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Education activities review: April 9 – 13

April 14, 2012

Community monitoring programs

For the 6th year in a row, West Homer Elementary’s 4th grade class (previously Carole Demers’ class, now Lyn Maslow’s), travelled to Pier One beach and checked 6 small crab pots set at low tide. The purpose of these students’ monitoring efforts is to see if they catch any invasive European green crab. These crabs have not yet been found in Alaska but are moving rapidly up the West Coast as an invasive species, now within 100 miles of Ketchikan. At the beach, each group of students find their trap, fill in a data sheet recording what was in the pot, and then investigate the low tide environment. Yesterday they caught 1 small helmet crab in one trap and 3 Pacific staghorn sculpins in another – otherwise it was a pretty empty catch. Catie, the students and their teacher discussed why this might be; and general speculation was that it has been so cold that the crabs and sea stars usually found there have not moved up into the intertidal zone yet this spring. We also discussed how finding nothing was good and can teach us a lot, as well.

Pre-k – 12th grade coastal science education

We hosted 103 2nd – 6th grade students from Homer and Kachemak Selo this week for Our Landscape Over Time Discovery Lab programs. Students learned about earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis in Alaska through stories, demonstrations and hands-on activities. A big thank you goes out to volunteer educator Carole Demers whose help has been invaluable this week!

Public events

Next Friday (April 20th from 5:30 – 7:30pm) will be a great outreach opportunity for us at Paul Banks Elementary School – their annual Math & Science Night combined with the Summer Activities Fair. Jess and Carmen will be sharing KBRR’s upcoming coastal science education programs (plus a fun bird identification activity), as well as spring/summer Nature Rocks Homer outdoor activities for families.

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