- Jan. 15, 2021
-- The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has expanded its rapidly growing STEM E-Learning Adventures program to include a new E-Learning Hub. Here, educational videos, ecology-focused crafts, outdoor data-collecting activities and interactive written exercises are available to both in-school and at-home learners.
In addition to offering online environmental education resources, Conservancy staff are now virtually hosting interactive, live animal encounters for area teachers and their students. The Conservancy's animal ambassadors include snakes, alligators, turtles, an owl, bald eagle and red-tailed hawk.
When the pandemic began, the Conservancy created a series of online STEM E-Learning Adventures that included virtual field trips, videos, trivia and other web-based programs. Now, with the introduction of the E-Learning Hub, those offerings also include standards-aligned lesson plans for both e-learners and in-person classrooms, as well the opportunity to schedule live virtual animal encounters.
The E-Learning Hub helps connect students with the region's diverse wildlife and habitats, offering hands-on, place-based science activities that encourage students to explore their local environment, which can include community parks, school grounds or their own backyard.
The STEM E-Learning Adventures program includes videos, art, science projects, experiments and observation, and is split among the three grade levels:Elementary School
- E-Learning: Topics include endangered species, Conservancy Touch Tank critters, local ecosystems, the importance of recycling and more. Programs explore the animals and wildlife that call Southwest Florida home through educational videos, crafts and projects.
- Live Interactive Virtual Animal Encounters: Video calls with education staff and ambassador animals to explore what makes the wildlife of Southwest Florida unique.
- E-Learning: Topics include population surveys, habitat assessments, field sampling and data analysis on plants and animals native to Southwest Florida, focusing on the gopher tortoise and non-native lizards.
- Live Interactive Virtual Animal Encounters: Video calls with education staff and ambassador animals to explore animal adaptations and ecological concepts.
- E-Learning: Topics include native and invasive species of wildlife in Southwest Florida, focusing on the Burmese python and how its emergence as an apex predator is disrupting the Everglades ecosystem. Students will create science journals and interactive population model simulations.
- Live Interactive Virtual Animal Encounters: Video calls with Conservancy staff and a live python to explore why this invasive species is both a fascinating animal and an enormous threat to our local ecosystems.
The Conservancy's E-Learning Hub is available online at https://sites.google.com/view/conservancyelearninghub/home