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Posts by Emily Johnson

The VINS Science Symposium 2018

The VINS Science Symposium will be taking place on Friday, May 18 and Monday, May 21, 2018! The Science Symposium is a science based event held at the VINS Nature Center that allows local students to connect with the community and apply science in a real way. In the months leading up to the event,…

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The Migratory Bird Act #YearoftheBird

2018 is the centennial celebration of the Migratory Bird Act, an instrumental legislation that makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird. Beginning in the 1800’s with essentially zero regulations in place,…

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Bird Feeders in your Schoolyard

Getting students engaged with wildlife isn’t always easy. Coming across evidence of wild animals (i.e. tracks, scat, rubs, fur) while out exploring can be few and far between so it can be difficult to keep student attention and excitement. You can use trail cameras to capture photos of animals in or around your schoolyard but…

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Connecting Environmental Education to STEM

There is a natural connection between STEM and Environmental Education.  Many of the skills that students employ in STEM studies are effortlessly put to use while studying nature including: making observations, developing hypotheses, and inquiry into system function.  Environmental Education (EE) emphasizes cooperative learning (i.e., working in teams or with partners), critical thinking and discussion,…

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Nature Journaling — Learning to Become Good Observers

One of the most effective ways to teach observation skills is through nature journaling.  Nature journaling is the process of keeping a place-based record of events, experiences and observations of the outdoors. The act of going outside and being mindful of their surroundings will help students focus and pay greater attention to detail. Using their…

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Bringing Nature into your Classroom

This month’s blog topic, Bringing Nature into Your Classroom, is the first in a monthly series of articles that are designed to help you to incorporate environmental education practices into your classroom curriculum.  We look forward to working with you! Bringing nature into your classroom is an easy way to supplement your science, language arts,…

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Avian Astronomy – Mapping Migrations in the StarLab

Research in the Planetarium Humanity is not the only species with an astronomical inclination. In studying the strategies by which different bird species navigate their migratory paths, it was discovered that some bird species are also keen observers of the starry night sky. The first experiment to shed light on this amazing capacity actually took…

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Mythology in the StarLab

NASA, ESA, and Hubble Heritage Team Exploring Culture in the StarLab Whether the Milky Way on a particularly clear night, a comet migrating across the sky, the ominous awe of an eclipse, or even simply the sun daily crossing the sky, celestial spectacles have long influenced cultural imaginations, perhaps nowhere more than in the early…

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VINS Celebrates the ‘Solar Eclipse Across America’

Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio August 21st presents a rare and valuable opportunity for educators. This is the day of the “total solar eclipse,” a spectacle which will not be repeated for viewers in the United States until 2024. Jaws will drop across the country, as viewers along the eclipse’s path of totality – spanning…

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VINS Spring Science Symposium

                    How does sunscreen impact brine shrimp health?  How can I help to prevent water erosion in my backyard? How can I decrease the amount of energy I use each day? What can I do to help minimize the number of automobile accidents?  These are just…

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