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Tracking Otters

Source Institutions

    University of Nebraska State Museum

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Tracking Otters

This activity (on pages 38-43) has learners simulate the way scientists track and map the movement of otters in the wild using radio trackers. One learner plays the role of Sea Otter, and other pairs of learners play the roles of Receiver and Tracker. The Sea Otter uses a clicker to represent the electronic transmitter on the otter, and each blindfolded Receiver listens through a paper towel tube "antenna" while the Tracker records where their partner hears the loudest click.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model, Simulation

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 clicker
  • Map of North America, including Alaska
  • 11 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11-inch white paper to make signs
  • 1 empty paper towel tube
  • 1 blindfold


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Information Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

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

Designed specifically for

  • Rural dweller

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All Rights Reserved, University of Nebraska State Museum, ©2001

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation Informal Science Education Program, 9909496
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute


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