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Elementary school teacher uses unique treasures for 'Cache the STEM bug' scavenger hunt

Elementary school teacher uses unique treasures for 'Cache the STEM bug' scavenger hunt

In February and March, WEAR along with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram are 'Paying it Forward to Education'. This week, we introduce you to an educator teaching children about science through exploring our environment.

Molly O'Connor is leading the ultimate treasure hunt. It's outside, there are skeletons, and the best part is it's a part of school.

Elementary school students get to do the "Cache the STEM bug" scavenger hunt at a field trip at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center. The outdoor center educates around 7,000 students a year in Escambia County.

O'Connor said, "We do all hands-on activities, correlated to all the standards. We bring in math, reading, science."

The students go geocaching where they take coordinates, a GPS unit, and find treasures along the way.

O'Connor said, "The students are using GPS devices. Then they are out and going to waypoints and at each waypoint, they go to a tub. When they find that tub or cache, there is an activity in there. They are doing something, reading something, and answering a question."

O'Connor had to fill 72 boxes with items that will teach the kids about our environment. Things like skeletons and coyote skulls can be pretty pricey.

That's why Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram stepped up and donated $500 to help her buy unique treasures for the kids.

"These funds helped us purchase the skeletons, thermometers, helped us purchase equipment and other hands-on activities," she said.

She said it's an experience and lifelong learning the students will never forget.

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