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Education activities review: May 3 – 14

May 16, 2010

Marine science education programs

Over the past two weeks we have taught 4 Microscope Labs for 97 fourth through sixth grade students from Homer and Wasilla. We have also taught 5 Coastal Habitats programs for 120 second and third graders from Homer and Kenai.

Stormy and Carmen joined Soldotna and Anchorage ADF&G staff on May 4 for the annual Salmon Celebration at Johnson Lake. At our outdoor planktonic salmon diet station, about 550 students from all over the Kenai Peninsula observed and compared freshwater (JohnsonLake) planktonic salmon food and saltwater (Kachemak Bay/oceanic) planktonic salmon food with microscopes powered by our generator.

Public education programs

KBRR staff participated in the 18th Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival last week. Carmen gave her annual festival presentation on Alaska’s seabirds, which over 100 people attended. Carmen also helped develop, set up, and work the Habitat Station at last Friday’s 2-hour Jr. Birders Discovery Lab for 5 – 10-year-olds; this Shorebird Festival event was attended by about 75 young birdwatchers and their families – 25 of the Jr. Birders received awards and prizes at a ceremony on Sunday of the Festival. And most of the Reserve’s staff helped out at our booth in the festival’s Arts & Education Fair or at the Sunday morning Birders Coffee series of events.

Education program outreach

Carmen participated in the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Get to Know Homer forum on May 14. As a guest speaker, she provided an overview of family activities that residents and tourists alike could participate in over the summer in the Homer area, highlighting our Discovery Labs, Estuary and Beach Walks, and outdoor family activities.

Upcoming programs

Mud Games – a collaborative event sponsored by KBRR’s Kids in Nature, KBEEA’s Partners in Education, and Supporters of Cottonwood Horse Park – happens next Friday, May 21st from 2 – 8pm at Cottonwood Horse Park. Everyone is invited to experience Homer’s new permanent and very muddy play space: The Wallow at Cottonwood Horse Park. Folks of all ages are invited to play in mud, sand, and water or participate in muddy and not-so-muddy games. Children may get muddier than they’ve ever been in their life – and that’s the purpose of this extraordinary event! We recommend toddlers play between 2 and 4pm; 5 – 18 year olds play between 3:30 and 6pm; adults play between 6 and 8pm. A washing station & fire will be provided, but all participants should bring a set of clean, warm clothing to change into after mud play. And pony rides and food will be available as a fundraiser for the Kachemak Pony Club. Join the fun and tell your friends!

Research reserve exhibits

Catie has been very busy preparing for the arrival of our exhibit fabricators, who begin work here at Islands & Ocean on Monday, May 17th. We are all very excited to watch the installation of our tidal column, interpretive panels, habitat landforms, octopus den, and more. Installation will continue till Tuesday, June 1st.

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