and Bald Eagle/Tracking Data Using GPS/Fourth Grade
Pequot Lakes, MN
Minerich teaches 4th Grade at Pequot Lakes School in Pequot Lakes,
MN. He has a good strategy for
tracking the satellite-collared caribou with his class during the spring
migration. They use a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) to assist
them in determining the distance and direction each caribou moves between
classroom uses a hand-help GPS to help us determine the distance
and direction that each of the satellite-collared caribou move
from update to update. Our GPS has as one of its functions
a distance between waypoints function. Even though we know
the data is days apart the direction is given to us in degrees.
Our GPS does not use decimals so we have learned how to convert
decimals to min/sec by multiplying. (For how to do conversions
from decimals to min/sec see Conversions
We use a worksheet to keep track of all the steps used for finding the
distance and direction."
a copy of their worksheet for
tracking eagles and caribou in your classroom.)
the students find interesting is that early in the data collection
caribou travel in many different directions, not necessarily
north which would be the common thought. They soon realize
that in the darkness they are just feeding and trying to stay
alive not migrating. Also the GPS gives us the miles traveled
between waypoints. Interesting how little they travel early
opposite the great distances when the migration is a its peak.
The time delays between data effects our information but at
the elementary level that is ok. We still get the general time
travel and direction. Hope this helps."