Students explore the school through geocaching

Students spent the class period on Tuesday “geocaching” in AP Human Geography, exploring outside the school while learning about satellites and coordinate points. For the freshman, leaving the classroom during class is a new experience from middle school.

“We weren’t allowed to go outside,” freshman Ashleigh Rose said. “Going outside definitely helps with learning because you remember it better.”

The activity has been a part of the class for five or six years and is part of the current curriculum.

In geography class, we have a saying: part geography and part awesome.

— AP Human Geography teacher Tim Johannes

“We learn specifically in our first unit about GPS and coordinates and absolute location and how it’s important that people know where they’re at on the planet,” AP Human Geography teacher Tim Johannes said.

Although the GPS tools students used are a little outdated, geocaching is a result of teacher collaboration.

“Usually it’s a group activity with a couple other teachers,” Johannes said. “We get together, we do a little planning called PLC now. We plan it, and it usually changes as we go. But Frisco ISD has these machines that we’re using and they’re really old but they’re kind of cool for the kids to use.”

Teachers believe that the outdoor application is more effective than if it were taught in the classroom.

“In geography class, we have a saying: part geography and part awesome,” Johannes said. “And it’s okay to come outside and have some fun and really experience what you’re doing outside. You’re actually doing geography, like that’s kind of cool. You can’t really do history or some other subjects but you can go out and do a lot of things like math or science and geography really plays well in that as well.”

Going outside definitely helps with learning because you remember it better.

— freshman Ashleigh Rose

For students, the real life learning applications of Tuesday’s project are a bit more interesting than a classroom lecture.

“Heck ya,” freshman Neeraj Gummadapu said. “Because you actually have fun doing something.”

In the end, although the material is taught differently, students are still learning.

“They’ll learn how geography applies to every place on the planet,” Johannes said. “They know exact location matters and when they get their results back, they have to get it to like the fifth decimal point from the line of longitude and latitude so they see how it applies to geography.”