February 11, 2011

Spring Break Ecology Camp

CCE Suffolk Announces a New Spring Break Alternative for Middle School Students

The Spring Break Project, a weeklong environmental science overnight program, will begin its first year of operation this spring. The program is being offered to motivated students aged 12-15 years old, and will take place from April 17-22 at Dorothy P Flint 4H Camp in Riverhead, New York.

The rationale for creating the program came from a wide variety of research sources that report on the current state of scientific understanding in the American population. For example, according to a study done in 2006 by Futter, E, 43% of American 8th graders tested did not have a basic understanding of science. In New York City, 2/3 of 8th graders did not have the skills necessary for understanding scientific concepts and procedures. A similar, annually conducted study on adult environmental literacy reported similar results. The National Environmental and Education and Training Program found that on average, Americans can correctly answer fewer than 25% of the questions asked.

The Spring Break Project will tackle all of these issues by providing students with an enriching environment where they will work in groups to investigate questions about the outdoors. During the first two days of the program, instructors will guide students through an exploration of the woodlands at DPF and while teaching the fundamentals of ecology and the scientific method. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday students will work in small groups to use the tools they just learned to investigate a research question about the local environment. Instructors serve as mentors in the process of scientific inquiry. During the late afternoons and evenings students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as ropes courses, art projects, sports and geo caching events. Campfires and evening activities will also be part of the program. Groups will present their research findings to a panel of guest scientists on Friday night. Family members are welcome to join us for the presentations and the following award banquet. All student participants will receive certificates of completion and the best project will receive an award.

For more detailed information on the program and to see the brochure

click here.

-Sarah Marcus

ECO Program Director

Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp

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