A Geocaching Adventure?! Who Said Science Wasn’t Fun?

 

Submitted by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

olympia geocacheThe U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service teams up with the YWCA of Olympia to provide exciting educational programming for the Girls Without Limits! Spring Break Camp on Thursday, April 9th.

It is conservation science, youth education and the Amazing Race all wrapped up in one.

The YWCA of Olympia’s Girls Without Limits! 2015 Spring Break camp will be participating in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s “Chehalis Basin Pacific Lamprey Geocaching Challenge.” These young women, and future scientists, will learn about GPS technology, physics, biology, environmental science, conservation and science careers as they complete this technological treasure hunt by solving puzzles and locating all six “mystery caches” throughout the Chehalis River Basin on April 9th.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently launched the Chehalis Basin Pacific Lamprey Geocaching Challenge in an effort to connect people with nature, raise Pacific Lamprey awareness (“the forgotten fish”) and educate the public about the Chehalis watershed (2nd largest in WA) and the conservation partners within. In order to find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates for the hidden caches, participants must successfully answer questions about the species and watershed. They must then follow the clues, locate the caches and stamp their “passport” for each site. The competed passport is then redeemed for a custom commemorative coin.

Girls Without Limits! is a low/no-cost weekend, spring break and summer camp, Girls Winter Summit and afterschool club that encourages girls ages 10-14 to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, & math (STEM), gain career awareness via mentorship with professional women, and foster self-esteem and leadership skills in a positive and fun learning environment like the Geocaching Challenge. Adolescent girls face tremendous social pressure that can deter them from pursuing science and math activities. However, GWOL! empowers girls to be confident in their abilities and invites them to explore future STEM careers and college majors.

A USFWS crew (biologist, AmeriCorps service members & volunteers) will work with the campers on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 8th as they prepare for the big event the next day. The USFWS crew, who will also serve as spring break mentors, will then join the camp participants on Thursday, April 9th as they attempt to complete the geocaching challenge in one day. Will they be successful?

For more info about GWOL!, click here or call 352-0593.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, click here, or connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr and YouTube.

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