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Archive for free-choice learning

Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Posted by: | July 12, 2017 Comments Off on Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest! |

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

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.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

under: ecology, environment, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, publications, summer activities, watersheds
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New video: ‘Tsunami Quests’ help coastal residents and visitors prepare for major earthquake and tsunami

Posted by: | June 8, 2017 Comments Off on New video: ‘Tsunami Quests’ help coastal residents and visitors prepare for major earthquake and tsunami |

Scientists say there is a 30 percent chance of a massive earthquake and tsunami striking the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years. One way coastal residents and visitors can prepare for such a disaster is to learn evacuation routes.

A new video from Oregon Sea Grant, “Tsunami Quests,” reveals how the program is helping coastal residents and visitors prepare. One way it does this is by teaching people how to create and use self-guided evacuation routes modeled after a treasure hunt.

In these hunts, which are called Quests, walkers follow a map and a series of educational clues about their surroundings to reach higher ground. At the end, they find a hidden box that contains a guest book and rubber stamp to mark their accomplishment. The aim is that by exploring these routes for fun in their free time, residents and visitors will later know where to flee in the event of a tsunami.

Background

In February 2016, Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) organized a series of workshops at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) in Newport, Oregon, to bring educators, state parks personnel, researchers and emergency management experts together to discuss how communities can prepare for tsunamis. Participants also learned how to help students create a tsunami Quest.

In the spring of 2016, workshop attendees imparted their knowledge to 120 Newport seventh-graders at HMSC. The students listened to presentations from engineers and geologists, studied tsunami inundation maps and interpretive signs, calculated how fast they would need to walk to escape, and learned about soil liquefaction. They also walked an evacuation route that starts at the OSG-operated Visitor Center at HMSC, which is expected to be flooded during a tsunami, and ends about a mile away, atop Safe Haven Hill. The students created a Tsunami Quest for that route and tested the activity on community members and two classes of fifth-graders in Newport. Their Quest is online (“HMSC Tsunami Quest,” http://bit.ly/2s0O1YI). To date, nearly 300 people have walked the HMSC Tsunami Quest.

Partners

Partners in the Tsunami Quests effort include the Lincoln County School District, Oregon State University, Oregon Parks and Recreation, Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Gray Family Foundation, and the OSUEA Hoecker Award.

Watch

You can watch the three-minute video here:

Tsunami Quests was filmed and edited by Vanessa Cholewczynski and Tiffany Woods.

under: beach safety, coastal hazards, courses, classes and workshops, earthquake, environment, events, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine education, marine safety, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, tsunami, videos
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HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus

Posted by: | July 15, 2015 Comments Off on HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus |

Giant Pacific octopusNEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center is looking for a new giant Pacific Octopus to occupy its central public tank, empty since the demise of its previous octopus, Patriot, a few months ago.

The octopus tank is one of the center’s most popular exhibits, and helps teach thousands of visitors young and old about cephalopod behavior and biology during three-times-a-week public feedings. It’s also the star of the OctoCam, a live, streaming, 24-hour Web cam that gives Internet users a glimpse of how the animals live in a simulated ocean environment.

The center’s animal husbandry staff typically receive young octopuses as donations from commercial or recreational fishermen who bring the curious, intelligent animals up in crab pots and other fishing gear, but none have been offered, so aquarists are trying to get the word out.

Donors get to choose the new octopus’s name, and know that they are helping teach the public about marine animals and conservation.

For more information, or to donate an octopus, call (541) 867-0215 or (410) 991-9753.

The HMSC Visitor Center is open from 10 am to 5 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is by donation.

under: free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, marine education, outreach and engagement

Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book

Posted by: | July 7, 2015 Comments Off on Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book |

The 2015-16 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular Oregon Coasts Quests Book is now available for sale. This 216-page, spiral-bound book features:Quests-book-cover

Directions for 24 Quests
Updates to existing Quests
Two brand-new Quests
Ten Quests created by youth
Quests in four Oregon counties (Lincoln, Coos, Curry, and Benton)
One Quest with directions in both English and Spanish

The book retails for $10 and is being sold by booksellers around the state. To find out where you can buy a copy, visit the booksellers page on the Quests website: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/quests. If you happen to be or know of a bookseller interested in selling Quest books, please contact OregonCoastQuests@oregonstate.edu for ordering information.

Find us on Facebook
Oregon Coast Quests now has a Facebook page, where you can get updates, “like” the page, and share your Questing adventures with friends and neighbors: https://www.facebook.com/OregonCoastQuests

Happy Questing!

under: environment, Facebook, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, marine science, news, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, science education, summer activities, watersheds
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Investigating why kids lose interest in science, math

Posted by: | December 4, 2013 Comments Off on Investigating why kids lose interest in science, math |

PORTLAND (StreetRoots News) – Nobody’s quite sure why, but toward the end of middle school students lose interest in science and math. Researchers at one Portland school want to learn why. By solving the mystery, they hope to reverse the trend.

