In celebration of National Geography Awareness Week, the City of Sandy Springs staff will visit with fifth graders at Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School, on Monday.
Students will hunt for “treasures” using geocaching, locating objects utilizing GPS technology. Students will also talk with the city’s GIS staff about geography, GPS, and how GIS is used in city government to benefit the community.
In one activity, students will split into groups that will receive a GPS device for an outside, geocaching exercise. Objects smaller than a silver dollar are hidden, with coordinates that students can access with their GPS devices.
“It is interesting to watch the kids as they quickly grasp that you have to reference the GPS to locate the item, especially as we hide items that are pretty small, and we don’t tell the kids in advance what they are actually looking to find,” said Sandy Springs GIS Analyst Josh Lontz. “While a lot of fun for us to talk about, the kids actually do come away from our presentation with a better understanding about how GIS actually impacts the community.”
The National Geographic Society created Geography Awareness Week in 1987, setting aside the third week of each November to highlight the importance of geo-literacy and geo-education. This year marks the fifth year the City of Sandy Springs Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team has conducted activities within the city’s schools.