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Kids get Passport to Discovery at SEEDS-Blacksburg Nature Center this Saturday

Abbey, 7, happily holds a tarantula at the SEEDS - Blacksburg Nature Center
Dr. Mike Rosenzweig, 2014

This Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., families are invited to the SEEDS - Blacksburg Nature Center for the free Passport to Discovery event.

This free event will include the following excellent kids' science and nature activities:

  • Dissecting Owl Pellets - with an already dissected pellet to look at, whole pellets for kids to dissect, a taxidermied owl specimen for discussion, small mammals whose bones may be found in a pellet, and a diagram for identifying the bones in the pellets the kids dissect.Field techniques used by field biologists. This station will be meant allow kids to learn different techniques, such as using dbh tape or identifying a bird by it's bands (stuffed animal bird in a tree).
  • Learning Field Biology Techniques - including measuring trees' diameter at breast height and bird identification.

  • Investigating the Adaptations of Anoles - with live anoles at the table for observation and discussion.

  • Understanding Birds' Beak Adaptations - from nut-crackers to crawfish-crunchers, beaks are made for different foods and kids will get to use funny beak models made of everyday items to try to pick up different foods.

  • Trying Turtle Techniques - red-eared and yellow-bellied sliders and a snapping turtle will be on hand to help illustrate differences in turtle habitats and kids can practice measuring turtles in the field just like real testudinologists (turtle scientists).

  • Investigating Life in a Pond - children will get to see where the pond food web begins by examining plankton through dissecting scopes.

  • Touching Stream Critters - touch tanks of invertebrates and identification charts will help students understand "canary" species and figure out if a stream is polluted or healthy.

  • Learning About Amphibians - frog fanciers and salamander lovers will enjoy an exhibit of different amphibians and marvel at their incredible diversity.

  • Knowing Night Flyers - it's not a bird, it's not a plane, it's not Super Man. . . but it might be a bat or a flying squirrel - and children who visit this exhibit will know much more about the creatures of the night sky.

  • Exploring the Nature Center - nature center volunteers will be on hand to show and teach children (and grown-ups, too!) about the wonderful exhibits inside the nature center and the plants and animals found all around the grounds. Scavenger hunts, treasure cards, and the "rainbow game" will be available to help kids get more into exploration with rewards available for completed hunts!

  • Making a Green Map - kids and adults alike can help the SEEDS - Blacksburg Nature center make a map of the best places to enjoy nature or find certain plants and animals around the NRV by visiting our Green Map display.

  • Picture Yourself as an Earth Explorer - a photo booth with a variety of science props will be available so that kids can dress up and have a picture of themselves emailed to them to complete their Passport to Discovery.

Families are invited to pack a picnic lunch or snacks and spread a blanket out on the grounds so that they can stay and enjoy the event as long as they'd like.

The SEEDS - Blacksburg Nature Center is located at 107 Wharton Street SE in Blacksburg. Parking is available on Wharton Street and within 2 short blocks on Clay Street (at the spout spring parking strip) or on Church Street.

This event is sponsored by the Interfaces of Global Change and the SEEDS - Blacksburg Nature Center.

Admission to the nature center is always free. Regular hours for the nature center are Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m, Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..

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