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Education activities review: May 16 – 20

May 21, 2011

Student education programs

We wrapped up our 2010-11 school year EE programs this week with classes across the Bay and on the Homer side. Catie and Carmen were in Nanwalek on Monday with Salmon in the Hills Discovery Lab programs for 75 kindergarten – 12th grade students.

We hosted 153 first, second, third, fourth, seventh, eighth grade students from Homer, Nikiski, Soldotna, and Kenai for Coastal Birds of Alaska Discovery Labs and Estuary Hikes at Islands & Ocean this week; this included 7 special needs students from Homer High School who joined us for a lab program enroute to their end-of-school picnic at Bishops Beach. Students in this week’s classes especially enjoyed learning about the mucky and smelly estuary detritus and the very cooperative Sandhill Cranes; they saw lots of dabbling ducks, gulls, and songbirds on their salt marsh bird walks, as well.

Information went out this week to teachers and administrators regarding our 2011-2012 Discovery Lab education programming. Due to budget cuts at the federal level, we have had to scale back student Discovery Lab opportunities for the 2011-2012 school year. Here is the tentative schedule of topics we will offer for students next year:

November 2012: Jammin’ Salmon (salmon life cycles, Pacific salmon identification & anatomy, salmon in ocean food chains)

February 2012: What’s Up Down There? Our Changing Ocean (ocean quality monitoring, ocean acidification, recent ocean research findings, marine invasive species)

April 2012: Our Landscape Over Time (geologic events – tsunamis & volcanoes – and long-term processes – glaciations & erosion)

May 2012: Growing Scientists (scientific process, field studies / collections, field observations & data collection)

Teachers will be limited to 2 Discovery Lab programs with us next year. We will offer one public Discovery Lab on the 1st Wednesday of each of these 4 months, plus 6 – 8 student Discovery Labs [one to 1.5-hours long] for pre-K – 12th grade students in the following 2 – 3 weeks of that month, Wednesdays through Fridays. There continues to be no fees for our programs here at the AK Islands & Ocean Visitor Center.

Educational workshops

KBRR hosted our very first Beyond Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BBOW) event on Saturday, May 14th with a Family Fishing Workshop. 15 participants, including 6 children, attended and learned first-hand how to tie wooly buggers, jelly fish, and glass minnows; gained knot-tying skills; and battled a strong south-easterly breeze as they practiced casting behind our building. The 6-hour workshop was part of the Outdoor Heritage Foundation’s national program to “teach women the necessary skills to get outside and enjoy Alaska’s Great Outdoors.” Instructors included Jessica Ryan, Mike Booz (with the Homer ADF&G office), Tracie Smith (with ADF&G in Anchorage), and local fly fisherman Steve Soistman (who also works at Ulmer’s fishing/hunting counter).

Upcoming public events

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 21st is Nature Rocks Homer’s 2nd annual Mud Games at The Wallow in Cottonwood Horse Park from 1 – 3pm. We invite you to join the fun at this KBRR Kids in Nature and Nature Rocks Homer event…even if you don’t get in the mud, this is a great spectator event!

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