Virtual Learning for Environmental Education
Jul 30, 2020 06:27PM
By Wendy Fachon
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management publishes its Wild Rhode Island Explorer magazine, which kids can download off the DEM website. The Summer 2020 issue features an interview with Dr. Charles Clarkson, coordinator for the Rhode Island Breeding Bird Atlas (a five-year project to document the distribution and abundance of all birds breeding in Rhode Island), a habitat chat about grasslands, facts about barn owls, a photo caption contest and more. dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/wildlifehuntered/outreach.
The Nature Conservancy has designed Nature Lab Summer Camp for grades 3 through 8. Designed by scientists, this program helps students investigate how nature works and how they can help support nature’s work. Four, week-long thematic family guides help direct an at-home summer camp experience with videos and action-oriented projects. The themes include Provide Food and Water Sustainably, Tackle Climate Change, Build Healthy Cities and Protect Land and Water. Download individual weekly guides below. Nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement/nature-lab.
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council offers a video series to help kids learn about watersheds and how pollution effects waterways. The Woony watershed covers a 52-square-mile area that begins in North Smithfield, ends in Providence and impacts 27 percent of Rhode Island’s population. wrwc.org/wp/resources.
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation provides virtual tours of its extensive recycling facility in Johnson. Videos show what happens to various items left on the curb during trash pick-up day. This is an eye opening experience that leaves visitors asking what they can do at home, school and work. RIRRC.org/education-program-support/virtual-tours.
Story Walking Radio Hour produces environmental education podcasts that share nature-inspired story walks, ecological history, sustainable living ideas and interviews with innovative Rhode Islanders that are making a difference in their communities and for the greater good of the world. Topics include composting, plastic waste management, watershed conservation, solar energy, sustainable farming and wild weed wisdom. Companion photo blogs provide additional learning resources. NetwalkRI.com/programs.
For even more ideas, people can find RIEEA’s complete listing of distance learning resources at rieea.org/distance-learning-resources. Educators and organizations with additional material can ask to be added to this list by emailing [email protected]
Wendy Fachon is a member of RIEEA, a writer for Dreamvision 7 Radio Network’s Sustainable Living News and the host of Story Walking Radio Hour at NetwalkRI.com.