Hide and Seek

Every term the physical science students have located me,  in some terms they have located me within twenty minutes, other terms thirty minutes. The students always find me, the question is when, not whether. This term I wanted a location that would be more challenging to locate.
I was hoping for a location that would hold for forty minutes if possible. Using my knowledge of the alignment of lines of latitude and the penchant for the students to usually first "lock on to" the correct latitude line, I chose a latitude that would be potentially problematic if followed blindly.
Although the area appears remote and isolated, in actuality the grass is veritably riddled with trails running to private picnic and rendezvous spots.
The trails fork out to different clearings under small trees, each with tell tale signs of human presence such as the blue styrofoam plate peeking out from the Nephrolepis ferns on the right in the image above.

Two teams simultaneously converged on my position at 45 minutes after the hour. One came in from the east, slogging through impossibly tall Polystachion grass to remain on the line of latitude. The other group had serendipitously made the decision to follow the road until the longitude was correct, and then follow the longitude to the correct latitude. This was, due to the terrain, the slightly easier way to access my location.

The east group, however, was the first to actually spot me in my hiding location.
Both of the successful groups were reduced in number, ultimately only five students arrived at the correct coordinates. That five did so, and in 45 minutes, is a testament to the ability to precisely locate any position on the planet using a GPS unit.
Ardos and Robertson at the correct location.
Jeremiah, having come from the general direction behind him.

Four other groups never did find me. Two groups were "following" an "arrow" that was actually a north indicator. The groups were simply walking due north and, I gathered later, only the swamp stopped them. 

A third group was following a triangle on the "paths" screen that indicates simply where you are on the screen. The result was that they had been walking what was effectively a random walk path. Apparently neither group read the instructions nor had listened to directions on Monday concerning pulling up the latitude and longitude screen.

One group had reached the gym and apparently decided to stay and play basketball in lieu of continuing the search. Had I been in need of actual assistance or rescue, I would have perished at the hands of this group! A member of that group did note, in their defense, that they thought the period had expired by the time they reached the gym.

I later learned that one group had wandered up into the area behind maintenance, effectively the opposite side of the campus on a north-south axis. Their latitude number must have been much larger than the correct number.

Thursday I will debrief the class and pull together what may or may not have been learned today. This activity is a discovery learning activity, although this term the discovery learner was the instructor. I learned primarily that four of six groups did not listen carefully on Monday nor read the directions on the hand-out. For the groups that found me, however, both have a better "gut" level understanding of latitude and longitude. As one student said, "these numbers are like a grid."

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