After the deluge of rain and tornadoes in the New England area this spring, on June 2, the Massachusetts DEN LC had a beautiful spring day for their visit to the South Shore Natural Science Center (SSNSC) in Norwell, MA. We had 20 educators, LC members and future STARS share a guided tour of the EcoZone and interpretative nature trails. Our group met Hedwig, the barred owl and Spike, a very large green iguana. We also saw box turtles, an albino black rat snake and other inhabitants of the EcoZone. Watching the Vernal Pool exhibit morph through the four seasons and the Night Time exhibit, “While You Sleep, We Fly and Creep” was pretty amazing.
Many of us did not even know that the SSNSC / EcoZone existed until LC members attended the Rhode Island Day of Discovery last fall and had the opportunity to hear Jeff Corwin as the Keynote Speaker. We also had the honor of having lunch with Jeff who is a major supporter of the EcoZone and SSNSC. We thought … “What a great spring event!” We were not disappointed.
The SSNSC “specializes in providing hands-on, interactive learning experiences that encourage investigation of the natural world. They have an extensive list of school programs designed to support the Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Frameworks for children in preschool through middle school.” Whether you want a field trip to the Science Center to explore diverse wildlife habitats or an outreach program in your own classroom, the SSNSC will adapt the experience to meet your specific needs and grade level.
Interactive, investigative, real-life, hands-on experiences of your natural environment … sound familiar? This event was a perfect connection to what the DEN and Discovery Education is all about…Total submersion in a learning experience that allows you to “discover” knowledge and share with others. When the DEN’s “Explore the Blue” blog was posted last week, I couldn’t believe how this resource dovetailed with the MA LC event. There was a “Field Investigations Guide: Using Outdoor Environment to Foster Student Learning of the Scientific Method” that presents the scientific method and inquiry learning, answering essential questions such as: “What defines my environment? What are all the parts and interrelationships in this ecosystem? What is a healthy environment?” More great resources to share!
The event participants from Brockton and Dedham will have the opportunity to earn professional development points by combining the visit to the SSNSC with follow-up activities. Many of the participants are exploring field trips and classroom visits that will be part of lessons they will create using Discovery Education resources.
Also, thanks to Katie Buckley from Brockton, Flip Cams and Flash Drives were raffled off as well as goodies that were provided by DE. A good time was had by all. Even the gift shop was fun, loved those recycled “Flip Flop” bags. Thank you Discovery Education Network for supporting this event and a special “Thank You” to the naturalists and staff at the SSNSC who graciously opened their doors to us and shared their time and expertise.