Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: November 15, 2018
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 10

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    Unfortunately, in my current role I don't foresee using any assessments of projects, but I will definitely make use of this information in the future! I feel confident with rubric assessments and I think that presentations are a great way to give kids ownership of their work and really ensure that they understand and can translate what they have done.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    Time is the main issue for me as an informal educator. I get a max of half a day with the kids, sometimes even less than 2 hours. There isn't really much room for follow-up, but I encourage further inquiry outside of the program.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    I looked at EBird and learned a lot! Everyone can access it from the "Explore" tab, and it is really easy to look at the distribution of a specific species or see which birds were sighted in your area. The data is definitely usable, they actually produce a weekly bar chart for each species. I don't see a way to download raw data, but it might be possible if I contact the admins. I don't have students, but I can definitely create a program on bird migrations and include some data exploration before heading out on a trail to observe birds and see if what we find matches the data. We can also revisit the data after the hike (and upload our sightings) to see if anything stands out.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    Most of what I do is just a single lesson or program with a group, so I don't have the ability to see these children multiple times and explore things via experiments in the classroom. I can, however, inspire deeper questions while in nature and come up with ways to encourage participants to investigate and experiment further at home or at a future visit to our Preserve with family.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    While this was not a project we have discussed, this weekend I actually worked to organize a Loon Census in partnership with the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. We had a record 70 people sign up, and I distributed forms for them to collect their data across the region in different waterbodies. The main challenge was ensuring that none of the locations overlapped so that loons were not counted twice. I also will be challenged once I receive everyone's data, as I will be combining it all and creating one regional reference map to share with the ADK Center. As far as learning outcomes, participants learned: 1. How to make observations 2. How to observe wildlife from a distance without disturbing their behavior 3. How to record and report data 4. Where loons are present at the census time Once all the data is compiled, participants will learn the distribution of Common Loons throughout the state, which behaviors were most commonly spotted, the average number of loon chicks at this date and time, and that their contributions are valuable!
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    As an informal educator, I tend to answer questions while running hikes and programs, or point out behaviors, ecology, and wildlife. I think that moving forward, I could encourage kids and adults alike to make their own observations and try to develop their own answers and inferences to their questions. I can point things out, but keep everything open-ended to allow for further discussion and inquiry.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    I definitely already use the first practice, as I frequently have participants contribute data to larger projects and emphasize why their work is so important., framing with "You guys are going to help scientists by giving them information". I have also worked to connect the local with the global - as a land trust, we are conserving land locally, but we are contributing to the conservation of an important migratory corridor that spans the US. Canada, and the Great Lakes system. I try to enforce that in a lot of my programming. I think that I really need to work on the final principle of attending to the unexpected. I want to be less rigid in my programs and expected outcomes, and instead be better at adapting to nature (as it is always changing and surprising us!)
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    I have run birding hikes using eBird and Merlin, and stewardship volunteer trainings using iMapInvasives. iMapInvasives is an awesome program, but needs to be supplemented with species identification training or iNaturalist/Seek in order to record observations. I suggest a classroom/office space training on the app or program itself, coupled with in-the-field component where they can actually test out and use the app. This program can either be done in one half-day, or over two days (with the classroom app training as optional). While I am an informal educator, this could easily be adapted into the classroom.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    I work as an informal environmental educator, running programs for a land trust. For Fall Stewardship Day, we take a boat out to Potters Beach and do a shoreline clean-up, collecting data through the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-A-Beach program (with the larger Ocean Conservancy's ICC). This is a structured inquiry, as the data form already exists and we explain the process to the participants, rather than them asking their own questions and developing their own process. Through the activity, participants pick up debris in groups and count and categorize them on a data sheet. Afterwards, we weigh the trash and then go back and total each category to see what the most common aquatic debris is. They learn data collection and are able to hypothesize what they will collect the most of before beginning, and then compare to draw conclusions, inquire about where this trash might come from, and develop ways and strategies to limit plastic pollution. To make it more open ended, I can have the participants record data without pre-selected categories, and develop questions such as "Where will there be more debris, downshore or upshore?" "Will there be more plastic in the treelines or by the shore?" etc. That would better support inquiry and hypothesis building, and encourage independent thinking and active learning.
  • Alaina
    Participant
    AlainaYoung
    I had fun with this! I view inquiry as a way to foster independent thinking, and encourage kids to ask their own questions and engage with their environment to deepen their own understanding of the world. IMG_1564
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #720214
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)