Water Great Idea

 In Geocaching for Schools



The ‘Water Great Idea’ geocache was temporarily waymarked beside a stream that flowed into Airthrey Loch, which is found in the grounds of the University of Stirling and located near the Pathfoot building. The aim of the cache was for the children to learn about hydro-electric power through dam building. The cache is place sensitive as it uses a stream on campus and a discussion was made on what would happen if the dam was built on this stream as this feeds into the loch, by doing this it added to the value of the learning.




The site is easy to access as it is located beside the public footpath and due to the woodland located by the stream it made it easier for the children to find and use natural materials in the activity. The woodland also provided a natural barrier so that the children could not get too close to the loch.




Our geocache can offer further learning on sustainability through their exploration of one of the renewable energy resources. The big idea in science that this geocache follows is sustainability and energy which links to Global Sustainable Development Goal number 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.




Cache Contents

  • Instructions
  • Information sheet
  • Recording sheet
  • Rope
  • Balls
  • Whiteboard markers


The children were encouraged to use the GPS system independently along with their knowledge of compass points to navigate to and locate the geocache.

Pupils were encouraged to open the box and explore the contents within. One pupil read out the activities for the geocache.


In the first activity the children were assigned roles such as ball keeper, recorder and time keeper. The aim of the activity was for the children to time how long the ball took to get from Point A to B using a pre-measured piece of string. This would show the power of the stream.


The second activity was for the children to build a dam using the natural resources around them. The aim of the activity was to see if the children could stop the flow of the stream.

In the third activity the children re-recorded the speed of the ball at the same point in the stream to see if it was impacted by the dam. This followed on with a discussion about what they observed and the power of the stream.

For the fourth activity we gathered the children in a circle to discuss how humans could use the power of the streams for their benefit which lead on to discussions about renewable energy and how they can be more sustainable with energy use.



Links to the Curriculum for Excellence

There are links throughout the geocache to literacy and numeracy, through discussions, recording and reading instructions.

First Level

I am aware of different types of energy around me and can show their importance to everyday life and my survival. SCN 1-04a

I can consider ways of looking after my school or community and can encourage others to care for their environment. SOC 1-08a

I can take appropriate action to ensure conservation of materials and resources, considering the impact of my actions on the environment. TCH 1-06a

I understand how technologies help provide for our needs and wants, and how they can affect the environment in which we live. TCH 1-07a

Second Level

I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally- responsible way. SOC 2-08a

I can analyse how lifestyles can impact on the environment and Earth’s resources and can make suggestions about how to live in a more sustainable way. TCH 2-06a



Water Great Idea was a temporary way-marked cache – it will not be available on geocaching.com

Thanks to Mr Atkinson and all the pupils from Deanston Primary School who all came along to help us trial these. We had a great day with you all.

By Megan Skeldon, Christie Allan and Emma Morrison (3rd year University of Stirling – Primary Education)

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