Mr. Miller's Bug Tracker

May 19, 2012
by geobugtracker

Blast Off!

We begin a new adventure in Mr. Miller’s class at Chalone Peaks Middle School! We are learning about geography by participating in a fun geocaching activity. We have purchased several “travel bugs” that we will be using to help us communicate with other students and “geocachers” around the world. This site will be used to track our numerous bug’s progress toward their destinations.

Each bug has it’s own page on where anyone can find information and track each bug’s movement across the planet. Our students will be doing various geography and math related activities as our little friends try to complete their missions.

We are still interested in finding new partners for future geocaching projects, so please feel free to leave a comment and share an idea!

May 19, 2012
by John Miller

Olympic Geocaching Project

In order to further the geography education of my students I like to develop global projects for them to participate in. One hobby of mine is geocaching – placing “travel bugs” in secret locations identified only by their geographic coordinates. Using a GPS device of some sort, geocachers hunt for these bugs around the world. When found, many of these bugs are swapped out for other bugs and moved on their way to another cache. Bugs are registered on the website and tracked as they travel from cache to cache. Often, owners of the travel bugs generate goals for their items.

I have the opportunity to spend three weeks in the UK during the Olympics this summer and I’ve created a project around my adventure. During my stay, I will be travelling around England, and as far as the highlands of Scotland, “seeding” student travel bugs along the way. Over the coming weeks, students in my class will be bringing in a token of some sort to attach to a travel bug. We will be classifying each bug and develop a database of sorts containing things like mass, dimensions, color, etc. so that we can determine if any of these factors slow or speed up a bug’s progress.

The ultimate goal of each bug will be to return “home” to our local cache just outside of our school. In addition to gathering data prior to departure, students will be developing a backstory about each bug. Why does their bug need to return home? What adventures would the bug like to have on the return journey? Each bug’s story and goals will be accessible via a unique webpage (example). We will track progress throughout next year and see if any of the bugs make it home and how many goals have been realized.

I have five FOUR, Three, TWO bugs reserved for our friends around the world and if your class is interested, or would like more information, please leave a comment below. In order to participate, you will need to send me the item that you would like attached to the bug. I need to receive it by June 15th. It cannot be larger than a box of playing cards and must have some way to attach a travel bug chain to it. See images for examples.

There are, of course, no guarantees that any of our bugs will make it home. However, we will have a grand time tracking their adventures as they scamper across the planet in the coming months. Join us!

November 21, 2010
by John Miller

Jake Breaks 25,000 Miles and the Sphere is Rolling

Jake in Hong Kong

Jake in Hong Kong

Kallista Jake has officially travelled more miles/kilometers than the world is round! Ranger G75 has taken Jake with him as he travels the far east doing his job of training pilots. So far, Jake has visited Japan, China, and Taiwan on his journey. You can read about Jake’s travels by visiting his page.

The Zion Sphere of Mystery has been picked up by a new geocacher and it is already having a strange effect on her. Cacher peigimccann says,

“I picked this up on my way down the spine of the Santa Cruz Mountains from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. But wait, it’s rolling off the table, oh no, it’s trying to get out of the house! I’ll have to put it in a lead box until I can move it on! Stay tuned! Argggghhhhhh!”

She quickly moved The Sphere along and placed it into a new cache called, The David Locke Victorian Mansion. A place with a mystery of it’s own!

Jakes latest map

November 21, 2010
by John Miller

The Dragon Has Landed!

The Huzzahnian Dragon has made its way successfully to Comox Valley, Canada and to the students of Ms. Smith’s class!  We are so excited to see one of our bugs find its way home. We Skyped with the Huzzahnians themselves shortly after the discover of the Dragon. Ms. Smith has a wonderful class of students that were very excited to find the cache with the Dragon inside.

They made a fantastic video documenting their discovery.

Screen shot 2010-11-21 at 8.31.01 PM

November 1, 2010
by John Miller

John Brown’s Secret is Out!

200px-I-80.svgThis morning we launched a new TB headed to a classroom in Kansas. The bug is named John Brown’s Secret after the famous abolitionist. Ms. Ratzel’s class at Leawood Elementary School in Leawood, Kansas are waiting anxiously for its arrival. Both Mr. Miller’s class and the class at Leawood will be providing some background for our bug’s adventures along U.S. Highway 80.

We hope that the bug visits several caches along the way that are located on, or near, the California, Oregon, or Mormon Trails that led settlers from the Midwest to the West well over a century ago. John Brown was in Kansas at the beginning of the period in American history just prior to the start of the Civil War. Kansas was a lightening rod for both anti and pro-slavery groups. The resulting violence earned the area the nickname “Bleeding Kansas” from eastern newspapers.

