The Virginia Geocoin Adventure is an experiential geospatial learning activity that uses the hobby of Geocaching. Participants hide a geocoin – a small trackable coin – in a geocache and then “follow” their coin online as it changes locations when geocachers move it to other geocaches. Participants will learn to use a GPS receiver while placing the geocoin, and increase their geospatial awareness through coin tracking.
The Virginia View Geocoin
Additionally, there are 4 learning lessons linked to the activity that explore environmental issues and geospatial techniques. The additional activities include topics on invasive species, watershed health, landscape ecology, and remote sensing. These activities utilize free software (Google Earth) and lead participants in experiential activities that range from an aerial photography scavenger hunt, to taking basic measurements, to assessing watershed boundaries.
http://virginiaview.cnre.vt.edu/education.html. In Virginia, educators can check out a GPS kit from local 4-H offices if they do not have access to a GPS receiver. Other organizations also provide GPS receivers and associated resources for educators as well, including several of members of the AmericaView consortium.
The Virginia Geocoin Adventure is a starting point for incorporating geospatial learning into a variety of settings in an accessible, hands-on, and engaging way. The program could easily be altered to fit other states and educational objectives.