Since my last report a lot has happened in terms of the SSNSC using the Migration Board and Naturepedia Exhibits. Our programs this Fall have included 53 Kindergartners that were presented a program on NewEngland Owls right around the Halloween holiday and in small groups they were shown why it waseasy for farmers to mistake Barn Owls as Ghosts because of the noise they made which was digitally produced by the Naturepedia Exhibit.
It is my favorite display of the entire Ecozone museum…….. which includes 20 LIVE animals and a small pond withturtles, fish and frogs in it! The Naturepedia exhibit with photos of 160 local creatures in it, whether they be Mammals, Insects, Birds, Amphibians or Reptiles and includes 148 digital recordings of the preceding animals. It’s awesome!
We also had eighty1st graders doing a Tremendous Trees program that were made aware how our local migrants Baltimore Orioles, Juncos, Bluebirds and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds make use of trees for food, shelter and nests; topics generated by the Migration Board exhibit. The Teacher Workshop titled Kids Can Be Bird Brains was definitely made use of………. No, played with! …..the Naturepedia exhibits choice of 106 birds and their noises were being matched up with certain habitats. Then 29 Foreign High School students who were entertained and excited about the Habitats program and were asked questions about what animals they would possibly find in different habitats, they definitely benefitted from both the Naturepedia and Migration Board displays.
The four Educator/Naturalists at our Nature Center find these two exhibits extremely helpful enhancing thePrograms we present. This resource is definitely an asset!.
Our busiest season, the SPRING, meant we were overwhelmed with Public Schools, Community groups, Montessori Schools, After-School Enrichment programs, Home Schoolers, Museums, Kindergartens, Nursery Schools and Pre-schools. All the groups that came to the South Shore Natural Science Center benefitted from Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. exhibits. The interactive MIGRATION BOARD showing the routes of local Migrants and the hands-on color-image/ sounds of NATUREPEDIA’s Bird, Insect and Amphibian noises definitely enhanced the whole learning-about-nature challenge!
Late June, July and August, with school being out, it is a bit more quiet here at the Science Center. The respite only lasted for a few days because on June 20th Summer Camp began for 400 Elementary and Middle school kids. All 20 summer camp counselors were trained on how to use the two Animal Planet R.O.A.R. exhibits and strengthen the camper’s auditory and visual skills and were great teaching resources.
The mission at the South Shore Natural Science Center ” is to provide natural science experiences that educate, excite and commit every generation to conserve the environment and to encourage responsible use, stewardship and enjoyment of natural resources.”
This mission coincides with the philosophy, to avoid Nature Deficit Disorder at all costs. Nature play stimulates creativity and improves problem solving skills. It increases self esteem and reduces stress. With these exhibits being regularly used through multiple Programs and by Drop-ins to our museum, children are inspired to protect nature throughout their lives.
So whether it’s Barn Swallows, Baltimore Orioles, Green Frog’s or Water Snakes the camper’s realized that these animals are not around throughout the year, furnishing opportunities to discuss migration and hibernating.
Donating to the South Shore Natural Science Center’s two Animal Planet R.O.A.R. exhibits will allow more TRAINING of Educator/Naturalists and Summer Camp Counselors to be performed. Funding will also allow specific activities and programs to be developed around these great teaching resources.
Our development of Educational Curriculum on our R.O.A.R. Migration Exhibits has made some progress both with our LARGE (4’ X 8’) North & South & Central American Map with illuminated MIGRATION routes of 10 local animals and our Naturepedia Large Screen interactive monitor regarding Backyard Animals and Beyond .
We present many schools with Field Trip Programs here at the South Shore Natural Science Center and as part of their we always include the ECOZONE (our museum). What we now take advantage of, is the time spent in the Spring talking about the migration of BARN SWALLOWS and BALTIMORE ORIOLES (on LARGE MIGRATION EXHIBIT) back to this area from areas further south AND we use the Naturepedia interactive monitor after students push the right buttons for the Green Frog, Baltimore Orioles, Barn Swallows or Bull Frogs……not only does the appropriate natural history about their habitats appear but what they eat is also on the screen in ADDITION to the preceding their noises are played on 2 large speakers part of the exhibit!
Recently one of Naturalist/Educators said “I led a group of 12 first graders (total 2 classes) through four very different habitats, a Vernal Pool, a Forest, a Field and a Pond. After talking about what the biodiversity was in each habitat and why the animals lived there we kept hearing Baltimore Orioles, and at the Pond we heard over and over again Barn Swallows even a House Wren over and over. I didn’t emphasize what each ones name was but drew their attention to their call each time. Near the end of the program we visited the ECOZONE and after looking at the distance Barn Swallows & Baltimore Orioles migrated on the LARGE MIGRATION EXHIBIT , then some of the students, taking turns, and reading the appropriate bird button on the NATUREPEDIA monitor and pushing it HEARD the noise of Barn Swallow, Baltimore Oriole and a House Wren……the whole time looking at a large picture of the bird in question…..and they said ‘that’s what we heard !’ ……….it was an awesome teaching tool!….”
So as you can see we’ve already made some progress and once all the Per Diem Naturalist/Educators are trained in their usage of the exhibits I’m sure both the LARGE MIGRATION EXHIBIT and the NATUREPEDIA interactive monitor will become a huge asset.
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Educator Naturalist and Exhibit Curator