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Pupils mix history and technology in global treasure hunt


Pupils at a Newton Abbot school are set to take part in a giant treasure hunt combining Devon’s hidden history with the latest mobile technology.

The youngsters at Wolborough C of E Primary are taking part in the Samuel Baker Geocaching Series, an initiative created by the Newton’s Place museum and community space project.

Geocaching is a hugely popular global pastime in which people search for hidden ‘treasure’ by following prompts on a phone app. The Samuel Baker Series, named after the 19th century explorer who made Newton Abbot his home, will consist of 12 objects hidden in and around the town.

Eight of the pieces, all linked to artefacts in Newton Abbot Museum, have already been hidden and are being discovered by scores of geocaching fans. During October the Wolborough School children will secrete their box containing a collection of school memories they’ve written down for posterity. It will also provide information about Samuel Baker as well as details of a Victorian child’s shoe, lost long ago in a Newton Abbot field and now a museum object.

The cache’s online data will carry the same information, thereby giving the town and its new £2 million museum, due to open next year, a worldwide audience.

Teacher Sam Curtis can’t wait for his pupils’ cache to go live via the geocaching.com website.

"This project has been fantastic, it’s been a lot of fun to explore old memories but also hopefully it will create new memories for those people looking to find our cache," he said.

Fellow teacher Jenny Loverick has also enjoyed the process. "To be honest I was a very amateur geocacher to begin with so it’s been really nice learning about that as well as the objects we can can go and see when Newton’s Place opens," she said. "We do like to socialise so the idea that everyone who finds our cache will learn about us and our lovely memories of school is really exciting."

Two more caches will go live in November with a 13th ‘Baker’s Dozen’ available at the December 11th Newton Abbot Lantern Parade and Christmas Street Fayre.

The photo shows teacher Sam Curtis and pupils in clue-searching mood.

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