It’s now a reality: Most Puget Sound-area schools are now all-online this fall. Many parents and educators are scrambling to supplement and engage students in core areas like science.
Enter Online Wildlife Academy, a brand-new program launching Aug. 11 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. Using the common Zoom platform, Online Wildlife Academy offers a fun, interactive, online lesson delivering key science concepts via something most kids love: Animals.
The lessons weave animal videos from Northwest Trek with real-time discussions, Q&A and facts about animal and ecosystem biology, all delivered live on Zoom by a wildlife educator at Northwest Trek.
Online Wildlife Academy lessons are available at scheduled times for individual bookings, or on-demand for groups such as classrooms or Scout troops.
Flexible, interactive and engaging, the Zoom lessons are perfect for families and home learning pods. Classroom educators have a chance to try out the August programs before booking for their class in fall. The suggested age range varies from 8-14 depending on the program.
Upcoming lessons include:
- The Wonders of Wolverines: Discover the tools and abilities of this “superhero” of the forest (10 a.m. Aug. 11)
- Northwest Wildlife Investigators: Learn how to observe wildlife and what animals need to survive (10 a.m. Aug. 18)
- Are You Bear Aware? Find out the difference between North America’s three types of bears, and meet the Northwest Trek bears (10 a.m. Aug. 25)
- Animal Enrichment 101: Explore why animals need enrichment, and how to create it (10 a.m. Sept. 1)
- Northwest Trek Raptors: Examine anatomy, behavior and adaptations of owls, eagles and other raptors (upcoming)
- Peek in the Pond: Dive into freshwater insect life in the Pacific Northwest (upcoming)
- Ask a ‘Trexpert’! Students get to bring their own questions and educators can structure lessons around current units of study (group bookings only)
Individuals pay $10 per program, while the group rate is $74 for an on-demand program ($99 for “Ask a Trexpert!”) Most programs also meet current NGSS science standards for various grade levels.
“Online Wildlife Academy is a perfect way to really engage students in nature science,” explains education curator Jessica Moore, who teaches the lessons. “It encourages curiosity, observation and hands-on learning, which is vital during times when school has to be done outside the traditional classroom.”
In addition to Online Wildlife Academy, Northwest Trek offers multiple free DIY lessons on its Nature at Home webpage. These include pdfs on nature science, arts and crafts; a Wildlife Eye Spy game, wildlife webcams and more.