The Windham Chapter provided funding for the WAJ Science Club to take six field trips to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’s Agroforestry Resource Center during the 2012-13 school year.
The WAJ Science Club, whose members are 4th, 5th and 6th graders, learned how global positioning systems (GPS) units work through a series of hands-on activities. The group learned GPS was first developed by the military, but after it was released to the general public, pizza companies pioneered the development of car GPS. The GPS units use 24 satellites in the Earth’s ionosphere to locate where you are.
After learning about what makes the work, the group got to with them. A series of geocaches were hidden for them along the trials of the Siuslaw Model Forest. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunting game which uses hand held GPSs to find hidden containers called caches. Within a geocache is typically a paper log for people to sign, and small prizes to trade. As the group traveled along the trails, the kid’s excitement and laughter could be heard amongst trees.