#GoWithTheFlow – an appreciation of how animals and plants depend on each other for food
The ‘Go-With-The-Flow’ geocache (a temporary ‘waymarked’ geocache) was hidden just off the path near the popular and accessible water bird feeding spot at the water’s edge on the University of Stirling campus. X marks the spot!
The geocache is place responsive as it is specific to the species of Airthrey Loch, and their interactions. The place responsiveness along with key links to learning for sustainability and inquiry based science create an effective time leveraged geocache where all three aspects are at play at the same time.
Firstly, try to find the box of goodies…GOOD LUCK!!! Hint… it ain’t on the loch side of the path.
Got it??…. Congratulations! *
On opening the box you will find an instruction booklet – a step by step guide for completing the tasks – as pictured below.
The first task invites you to stand by the bench and carry out a water bird survey overlooking Airthrey Loch. Take a tally of each species of water birds you can see (the challenge is to make sure each bird is counted only once!). You may even spot some species we’ve missed, so add them in too!
The second task is centred around the scientific concept of food webs; yes, these are about more than just spiders! The participants are to work as a team using the species cards to create one food web of the species they have just surveyed. Placing the species cards on the ground and connecting them with string according to what they eat. The key idea is to help generate or progress understanding of energy flow between species. Try and figure out which way the energy flows!
Lets finish off the activities with a few questions, get those thinking caps on.
1) What would happen to the water birds if people were to stop feeding them?
2) What would happen if a plankton killing virus was to infect the loch?
3) How would this effect the food chain?
The #GoWithTheFlow geocache was designed with Primary 4 pupils in mind, however, it can be enjoyed by all from cradle to grave.
Now teachers listen up…
…we thought of this geocache because it:
- Helps pupils understand the links between their world and the wider world.
- Helps pupils understand that most animals’ food energy can be traced back to plants and that the sun is the ultimate source of energy needed for the growth, reproduction and survival of most organisms.
- ‘Everyone should be given an opportunity to appreciate the elegance and power of scientific ideas and the cultural significance of science’ (Millar, 2014: 17) file:///Users/cara1/Downloads/ssr-september-2014-045-050-teaching-about-energy-from-everyday-scientific-understanding-millar%20(2).pdf
Experiences and Outcomes which interlink with the #GoWithTheFlow geocache:
I can explore examples of food chains and show an appreciation of how animals and plants depend on each other for food. SCN 1-02a
I am aware of different types of energy around me and can show their importance to everyday life and my survival.
When I engage with others, I know when and how to listen, when to talk, how much to say, when to ask questions and how to respond with respect.
A temporary geocache design
by Cara Somner and Tanya Bartholomew
(Edu9S6 2016 – University of Stirling Primary Environment Specialism)
* The temporary way marked geocache site is not listed on geocaching.com These caches are only very temporary and will not be maintained.