We will create a story surrounding John Brown’s actions there while learning some history and geography along the way. You can follow his adventures on

October 21, 2010
by John Miller

Hawaii Bound and The Sphere Finds a Hotel


Jake at the controls! (photo by RangerG/75)

Jake’s made his way out to Hawaii and toured several caches thanks RangerG/75. He even got a tour of the cockpit of the plane! Jake will be joining RangerG/75 on a few more adventures before he takes him back to the Islands and says goodbye next month. Jake has been collecting kilometers all along the way. He has now travelled farther than the Huzzahnian Dragon. His record may be hard to beat 🙂

The Zion Sphere of Mystery made it’s way into the (appropriate) hands of a physicist in the San Jose area. SpinningCompass has quickly placed The Sphere in a bug hotel (a popular site for travel bugs) with instructions to move him on to Illinois as quickly as possible.

You can check out more details on these bugs adventures and the travel tales of each of our TBs by visiting

UPDATE (10/28/10): Jake is nearing 10,000 miles! His map keeps getting larger too 🙂

From RangerG/75:

Since I had to go to work for a day and the weather was pretty good I thought that I’d take KJ with me so that we could add some miles and post some pictures. We flew from Los Angeles International Airport to the Memphis International Airport. Our route of flight kept us on a southerly track across the country. KJ saw California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee from 33,000 feet. I was hoping for a clearer day but there was a lot of dust and haze across our entire route of flight. The pictures that I’ve posted were taken over Southern Arizona about an hour into our flight. Tomorrow we do our road trip to the Sierras. I expect that we’ll be gone for three days caching and maybe doing a little fishing. We’ll have to wait and see about the fishing since the weather forecast shows that it might snow!

Screen shot 2010-10-28 at 9.00.05 PM

October 17, 2010
by John Miller

Jake’s Fishing Trip and Trev Picks Up Speed

Kallista Jake continues to have quite an adventure as it awaits the flight to Hawaii next month. Jake’s in the hands of RangerG/75 who recently posted a note on about Jake:

Log Date: 10/17/2010

KJ just can’t sit still. Another weekend and more fun. I did an 8 day fishing trip to Mexico a couple of weeks ago and caught a lot of big yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and dorado. There was so much fish that I decided to have it professionally packaged. So KJ went with me to San Diego to pick the fish up and get it home and into the freezers. I brought home about 300 pounds (look it up for kilos) of fresh frozen fish. Yummy! KJ will continue to travel later this week. Stay tuned!

Jake in San Diego!

Jake in San Diego! (Photo by RangerG/75)

After a slow start, Trev’s Tag is also on the move, having spent less than 24 hours in a cache in San Luis Obispo. EmilyRN discovered Trev in a cache named, uh . . . Doggy-Doo Park. She has promised to move it along quickly and supply us with a photo. Go Trev!

Trev's home for a night

Trev's home for a night

October 11, 2010
by John Miller

The Sphere and Ramenstein escape their captivity

Flickr CC

Flickr CC

Good news for students in Texas and Illinois, both The Zion Sphere of Mystery and Ramenstein were picked up by a single geocacher this past weekend. His geocaching name is jsingewald and he has promised to move them on quickly. We are looking forward to charting their progress!

UPDATE: They have both been moved into new caches and now await the next geocacher to find them! (10/13/10)

From Ramenstein’s log . . .

Dropped this traveller off in a nice cache hidden alongside a dry creekbed in east San Jose near Alum Rock Park. Posted a few pictures of the new hiding location. I hope the kids monitoring this traveller enjoy their project.

Image: ‘Bride Of Frankenstein‘

October 8, 2010
by John Miller

The Dragon is on the way to Vancouver



The Huzzahian Dragon was picked up from it’s cache yesterday by a geocacher named VCTrails. He is on a trip from San Luis Obispo to Vancouver and has promised to deliver “The Dragon” safely to a cache in Canada. He will be stopping along the way and picking up some more caches. This appears to be a perfect match and we wish VCTrails a safe journey 🙂

Find out more by reading The Dragon’s log.

UPDATE: VCTrails has posted several photos of The Dragon on his adventure. Visit the log link above to view! (10/10/10)

UPDATE#2: The Huzzahnians have written an outstanding blog post about The Dragon.

UPDATE #3: The Dragon has arrived in Canada!!!! He/she/it is in a cache near the Vancouver airport. (10/15/10)

Image: ‘Morning Mist at the Lagoon‘

October 7, 2010
by John Miller

Kallista Jake headed to the islands!

Image: 'HAWAII ....'

Our Kallista Jake bug headed to Australia, is in the hands of a geocacher named RangerG/75. He will be taking “Jake” with him from Southern California to Hawaii later this month and drop him off.

Jake had a chance to visit another clasroom on it’d trip. Here is the quote from the official log . . .

KJ’s TB spent the day with Mrs. Svensson’s 6th grade class at Hermosa Elementary School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA today. They enjoyed learning about Geocaching and how travel bugs get from place to place!

Image: ‘HAWAII ….

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