STEMLandia – The Nature’s Apprentice Geocaching Adventure Opening the Door for STEM Learning Through Outside Games

ID: 43315 Type: Brief Paper: New Development
  1. James Larsen, EdGE at TERC, United States
  2. Daphne Minner, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, United States
  3. Elizabeth Rowe, Teon Edwards, Jodi Asbell-Clarke, Erin Bardar, and Barbara MacEachern, EdGE at TERC, United States

Thursday, June 26 2:45 PM-3:05 PM Location: B3109 View on map

Presider: Arnon Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Abstract: STEMLandia is a pilot project that uses geocaching, a popular hide-and-seek game, to create a STEM learning experience that opens the door for players, young and old, to explore and learn from nature by discovering caches located on the grounds at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Each cache in the adventure is located near a plant selected to relay a story that helps introduce and uncover science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related concepts as the adventure unfolds. This brief paper reports on how the project is looking at ways outside gaming adventures, especially those built around a simple to use smartphone geocaching application, can be used to capture the interest of players and create further learning opportunities through STEM-infused geocaching experiences at the Arnold Arboretum, and potentially other arboretums and public spaces where games and nature can be the guide to learning.

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