Abiquiu Summer Science Camp

Last week was our first Summer Science Camp! We held it at Abiquiu Lake.

As you can see, we had a fantastic group of 10 kids (not all are shown below).

Picking up campers at a local institution.
Picking up campers at a local institution.

Each day students learned a new aspect of science: identifying local plants and animals or learning about density and buoyancy.

Heading off on a hike along the Rio Chama.
Heading off on a hike along the Rio Chama.
Identifying and recording life forms along the Rio Chama.
Identifying and recording life forms along the Rio Chama.
Learning about buoyancy,
Learning about buoyancy.
Weighing objects in a given volume to calculate density.
Weighing objects in a given volume to calculate density.
Using our new-found knowledge of buoyancy to build sailboats.
Using our new-found knowledge of buoyancy to build sailboats.
Taking a closer look at a local resident.
Taking a closer look at a local resident.

We also learned some important skills, like knot tying, how to canoe and kayak, and for one participant, how to swim.

Practicing knots.
Practicing knots.
Learning a new knot.
Learning a new knot.
Boating requires teamwork!
Boating requires teamwork!
Canoeing across Abiquiu Lake.
Canoeing across Abiquiu Lake.
Hooray for Abiquiu Lake!
Hooray for Abiquiu Lake!

We’re very grateful to our partners with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Abiquiu Lake for loaning us life jackets and making it possible for us to reserve a group shelter to keep out of the hot sun during the day and for camping on Thursday night. This camp would not have been possible without life jackets to keep us safe!

Ranger Austin explains why ducks float and children don't (without a life jacket).
Ranger Austin explains why ducks float and children don’t (without a life jacket).

      On Thursday night, a few parents joined us, and we spent the night at Abiquiu Lake.

A camper stands beside his tent.
A camper stands beside his tent.

We roasted hot dogs, cooked s’mores, and watched the stars. We observed the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn with a telescope.

Campers watching the night sky.
Campers watching the night sky.

After our camp out, we cleaned up way more than just our group shelter! We wanted to leave the campground cleaner than we found it.

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Campers with the trash they picked up.

It was a fantastic week, and we’re looking forward to offering this camp on more than one week next year!

Life jackets drying after a long day in the water.
Life jackets drying after a long day in the water.

Christy

SKYWARN Training

Last Thursday, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque hosted a SKYWARN storm spotter training at New Mexico Wildlife Center!

SKYWARN

These classes teach local citizens to be the eyes on the ground for NWS. Radar and other tools of the meteorological trade can tell a lot about weather, but nothing compares to having a trained person make a report.

SKYWARN class at NMWC
SKYWARN class at NMWC

NMWC is hoping to offer SKYWARN classes and additional CoCoRaHS trainings in the future. Send us an email if you’re interested in attending one of these events in the Espanola area!

Christy

The Environment as an Integrating Context

Last week NMWC staff and the teachers from our spring teacher training (part of the Improving Teacher Quality Grant from the Title II New Mexico Higher Education Department) gathered at Northern New Mexico College for a fantastic environmental education workshop hosted by Dr. Gerald and Grace Lieberman. This workshop taught us how to use the environment as an integrating context (the EIC Model) for teaching standards.

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The EIC Model uses the environment around the school, including the surrounding community, and student-centered, constructivist approaches to engage students while teaching the material that students are required to learn. We think it’s a fantastic idea, and it fits in to our teaching philosophy perfectly.

The teachers who attended teacher training worked on putting together units for their classes this fall. Their students will be very lucky!

Learning the EIC model
Learning the EIC model

At the end of the workshop, teachers presented their plans to the group. We can’t wait to see how these projects will turn out!

Teachers presenting their projects
Teachers presenting their projects

If you want to know more about the EIC model, I highly recommend Dr. Lieberman’s book Education and the Environment. There are many reasons to support environment-based education, and this book highlights them.

Christy