Follow the clues to coastal adventure and learning

Oregon Sea Grant has published a revised Quests book – The Oregon Coast Quests Book: 2013-14 Edition. Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp, and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

This new edition of the Oregon Coast Quests Book contains 26 Quests in three counties (Lincoln, Coos, and Benton), including six brand-new Quests and one in both English and Spanish.

To order the Quests Book…

WISE blog: Watershed resources for teachers

WISE logoWelcome the newest member of the Oregon Sea Grant blogging family, WISE, the Watershed & Invasive Species Education blog.

Amy Schneider, a graduate student and science writer at the University of Oregon, is working with WISE program coordinator Tania Siemens to develop up-to-date, high-value content to help teachers learn about emerging watershed issues, which they can then use to engage their students in science learning and community action.

The blog is just the latest teacher tool to emerge from the WISE program, which enlists teachers across Oregon in teacher trainings, a STEM-based curriculum, and on-going engagement in a community for learning and teaching about emerging watershed issues.

Since the program started in 2007, more than 70 teachers have gone through WISE training, reaching more than 4,500 students who have completed at least 50 watershed stewardship projects.

Learn more:

National Science Foundation hosts Free-choice Learning Lecture

John Falk and Lynn Dierking, Oregon Sea Grant Professors of Free-choice Learning, are giving an invited lecture April 11 at the National Science Foundation headquarters in Arlington, VA. Their joint lecture, “An Ecological Approach to Understanding Lifelong STEM Learning: A Story in Two Voices” is part of the Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Using examples from their own research, Dierking and Falk plan to “discuss how they reframe STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] learning research to better acknowledge and describe STEM learning as a cultural activity: a set of activities situated within a complex ecological community that affords myriad opportunities for STEM experiences of widely varying content, depth, quality, and accessibility.”

Falk and Dierking, internationally-known experts in free-choice learning (how people learn in out-of-school settings), serve in other leadership roles at OSU: Falk as director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning; Dierking as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education. They are professors in the College of Education.

Dr. John Falk

Dr. Lynn Dierking