RDRWA Outreach Update - Out & About (July 2015)

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With July coming to a close it is time for an update from the RDRWA’s Outreach team. Outreach has been kept busy with three camps which have been visited regularly throughout the month. These are: Activ Kidz at various locations around Red Deer, Camp Alexo near Nordegg, and RDC’s Science Day Camps at the college campus.

Activ Kidz is a great opportunity to allow children to learn through play. For example, we play a predator prey game. This game not only teaches important aspects of a food chain but also the native species found in the Red Deer River Watershed, such as Northern Pike as a tertiary consumer (predator). Toxic River is another crowd pleaser, where students experience the possible challenges of pollution and develop cooperative skills in order to successfully cross an imaginary river.

While Nordegg is technically outside of the Red Deer River Watershed, many of the campers are residents of our watershed. This makes it an ideal location, because outreach is able to discuss the watershed with residents from various locations around the watershed at one time. It is always a treat to visit camp Alexo. It allows the Outreach Team to use hands-on, experiential learning with children and teenagers.

On July 27, the Outreach team was at Siffleur Falls with Camp Alexo. This particular camp was based on survival. In the parking lot of Siffleur Falls, Joey went through her backpack and discussed all the equipment she would pack on a hiking day trip. The group also made homemade fireballs; cotton balls dipped in vaseline that burn even when wet. Plant identification is also essential for survival. This is why in groups of two, the campers used a clue book and their questioning and listening skills to identify key plants for survival. When the campers were asked about one thing they learned on the hike, a majority commented on the difference between a spruce and a pine tree. Do you know the difference?  

CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

Summer Camps at RDC allows the outreach team to go into depth on topics such as water quality testing and wetlands. Campers enjoy the opportunity to investigate the topics in small groups. The wetland program brings the wetland into the classroom and the campers catch and investigate native invertebrates. During the water quality camp, students use water chemistry to compare and contrast several samples from locations around the city and use their data to determine the mystery sample. 

Even in the middle of summer, the RDRWA’s Outreach team is ready to facilitate learning. Learning does not take summer holidays, but that does not mean we cannot make it fun!

submitted by Janessa Matthew

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