

Green Valley students learn about geocaching

Taylor Hendricks was learning, but he was also having fun.

The perfect combination for any fourth- or fifth-grader.

“This is better than sitting in a classroom,” Taylor said.

His classmates echoed those exact sentiments.

“It’s fun. At first it didn’t seem like it was fun until we started looking for it,” Dylan Hiser said.

The “it” the students were looking for were hidden treasures in the rear of Green Valley Elementary School. All the students got a quick lesson in geocaching, a map of the area with latitude and longitude coordinates and a few helpful hints. The students were broken up into five teams and, after their lesson, raced out of Gail Case’s classroom to the field behind the school in search of treasure.

Team No 1 found its hidden treasure first. It was filled with pencils and erasers. But the real prize came from the thrill of finding the cache hidden in the grass.

“This is hands-on and that is the most beneficial learning experience there is,” Case said.

The treasure hunt was organized by Terri Steele, whose daughter, Anna, is a student in Case’s class.

Steele has been geocaching all over the country. To date, she has found 54 geocaches. Her cousin has found more than 2,000.

Geocaching is a game of hiding and finding treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS or Global Positioning System technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.

There are more than 650,000 active geocaches around the world. By typing in an area at www.geocaching.com, you can find out how many treasures are in a certain area. Steele estimates New Albany has between 50 and 100 geocaches hidden.

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