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Archive for free-choice learning

10-9-18

By Rick Cooper

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant's latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association.

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant’s latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. (Photo by Cait Goodwin)

PHILOMATH, Ore. – A new self-guided, clue-driven walking tour near Philomath explores the history of a 157-year-old cemetery founded on land donated by a former slave.

The walk, which is part of Oregon Sea Grant’s Quests program, takes place on the 6.7-acre Mt. Union Cemetery where about 2,500 people are buried on a gently sloping hillside. The cemetery was created on May 11, 1861 – one month after the American Civil War started.

Reuben Shipley, who earned his freedom by driving his owner’s oxen from Missouri to Oregon in 1853, donated two acres of his farm to establish the cemetery on the condition that black people could be buried there. Shipley, his wife and six children were the only black family in Benton County at the time, according to the cemetery’s website.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant and the coordinator of its Quests program, said those who complete the walk will become more familiar with the site’s history and the story of Shipley and others who are buried there.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place.

Cait Goodwin (in black jacket), an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)

Goodwin also explained that Quests are self-guided learning adventures that use clues and hints to encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural and historical treasures of a place. At the end of each tour, participants find a hidden box containing a logbook to sign and a stamp to mark their accomplishment. Quests are suitable, she said, for individuals, families and groups of all ages who wish to explore parks, trails and other outdoor spaces at their own pace.

“Going on the Mt. Union Cemetery Quest provides an opportunity to explore the early contributions of persons of color in our community,” said Ann Bateman, a member of the cemetery’s board of trustees. “People who’ve taken the Quest say they want to go back and explore some more.”

The Quest can be found at bit.ly/mtunioncemeteryquest. It was created by Ginny Weeber of Redmond and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Sea Grant and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. It is the third cemetery Quest in the program, joining one in Lincoln City and another in Newport. Participants will traverse grassy and gravel surfaces and need about 30 minutes to complete the walk.

The Mt. Union Cemetery Quest is slated to appear in the next edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Coast Quests Book. To learn more about Quests and where to obtain the books, visit hmsc.oregonstate.edu/quests.

The cemetery is at 2987 Mt. Union Ave. just outside the eastern city limit of Philomath. It is open during daylight hours.

under: environment, free-choice learning, kids, news, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, people
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Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter

Posted by: | June 21, 2018 Comments Off on Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter |

June 21, 2018

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now available for download. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Cover of the spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant's newsletter, Confluence

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter, Confluence, is now available for free download.

Want to receive the next issue of Confluence in your email? Click here.

under: Confluence, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, internships, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24

Posted by: | March 19, 2018 Comments Off on Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24 |

3-19-18

By Tiffany Woods and Mark Floyd

The popular public education wing of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport will fully reopen on March 24 after closing for repairs in early December.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

A giant decal of an octopus greets the public as they enter the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The front part of the facility, known as the Visitor Center, reopened in February for festivities celebrating OSU’s 150th anniversary while work in the back half continued. Crews replaced the rusting, 21-year-old metal stands under many of the saltwater tanks, removed some exhibits, and created artificial rockwork modeled after real formations in Yachats.

Although the tank stands are now finished, additional renovations are ongoing and many of the tanks’ denizens are still in other locations at Hatfield. Oregon Sea Grant, which operates the Visitor Center, plans to create a “habitat” theme around the tanks so that as visitors walk through they will move from shore to shallows to deep sea. Exhibits will be created to display examples of research taking place in each of those environments, said the center’s manager, Maureen Collson.

Every year, Collson said, about 150,000 people pass through the doors of the Visitor Center, where they can touch aquatic critters in an indoor tidepool, crash simulated tsunami waves against Lego structures, or watch an aquarist feed the octopus.

Octopus on display at the HMSC Visitor Center

A giant Pacific octopus is on display at the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. This octopus was on display in 2011 but others have since replaced it. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon Sea Grant commissioned an analysis in 2017 by Bruce Sorte, an economist with the OSU Extension Service, to find out the economic impact of the center. He surveyed 131 visitors and found that 39 percent said that half or more of their reason for visiting Lincoln County was to go to the center. Based on that and other numbers, he estimated that the Visitor Center annually supports $7.6 million in income for Oregonians, $13.2 million in sales for businesses in Oregon, and 156 jobs throughout the state. About three-quarters of those impacts occur in Lincoln County, Sorte said.

These figures include the salaries paid to employees at the center and a multiplier effect of those dollars, the amount of money visitors spend on food and lodging, and the household expenditures of Oregon Sea Grant employees and people who supply goods and services linked to the center.

“Since 1965, the Visitor Center has been teaching children and adults about marine science through fun, hands-on exhibits,” said Shelby Walker, the director of Oregon Sea Grant. “Although you can’t put a price tag on the value of that experience, as Bruce’s analysis shows, we can estimate the important economic contribution of the Visitor Center to Lincoln County and the state.”

The total annual cost to operate the center is $460,000, funded by the federal government, OSU and donations from visitors. The facility is staffed by Oregon Sea Grant faculty, who are assisted by more than 60 volunteers.

The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Thursday-Monday through Memorial Day, then from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Labor Day.

under: events, Extension, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine animals, marine education, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education
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Report: HMSC Visitor Center generates an estimated $7.6 million in statewide income annually

Posted by: | February 16, 2018 Comments Off on Report: HMSC Visitor Center generates an estimated $7.6 million in statewide income annually |

2-16-18

by Rick Cooper

The Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, generates more than 10 times as much as it costs to operate, according to a new report by Bruce Sorte, an Extension economist with Oregon State University’s Department of Applied Economics.

The total annual cost to operate the Visitor Center is $460,000 in 2017 dollars. As estimated in this report, that $460,000 generates more than 10 times as much in economic effects, with $5.4 million in income, $9.7 million in sales, and 133 jobs for Lincoln County. Statewide, the Visitor Center generates $7.6 million in income, $13.2 million in sales, and 156 jobs.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

The Oregon Sea Grant-operated Visitor Center at HMSC. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Sorte said in the report that he used data from two types of surveys and the IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) input-output model to estimate the annual economic contributions.

The Visitor Center, which is operated by Oregon Sea Grant, is supported primarily with federal and OSU funds, along with some donations from the approximately 150,000 visitors it attracts annually. Thirty-nine percent of visitors surveyed indicated that half or more of their reason for coming to the Oregon coast was to visit the Visitor Center. The percentage of visitors citing the Visitor Center as their reason for traveling to Lincoln County was the same.

The report, Economic Linkages and Impact Analysis for the Oregon Sea Grant-Operated Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, is available for free download here.

The Visitor Center has been undergoing extensive remodeling since early December and will partially reopen for the OSU150 Sea Grant Festival on Saturday, Feb. 17., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its regular hours after that will be 10 to 4 Thursday-Monday.

 

under: events, Extension, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, jobs, marine education, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, publications
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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

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