Northeast Portland’s culturally diverse, working-class Parkrose Middle School is the subject of an investigation by Oregon State University researchers hoping to discover why science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, no longer appeals to many kids once they reach the eighth grade.

STEM has become a watchword for educators wanting a trained workforce capable of flourishing in an increasingly science-and-technology-driven global economy. Others say STEM is essential to create an informed citizenry able to weigh in on issues from climate change to bioengineering.

However, whereas much of STEM education is currently dominated by in-school curriculum changes, the OSU Parkrose project is traveling a different path.

“The data says if they [students] have interests and are engaged, good things will happen,” says OSU professor John Falk.

Falk heads OSU’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning. He’s organizing the Parkrose project and its small team with his wife, OSU professor Lynn Dierking.

Both are also associated with Oregon Sea Grant’s program in Free-Choice Learning – operated out of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport – which seeks to systematically study how people learn about science in “free-choice” settings such as aquariums and musems, where they can follow their own interests, set their own pace and explore at will. …

Learn more

(This story was written by Nathan Gilles, a Portland writer and former Sea Grant Communications intern)

under: free-choice learning, kids, marine education, marine science, Oregon Sea Grant, research, science education

Two new curricula available from Oregon Sea Grant

Posted by: | August 8, 2013 Comments Off on Two new curricula available from Oregon Sea Grant |

Tsunami evacuation signOregon Sea Grant has recently published two new curricula. Both are available online.

Tsunami STEM Curriculum–uses Ocean Science Systems as pathways to stimulate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning to guide students in decision making. Students immerse into STEM through understanding the causes and consequences of a natural disaster such as a tsunami or bioinvasion, learn about their risks, and explore choices and consequences of responses to and preparation for tsunami hazards. http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/e-13-003

You’re Excluded! An Activity Exploring Technology Changes in the Trawl Industry–includes objectives, method, materials needed, information on trawl fishing, pictures of nets, procedures, activity options, and discussion questions. It also includes instructions on incorporating engineering designs standards for kindergarten through high school. http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/e-13-002-trawl-industry-curriculum

under: beach safety, climate, coastal hazards, courses, classes and workshops, fishermen, free-choice learning, k-12 teachers, marine education, publications, science education, tsunami

Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence

Posted by: | August 7, 2013 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence |

2013_winnerOregon Sea Grant has been awarded the APEX 2013 Award of Excellence in the “One-of-a-Kind Education & Training Publications” category for its work on The Oregon Coast Quests Book, 2013-14.

APEX 2013, the 25th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence, is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures, and websites.

According to the APEX 2013 judges, “The awards were based on excellence in graphic design, quality of editorial content, and the success of the entry in conveying the message and achieving overall communications effectiveness.” This year’s competition was “exceptionally intense,” drawing 2,400 entries in 12 major categories.

E-13-001 Quests book 2013-14 250Quests 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. This 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.

The Oregon Coast Quests program is coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant Marine Educator Cait Goodwin, who also oversaw production of the book. Oregon Sea Grant Managing Editor Rick Cooper performed the editing and layout.

You can order copies of The Oregon Coast Quests Book here.

under: awards, ecology, environment, free-choice learning, invasive species, kids, marine education, marine science, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, publications, sustainability, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days!

Posted by: | July 15, 2013 Comments Off on Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days! |

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, on Oregon State University’s lower campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Discover interesting biofacts about the diverse life forms found on our beaches; meet some of our undergraduate Summer Scholars and hear about their projects; find out how invasive species impact our aquatic ecosystems; and learn more about Oregon Sea Grant’s integrated research, education, and public engagement on ocean and coastal issues. There is something for everyone at this family-friendly event!

under: environment, events, free-choice learning, higher education, internships, invasive species, marine education, marine science, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, summer activities

Sea Grant seeks renewable energy outreach coordinator, part-time bioscience tech

Posted by: | June 19, 2013 Comments Off on Sea Grant seeks renewable energy outreach coordinator, part-time bioscience tech |

NEWPORT  – Oregon Sea Grant is advertising to fill two Newport-based positions: A full-time marine renewable energy outreach and engagement associate, and a part-time bioscience research technician in our aquatic animal health program.

The marine renewable energy position is grant-funded for one year, with a possible extension. It’s intended to fund a community educator to develop and coordinate educational programs related to the field of marine renewable energy, and more specifically, to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

Full details and online application are available at OSU Jobs
; the position closes July 6, 2013.

The second positition, a BioScience Research Technician 12, is for approximately 18-19 hours per week, and based at Sea Grant’s Aquatic Animal Health Program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The position  assists our program lead/Extension veterionarian and our senior aquarist with animal husbandry, facility operration, and ongoinbg research related to the health management of aquatic animals in captivity, and  the use of aquatic animals in public engagement and education. Full details and online application are available at OSU Jobs. This position closes June 25, 2013.

under: free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, marine animals, ocean literacy, position announcements, wave energy

Follow the clues to coastal adventure and learning

Posted by: | April 11, 2013 Comments Off on 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…

under: free-choice learning, k-12 teachers, kids, publications, summer activities

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