On Thursday, April 7th, students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett (WAJ) Science Club got an exciting opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of mapping. Each of the students was able to learn about the different types of maps, the basics of compass and pacing, and create their own “Treasure Hunt Map.”
As young people become more dependent on technology and GPS for navigation crucial skills such as reading a map are often overlooked. By creating an interactive experience, educators from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties are able to get young people excited about important skills for the outdoors.
Science club participants learned about the importance of topographic maps for hiking, how to use road maps to get around and how thematic maps can provide rich data to scientists. After they learned about some of the basics they began to think about the importance of space and distance when it comes to maps. How can one find the hidden treasure if they don’t know how far to travel? That’s where the students new found skills of compass bearings and passing came in handy. Each student was able to find their own hidden treasure, proving the importance of maps!
The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. The next session of the program is scheduled to take place in May and will cover topics related to spring tree identification.