Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

High Tech Treasure Hunt: Geocaching and Elementary Students

Times and dates are displayed based on your device's time zone setting.

Participate and share : Poster

Dr. Jeffrey Hall  
William Hall  
Dr. Lucy Bush  

Come learn how to engage in a safe, socially distanced high tech treasure hunt for all of your elementary learners! Learn how to integrate geocaching into your F2F or distance learning and leave with lesson plans, resources and more.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: QR Code Reader
Topic: Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Social studies, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
Innovative Designer
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
Digital Citizen
  • Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to
1.  Explain what geocaching is to fellow educators who are unfamiliar with the activity.
2. Describe the role of STEAM skills in the pursuit of geocaches around the world.
3. Understand how geocaching can be used to supplement digital learning both during COVID-19 and beyond.
4. Understand the variety of educational geocaches available.
5. Create educational geocaches and publish them at
6. Understand geocaching from elementary students’ perspectives about the educational benefits of geocaching.
Participants will be granted access to a digital repository that contains a variety of educational resources (ex., lesson plans, videos, expert geocaches, etc.).

Evidence of success: We have incorporated geocaching into several of our graduate-level educational methods classes with great success. Students report greater comprehension of spatial understanding, flora and fauna, geography, and history. Geocaching lends itself to all content areas, but this presentation will pay particular attention to elementary math and science with qualitative data from learning coaches, teachers, professors, and elementary students demonstrating the successful integration of geocaching into pedagogical practice.

Supporting research

Anderson, M. A. (2008). Geocaching for fun and learning. Multimedia and Internet@Schools, 15(2), 32-35.

Battista, R. A., & West, S. T. (2018). The use of geocaching as a form of physical activity in youth. American Journal of Health Education, 49(3), 125-132.

Battista, R. A., West, S. T., Mackenzie, S. H., & Son, J. (2016). Is this exercise? No, it’s geocaching! Exploring factors related to aspects of geocaching participation. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 34(2), 30-48. DOI: 10.18666/JPRA-2016-V34-I2-6495

Bragg, L. A. (2014). Geocaching: Finding mathematics in a global treasure hunt. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 19(4), 9-14.

Clough, G. (2010). Geolearners: Location-based informal learning with mobile and social technologies. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 3(1), 33-44.

Coco-Ripp, J. (2012). Team-building activities for the digital age: Using technology to develop effective groups. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 46(2), 153-155.

Collins, L. (2019). A citywide scavenger hunt. Parks & Recreation, 54(7), 88.

Dyer, M. (2004). The essential guide for geocaching: Tracking treasure with your GPS. Fulcrum.

Fleming, N. (2012). Out-of-school settings create a climate for new skills. Education Week, 32(1), 12-13.

Gillin, P., & Gillin, D. (2010). The joy of geocaching: How to find health, happiness, and creative energy through a worldwide treasure hunt. Quill Driver Books.

Hagevik, R. A. (2011). Fostering 21st century learning with geospatial technologies. Middle School Journal, 43(1), 16-23.

Hall, J. & Bush, L. (2010). Solve and seek: Mathcaching in the classroom. Reflections: Journal of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 55(1), 12-13.

Hall, J. & Bush, L. (2011). Off the beaten trail: Geocaching and mathcaching in the classroom. Reflections: Journal of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 55(3), 20-22.

Hall, J. & Bush, L. (2012). Learning in the great outdoors: Geocaching as an educational activity. In P. Resta (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2012 (pp. 2834-2836). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Hall, J., & Bush, L. (2013). Incorporating the game of geocaching in K-12 classrooms and teacher education programs. In J. Keengwe (Ed.), Pedagogical applications and social effects of mobile technology integration (pp. 79-97). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2985-1.ch005

Harris, A, & Rice, S.E. (Eds.). (2008). Gaming in academic libraries: Collections, marketing, and information literacy. Association of College and Research Libraries.

Jewett, P. (2011). Multiple literacies gone wild. Reading Teacher, 64(5), 341-344.

Kelley, M.A. (2006). Local treasures: Geocaching across America. Center for American Places.

Lary, L.M. (2004). Hide and seek: Geocaching in the classroom. Learning and Leading with Technology, 31(6), 14-18.

Lazar, K. B., Moysey, S. M., Brame, C., Coulson, A. B., & Lee, C. M. (2018). Breaking out of the traditional lecture hall: Geocaching as a tool for experiential learning in large geology service courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, 66(3), 170-185.

March, K. A. (2012). Backyard botany: Using GPS technology in the science classroom. The American Biology Teacher, 74(3), 172-177.

Matherson, L., Wright, V.H., Inman, C.T., & Wilson, E.K. (2008). Get up, get out with geocaching: Engaging technology for the social studies classroom. Social Studies Research and Practice, 3(3), 80-85.

NaPier, A. (2013). Libraries “cache-in” on geocaching treasure hunts. American Libraries, 44(5), 16-17.

Neustaedter, C., Tang, A., & Judge, T. (2013). Creating scalable location-based games: Lessons from geocaching. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 17(2), 3305-349.

Robinson, S., & Hardcastle, S. J. (2016). Exploring attitudes towards and experiences of geocaching amongst families in the community. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 26(2), 187-197.

Suarez, P., & Dudley, J. (2012). Finding their way: How geocaching is an adventure for all, including teens. Young Adult Library Services, 10(2), 32-34.

Schlatter, B.E., & Hurd, A.R. (2005). Geocaching: 21st century hide and seek. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 76(7), 28-32.

Shaunnessy, E., & Page, C. (2006). Promoting inquiry in the gifted classroom through GPS and GIS technologies. Gifted Child Today, 29(4), 42-53.

Sherman, E.B. (2004). Geocaching: Hide and seek with your GPS. Apress.

Willis, K. (2010). Hidden treasure: Sharing local information. Aether, 5, 50-62.

More [+]


Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Mercer University
Dr. Lucy Bush, Mercer University

People also viewed

Creating a Meaningful Learning Environment : Transforming Your Class Into a Start-Up
Cultivating a Culture of Computational Thinking
Mindfulness and Self-Care: Library Resources to Support Students and Faculty