Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Artisan Fair

Join us at the Rey Center for our second annual Holiday Artisan Craft Fair.  Saturday November 24th see Santa arrive by Dog Sled in Town Square and take advantage of these hand-made, one-of-a-kind, made in America, buy local gifts. Come on...everybody's doin' it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Weekend Full of Science!

This past Sunday and Monday was the New Hampshire Science Teachers' Association's Fall Conference held in Meredith, NH. The Rey Center had an informational booth and Audrey and Kim spread the word about all of the science programs that we offer. While they were busy telling teachers about our fabulous field based programs on Mt. Tecumseh and Welch Dickey and our hands-on, curriculum based classroom programs I was busy gathering new ideas for programs.

I spent Sunday at the "Finding the Fish: Who lives beneath the water in your backyard?" workshop.

In the picture above, we are electrofishing along a section of Clay Brook in Plymouth, NH to get an idea of what fish species are present. After collecting the fish we identified, weighed, and measured each fish. This data was taken back to the lab where it was entered into excel and then merged into a GIS mapping program. We plotted our transect onto a map along with the number of each fish found. This workshop opened my eyes to how much more I have to learn about GIS but has inspired me to take that time so I can begin collecting data and creating maps with students.

Monday was jam packed with workshops that gave me even more ideas for future programs. My first workshop was all about "The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network" or CoCo RaHs for short. This is a citizen science project that anyone can do simply by going to their website www.cocorahs.org and signing up. This is a great way for students to take an active role in collecting scientific data that will be used by many. For example this data can be used to predict major flooding events and to better understand our climate. After learning about CoCoRaHs I was able to shake things up a bit and make some butter. I learned all about the science behind Dairy and how to make butter, cheese, and yogurt. YUMMY! In the afternoon I learned about the emerald ash borer beetle, an invasive species that is predicted to make its way to New Hampshire in one to two years. My brain started churning as I imagined walking around Waterville Valley with the middle school students surveying for ash trees, creating a GIS map, and calculating the potential cost associated with an infestation in Waterville Valley. The last workshop I attended focused on monitoring the health of sugar maples to teach about how our communities may be affected by climate change. Martha Carlson has developed some simple indicators of sugar maple health like leaf color and bud analysis that can be used with elementary aged students.

Now that my brain is bursting with new ideas I'm off to plan some new science programs!

Leigh Ann Reynolds
Education Coordinator