Finding where you are in the world, and where you want to go!

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What is it?

A Global Positioning System (GPS) is a portable device that connects to the satellites so that the exact time and location can be detected. A GPS can also help to plan routes for a person to take, as well as help orienteer through various environments. Essentially, a GPS is a glorified, electronic compass that is easy to read, understand, and use.

How can it be used in the classroom?

A GPS can be used in many ways within the classroom; the most common use is for Orienteering, Mapping, and Geological Mapping. There are many activities that can use GPS' and can add to the activity to make it easier, and more interactive. During orienteering, the student can go on a Scavenger Hunt and must use the GPS to find the different locations needed to finish the Scavenger Hunt. For mapping, the student has to create a map of a certain environment (like the school yard). They can use the GPS' to help them see the actual distance between certain points, and then make the map to scale to allow for a more accurate result. Lastly, like the mapping activity above, the students can do Geological Map by using the GPS to detect the distance between different points so that the scale of the map is more acurate.