Geocaching with Urban Adventure Squad: Science & Technology Learning

Fifth-grade scholars at Creative Minds are partnering with Urban Adventure Squad to explore their local environment through a fun, GPS-based scavenger hunt.

The Urban Adventure Squad “Geocaching DC’s Waterways” project is funded by a Stormwater Solutions Grant from the DC Department of Energy and Environment and brings together UAS educators and students from partner schools to examine the effects of stormwater runoff on the Anacostia Watershed.

Exploring Environmental Science in Middle School

During the last two weeks of January, Urban Adventure Squad educators will meet with two groups of Creative Minds scholars in Mr. Musawwir’s classes for an introduction to geocaching and a hands-on investigation into the effects of stormwater runoff on the Anacostia River: how our waterways are connected; how trash travels to the river from seemingly distant neighborhoods; and how storm drains, bioretention ponds, and permeable pavement improve the health of our waterways.

On a walk through our neighborhood, scholars and UAS educators will identify potential locations for the Creative Minds geocaches—small, waterproof containers with logbooks inside—and scholars will use GPS devices to record possible geocache hiding spots.

After both classes have chosen the spots for their geocaches, they’ll write descriptions for the Geocaching app, which UAS will submit to the app for publication along with the GPS coordinates of our geocaches.

The descriptions will highlight our scholars’ learning about green-infrastructure topics; the Anacostia River; and the ways Washington, DC, is working to improve the health of local waterways.

Sharing Knowledge with the DC Community

Anyone with a smartphone and the Geocaching app can discover our scholars’ research online. The goal is for local geocachers to find the Creative Minds geocache, record their visits in the logbook and the app, and explore the knowledge our scholars acquired in learning about the Anacostia Watershed.

We thank Urban Adventure Squad for including Creative Minds in the “Geocaching DC’s Waterways” project and giving our scholars these exciting new opportunities for exploring science, using technology, and raising awareness about the health of our waterways.

Learn more about Urban Adventure Squad and its community-based, outdoors-focused, hands-on learning programs for schoolchildren in the Washington, DC, area.