Students take part in campus treasure hunt

Release Date: 12/14/2012

Last week, U of O Professor of Biology Dr. Sean Coleman's Critical Inquiry class participated in a geocaching competition on campus.

Critical Inquiry (CI) is a freshman level course designed to help students transition from high school to college life. Each CI professor develops unique and creative ways of challenging their CI students. For Coleman's class, this included a geocaching competition on campus.

Geocaching on campus.

Students (from left) Annie Dunnagan, Bristol Chilton, Hannah Carter, and Gabriel “Gabo” Arredondo Arriola take part in a recent geocaching competition in Dr. Sean Coleman’s Critical Inquiry class.

Geocaching, a real-world treasure hunt, has been growing in popularity over the past several years. Geocachers use GPS to find hidden containers known as caches. In this instance, Coleman's CI class split into groups and competed against one another to find the caches the quickest.

Katie Kloepfer, a junior biology major from Lafe, Ark., is a peer mentor for Dr. Coleman's CI class and was part of the winning team.

"Dr. Coleman has wanted to do some type of geocaching activity with the class for a while now. We started learning about the whole process about halfway through the semester," Kloepfer explained. "Each group got to design the caches and decide on their locations."

Kloepfer was pleased at the reaction from the freshman students.

"I hoped that the students would enjoy the experience and learn to use the GPS, but it ended up being much more than that," Kloepfer said.

"I also got to see some of the students taking leadership positions, which was one of the goals of this experience. Some of the caches were difficult to find, and I was really impressed that the students put so much effort into finding them," she said.