Friday, October 17, 2008

New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth Offers Educational Programming


The New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth is committed to providing quality educational programs to students & Girl Scouts that will help ensure habitat and wildlife preservation into the next century.
The non-profit center's programs bring students into contact with native and naturalized wild animals through hands-on, interactive environmental education programs. Live wild animals that cannot be released back into the wild including owls, hawks, snakes, turtles, lizards, and geese accompany us to each program.
The center's goal is to provide students with firsthand, "real" experience with a wild animal and to teach them basic scientific skills such as comparison, observation and interpretation that will empower them to assess the environment and wildlife for themselves.
Educational Technique & Philosophy
Programs are constructed to follow a series of simple steps.
The first step is to capture the visitors' attention with the presence of live wild and domestic animals. Many of our visitors have never seen these kinds of animals, and most have only second hand information from lectures, books, television or computers. The use of live animals in conjunction with developing inquiry and observation skills is a hallmark of our programs. Facts about animals are important, but learning how to learn directly from them is more important. Comparing and contrasting live animals is the most fruitful technique because it builds on a student's own personal experience and knowledge. The Center's educational programs are designed to develop this learning skill. Next, the programs model a series of observations. This is a process of comparing and contrasting anatomical and behavioral features of the live animals present. The Center demonstrates this process for the visitors first so that they can then emulate it. Visitors complete these programs skilled in this style of investigation and interpretation. They readily observe, compare, and interpret other animals and objects in the same way. Visitors also transfer this educational technique to more than just biology. It is apropos in chemistry, earth science, physics and even the language arts.
In each presentation students are encouraged to ask questions and to interact as much as possible with the live animals. The content of a particular presentation can be modified to suit specific Troop needs. The specific Troop level sequence of programs is designed to complement the Frameworks and the learning levels of the students. Educational Philosophy
All programs include live animals as a central theme.
Presentations are informal, and encourage questions.
It is the goal of the Center to empower students of all ages with observational and investigation skills in order to encourage a more interactive, authoritative relationship with the environment and wildlife.
* Sevens: The premise of Sevens is that if every person in the Commonwealth could name just seven birds, seven mammals, seven herbs, seven trees, seven rocks and/or seven clouds, our populace would be more environmentally literate. The Center’s educators combine schoolyard natural history with hands-on exposure to wildlife with incremental classroom training in observation and interpretation and other science concepts, content and process skills that are tied to the Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Frameworks. To learn more about this program, click the link below: Sevens (Adobe ® PDF format)
* Awash!: Awash! combines the H20 water curriculum with the skills training and sustained programming of Sevens. The philosophy of the Awash! program is that environmental literacy and preservation are best achieved by helping citizens to understand and “know” their natural world, which exists in their own schoolyards, parks, nature reserves and watersheds. To learn more about this program, click the link below: Awash! (Adobe ® PDF format)

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