Locating a Point

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In this activity, learners work in teams to simulate the process used by Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to determine the location of a fallen meteorite in Antarctica. Learners will examine how scientists use GPS in their research and consider the usefulness of this technology for Antarctic research.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • copy of Points on a Grid (page 2 of PDF)
  • red, green, and blue pencils or pens
  • 1 compass for drawing circles
  • ruler


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Solar System
      • Asteroids and Comets
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Information Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Circles
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, American Museum of Natural History and Rice University, 2002