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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 21 (2016) pp 246-256

A Modified Orienteering Approach to Chemical, Cultural, and Historical Learning Adventures at Valdosta State University and Key West

Sydney E. Plummer, Setu Patel, Kira Carreira, Donna Law, Hunter Turner, Tess Baker, Thomas J. Manning*

Chemistry Department, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia, 31698,
Received July 23, 2016. Accepted September 15, 2016.

Published: 9 November 2016

Abstract. The use of GPS and other geographic systems is used recreationally, throughout science, and with educational exercises. This paper describes three exercises using GPS that were applied at the college teaching level at Valdosta State University and Key West Florida assessing a variety of disciplines. The first involves a code that students must decipher to find the individual pages of a test in their building. Once students locate these pages, they answer the questions and turn in the test. The second involves using the university campus as a classroom. It utilizes a number of locations, including a coffee shop, a creek ecosystem, and an astronomy observatory. The third level is conducted in Key West and is a full day exercise. Students use GPS coordinates to find a general location. The twelve locations include a public aquarium, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) EcoDiscovery Center, the Hemingway house and a butterfly garden. While the students tour many of the attractions of Key West, they also learn scientific, historical and cultural points. The paper serves as an outline of examples in which GPS exercises can be applied in science education, and amended depending on the student and environment in which the exercises take place. We have called the approaches outlined Indoor-Outdoor Active Interdisciplinary Learning (IOAIL).

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry

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