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Education activities review May 12-18

May 21, 2012

A message from Terry Thompson:

A huge thank you to Carmen and the rest of our education team for their work on this year’s Shorebird Festival. The crowds were large, and from all reports, everyone had a great time over four very full days of birding, hikes, talks and entertainment. I received several heartfelt thanks from locals as well as visitors to this year’s events while working at the Research Reserve sponsored Birders Coffee on Sunday morning – all were impressed by the organization and professionalism of the entire event, and they weren’t shy about telling me about how appreciative they were with all the festival activities. I would like to pass along those thanks, and add my own thanks to all involved in the 20th anniversary Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

Pre-K – 12th grade coastal science education

Jess provided one Estuary Ecology Hike for 24 Kenai 4th grade students this week. The students were especially fascinated by the ‘detritus’ (oozing mud) in the marsh, which they investigated closely on their exploration of our nearby estuary.

Carmen, Jess and volunteers provided Growing Naturalist Discovery Labs for 123 first, fourth and sixth grade students from Homer, Kenai, and Nikiski this week. Carmen also shared this program with 6 Homer High School special needs students today.

We have so appreciated having volunteer Carole Demers as part of our education team this winter and spring for EE programs!! Her enthusiasm, knowledge, and love for science and teaching added a great deal to the quality of our Discovery Lab programs this school year. Thank you, Carole!!

And this week volunteer Martha Briscoe led a group of 1st graders through the plankton station during one of our classes – a huge thanks to Martha for helping us out this week!

Public events

Last weekend’s Shorebird Festival events were very well-attended…Saturday’s Junior Birder Lab drew 98 young birders (with their parents) working toward earning a Jr. Birder Badge and prizes. Families from Homer, Anchorage, Sterling, Kenai, Soldotna and even one from Seattle joined us for this popular event. Sunday morning’s Birder’s Coffee event – featuring talks, raffle drawings, festival species tally, live birds from Bird TLC in Anchorage (based in our lab classroom for the morning), Jr. Birder awards and more – drew hundreds of people, and our staff served 22 gallons of coffee to festival participants there!

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