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Pointed in the right direction
Amazing GPS race combines fun, learning in Chester

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An amazing race of the educational kind took the classroom into the community for a group of students at Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Wildlife officer Peter Kattegatsiak, left, challenges students Aaron Alogut and Nuvak Ippiak with a question for them to obtain their next clue during the Amazing GPS Race at Victor Sammurtok School in Chesterfield Inlet this past month. - photo courtesy of Glen Brocklebank

The event was a clever exercise designed by teacher Glen Brocklebank to allow the students to enjoy a fun-filled day in the community, while at the same time, honing their skills on the global positioning system (GPS).

The Amazing GPS Race had the students visit 10 businesses and organizations, including the Hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet, wildlife office, health centre, RCMP detachment and Chesterfield Inlet Development Corp., among others

Brocklebank said he started the students with a GPS co-ordinate for the local airport.

He said upon arriving at the airport, the students had to correctly answer a question (the airport code for Chester) in order to receive the co-ordinate for their second stop.

"Anyone who got the question wrong had to sit out a five-minute penalty before getting their clue and proceeding," said Brocklebank.

"From there, they met with the wildlife officer and were asked to name the smallest calibre gun that can legally be used to hunt caribou.

"The same process was used for the duration of the stops until they finished the course.

"Each question was unique to the stop, and had either a timed penalty or an exercise for the students to do before they could continue on."

The group's final stop was back at Victor Sammurtok School, where they answered one last question to be given a co-ordinate to find Brocklebank and tell him they had completed the circuit.

The course was about 4.5 kilometres around the community.

Brocklebank said the members of the six groups of Grade 11 and 12 students were pretty tired at the conclusion of the exercise.

He said the GPS course has proven itself to be quite popular among students.

"We held the exercise during week four of the course.

"The first thing the students learned was how to mark a way point - program something into the GPS, label it and use it.

"From there, they learned how to track back and find a way point or location, and how to mark-in different co-ordinates to find the nearest way points.

"Once that was completed, they took part in the Amazing GPS Race around Chester."

Brocklebank said he received all positive responses from the participating businesses and organizations in the exercise.

He said the youths had so much fun, they wanted to do it again the following week.

"The students were in each of the 10 stops for five or 10 minutes, and, at times, they would all be at a stop at the same time.

"Still, all 10 enjoyed participating in the Amazing GPS Race with the students, so, hopefully, that keeps the door open for similar exercises in the future."

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