Posts tagged ‘nearby nature’

May 28, 2014

Melissa Harding Presents at American Alliance of Museums 2014 Annual Conference

by Melissa Harding

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Last week,  Melissa Harding presented at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) 2014 conference in Seattle, Washington. Melissa presented with colleagues from the Museum of Science Boston, Providence Children’s Museum and Phoenix Zoo on a panel entitled “Grown-ups Wanted: Inviting Adult Learners into Early Learner Spaces“. The presentation outlined the different ways in which these organizations reach an adult audience with their mission and message while simultaneously engaging young children. Melissa spoke about our Little Sprouts and Move with Me programs, which model techniques and provide resources that caregivers can use to interact with their children in the natural world at home and at Phipps.

The above photo was taken by Cory Doman.

March 18, 2014

Melissa Harding and Amanda Joy Present at Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators 2014 Conference

by Melissa Harding

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Last weekend, both Melissa Harding and Amanda Joy presented at the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) 2014 conference in Ligonier, PA. Melissa presented at the conference on “Changing Behavior Through Creative Reuse: Using “Trash” Materials in Programming”; this presentation focused on how the department repurposes many “trash” materials in programming, from craft projects to program props, and included demonstrations of how to repurpose old T-shirts to make bags and how to turn magazines into butterflies. Amanda presented on “Cute Critters and Crazy Cartoons: Using Human and Animal Characters to Teach Botany”; this presentation focused on how the department uses animals, cartoons and other characters to help children better relate to botany, including demonstrations of our new Habitats and Discovering Biomes school programs.

We would also like to congratulate Melissa on her re-election to the PAEE Board of Directors as Southwest Regional Director. She hopes that her efforts with the board will create more opportunities to support both students and educators in her region.

The above photos were taken by Cory Doman.

April 3, 2013

Melissa Harding Presents at Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators 2013 Conference

by Melissa Harding

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Last month, Melissa Harding, one of our department’s educators, presented at the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) 2013 conference in Bushkill Falls, PA. Speaking about the importance of multi-disciplinary learning in informal learning institutions, Melissa highlighted programming within the department that teaches botanical and conservation knowledge through art, movement and food. She explained how the department’s programming teaches observation skills and scientific thinking, which is vital to the creation of the next generation of scientists and naturalists. She also spoke about how they incorporate the concept of nearby nature; it is always important to understand that nature is everywhere and that everyone is a part of it, even in the city.

We would also like to congratulate Melissa on her acceptance of a position on the PAEE Board of Directors as Southwest Regional Director. She hopes that her efforts with the board will create more opportunities to support both students and educators in her region.

The above photo was taken by Christie Lawry.

February 8, 2013

Weekend Nature Challenge: Explore Your Neighborhood

by Melissa Harding

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Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, the mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

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This weekend is going to be a warm one in Pittsburgh. In fact, it is going to be pretty pleasant weather in many parts of the world. Wherever you are, we would like to challenge you to take the next few days to explore your neighborhood with your child. Look for plants, bugs, birds, and people; bend down and appreciate your child’s view of the world. There is more nature in one city block than you might think, so take a second and look for it. You might be surprised at what has been there all along.

What is the most exciting piece of nature that you have seen in your neighborhood? What new things did you discover with your child? Tell us in the comments below.

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The above photo was taken and is copyrighted by Molly Steinwald.

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