Teaching Systems of Equations through Geocaching

Using GPS units, or mobile Apps, students work their way through a multi-cache of 3 waypoints, solving systems as they go to find their next clue.

Setup

Obtain a GPS or Mobile App

Locate X number of cache locations in Decimal Degrees.

2 caches = 2 groups
3 caches = 6 groups
4 caches = 24 groups
X caches = X! groups

Print and hide your clues.

Pre-Teaching:

Latitude and Longitude

Decimal Degrees

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_degrees
Note that we need to use 6 decimal places for accuracy of this activity.

The App

Setting up the app for this activity requires a couple of steps.

  • Tap once on the screen and look to the bottom right corner for the "i" button to access Settings
  • Select Setings from the pop-up menu
  • Look for Geo coordinates and change that to the last of the options (±D.x 51.499400° -0.1222759°)
  • Tap "Done" at the bottom
  • Keep scrolling down to the Maps section and ensure that the first three sliders are set to on (Green)
  • Tap "Done" at the bottom

Send students out

Using the App

Here are a few steps to make the experience less open ended.

  • Hand out the first clue in class and have students enter the coordinates as a location in the app
  • Tap once on the display and look for the flag icon (second from the bottom right)
  • Select Manage Destinations from the pop up menu
  • Select New Destination then Location
  • Give your location a name and enter the Latitude (x) and Longitude (y) coordinates from the solution to your System of Equations.
  • Tap "Save" at the bottom, then "Done"
  • Make your way to your new waypoint.