In most classes students are told to put their phones away but not in Pratt Community College's geocaching class, where students use an application on their phone to do their work.
Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity where participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or an application on their phone to find containers, which have been hidden by other people who also geocache.
The containers called "geocaches" or "caches" have been placed all over the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it. Along with the logbook, a small token is usually also in there for people to take if they want. When they take an item they are expected to replace it with something else.
A geocaching class was started in 2011 as a physical activity elective.
"The students really enjoy the class," said Lori Montgomery, instructor. "They enjoy finding the caches and not having to sit in a classroom all of the time."
During the course of the class student learn the rules to the game, how to operate a GPS unit, implement the use of maps, and learn strategies to become successful in this activity. Students track their activity with the use of online profiles by downloading coordinates and logging their caches.
Montgomery said they have had no issues finding caches in the Pratt area. According to the geocaching website there are more than 200 registered geocaches within 50 miles of Pratt in and more than 3,500 within 100 miles.
Each year, Montgomery also has the class hide a cache of their own and learn how to put it into the system.
"Lori make the class fun and you get to get out and exercise while being in class," said Taelor Dotson, freshman from Valley Center. "It has also allowed me to see parts of Pratt I haven't seen before."
For more information about Pratt Community College call (620) 450-2217 or visit www.prattcc.edu.