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Education activities review: May 24 – 28

May 28, 2010

Marine science education programs

This week we hosted the spring’s last EE program – Plankton Ecology for 4 intensive needs students from Homer High School. Their teacher appreciated us taking the time to introduce the world of plankton and microscopes to her students. On her evaluation she wrote, “This is one of the rare science experiences for my students. Thanks for being open to adaptations – like using a drawer for a table to support the microscope. I doubt Colton (who is wheelchair-bound) has ever been able to see in one before today.”

EE statistics for spring

Here are our EE statistics for spring (April/May) 2010 EE classes for K-12 provided by Carmen with assistance from Jessica, Stormy, and Catie:

Total # K–12 students – 1,171 (1,880 in ‘09)
(607 on-site / 564 offsite, which includes Salmon Celebration at Johnson Lake)

Total # K–12 EE programs – 29 (44 in ‘09)
(28 programs + Salmon Celebration at Johnson Lake)

Total # adults taught during K–12 EE programming – 156 (208 in ‘09)
(Includes classroom teachers & chaperones)

Total # different KBRR programs delivered – 11 (18 in ‘09)
(Examples: Microscope Lab, Coastal Habitats (6), Marine Invertebrates/Crab Lab (3), Ocean Animals, Tides & Currents, Estuary Ecology Hike, etc.)

Most requested programs:
1 – Microscope Lab > 4th – 6th grade for 2 hrs (12)
2 – Coastal Habitats > 2nd/3rd grade for 2 hrs (6)
3 – Marine Invertebrates/Crab Lab > 4th/5th grade for 1.5 hrs (3)

Total # communities represented by students in our programs – 7 (10 in ’09)
(Homer, Anchor Point, Seldovia, Soldotna, Kenai, Nikiski, Wasilla)

Total # schools represented by students in our programs – 9 (19 in ‘09)

Kids in nature

Carmen – working with Lisa Matlock and Ingrid Harrald from AK Maritime NWR and Sevea Kroll from the Pratt Museum – hosted Mud Games at The Wallow last Friday. This fun, muddy, and hilarious family event was attended by 80+ kids (ages 1 to 15), 20 parents and grandparents who wallowed with their children, and 50+ adult bystanders. You can read about this hilarious event and see photos in the Homer News (there are also a bunch of great photos in their Spotted® gallery).

Carmen recently received from RurAL CAP (Rural Alaska Community Action Program) Alaska’s 2010 Community Advocate Award in appreciation of her ongoing commitment to young children and their families. She was nominated by Homer Head Start teachers and chosen from nominees across the state specifically for her determination to create access for Homer Head Start pre-school students to the Reserve’s Discovery Labs and for providing inspiration, support, and prizes for the students’ participation in the IditaNature challenge this past March. Each Head Start family was challenged to spend 1,050 minutes outside with their children between March 6th and 20th while Iditarod dog teams raced 1,050 miles to Nome. Homer Head Start families embraced the challenge to play outside more with their children, and many became aware of the healthful benefits of outdoor play for children and adults – and the children were rewarded with a dogsled ride at Kachemak Kennels.

This week Carmen received an inquiry about the Reserve’s Kids in Nature programs from a gentleman named Griffin Longley with the Dept. of Sport & Recreation in Leederville, Western Australia. Their region of Australia had a visit from Richard Louv (who wrote Last Child in the Woods) last month and folks there are making the first steps to establish an organization to promote cultural change and get kids outdoors – Nature Play WA. We welcome the connection with Australia on this important issue.

Education staff

The Reserve will host one summer education intern this year – Charlayna Cammarata from Anchorage. She arrives here on June 14 and will be assisting Reserve staff with summer Discovery Labs, Estuary Ecology Hikes, Beach Walks, research projects and more through August 21st.

Carmen is on leave next month (June) and Catie will be on leave for the 1st two weeks of June and the month of July.

Research reserve exhibits

Our exhibits have really taken shape over the past 2 weeks. There is now a life-size moose calf, an octopus den, and 5 fish in our hallway among the 5 habitats represented. The tidal exhibit’s wooden piling façade is almost complete, and the light box has been mounted. Electricians, light experts, sculptors, painters and project coordinators are hurrying back and forth in the hallway 9 hours a day for this installation!

This project will be at 100% completion by June 30th, so come in and check it out. Be sure to “Pull Ashore and Explore” with us at the grand opening on August 6th, being planned to coincide with our Kachemak Bay – Driven by Tides Discovery Lab that week. Here are some photos from this week’s exhibit construction.

Summer public education

Our summer Discovery Labs will begin on Wednesday, June 23 and happen every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 – 3 pm until August 14.

Our summer Estuary Hikes will begin on Tuesday, June 22 and continue every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 – 2 pm until August 12.

We’ll again be partnering with the National Park Service – Lake Clark and AK Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to offer Beach Walks this summer. Reserve staff will lead the Friday Beach Walks from 11 am – 12 pm, with walks beginning at Bishops Beach, starting June 25. Our partners will lead these walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the same time.

View these events and more on the council’s calendar.

Upcoming events

Here are some dates / programs happening in coming weeks / months and even into next year:

2010

Sat, June 5 8 – 10 am
Kids Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon [FREE]
Kids (and their parents) are invited to fish for king salmon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (aka Fishing Hole) on the Homer Spit, with a special area reserved for youth. ADF&G staff will be on hand with fishing rods, tackle, bait, and advice. Learn how to cast, tie knots, and more. For ages 15 & under.
Call ADF&G in Homer at 235-8191 for info. Sponsored by Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Sun, June 20
Homer Kids Outdoor Day – Hike a Local Trail [FREE]
Guided trail hikes will be offered around Homer throughout the day and several water taxis will offer “kids ride free” transportation to Kachemak Bay State Park across the bay (accompanying adults pay full fare). Families are invited to join a local guide and get to know one or more of these wonderful Homer trails!
10 – 11:30 am – Eveline State Recreation Area Trail
Guide: Carmen Field
12 – 3 pm – Diamond Creek Trail
Guide: Lisa Matlock
4 – 5 pm – Reber Trail
Guide: TBA
7 – 8:30 pm – Homer Demonstration Forest Trail
Guide: Dave Brann
11 am – 12 pm – Beluga Slough to Bishops Beach Trail
Guide: AMNWR staff
Check local newspapers and listen for radio announcements for more details next month.

Sat, August 7 11 am – 3 pm FREE]
Kids Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon
Kids (and their parents) are invited to fish for silver salmon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (aka Fishing Hole) on the Homer Spit, with a special area reserved for youth. ADF&G staff will be on hand with fishing rods, tackle, bait, and advice. Learn how to cast, tie knots, and more. For ages 15 & under.
The Mobile Aquatic Classroom (aka Fish Mobile) will be onsite for this event.
Call ADF&G in Homer at 235-8191 for info. Sponsored by Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Sat, August 21 11:30 am – 3:30 pm [FREE]
Kids Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon
Kids (and their parents) are invited to fish for silver salmon at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (aka Fishing Hole) on the Homer Spit, with a special area reserved for youth. ADF&G staff will be on hand with fishing rods, tackle, bait, and advice. Learn how to cast, tie knots, and more. For ages 15 & under.
Call ADF&G in Homer at 235-8191 for info. Sponsored by Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Sat, Sept. 25 National Estuaries Day 2010
Stay tuned for details

2011

May 5 – 8
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
Keynote speaker: Renowned writer and conservationist Carl Safina

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