Session Descriptions: 

The Science Guys

An introduction to plants and geology of Ohio from two of Ohio’s top naturalists! This session will include an inside lab/lecture session with hands-on activities.

Presenters:  Steve McKee: Retired, Director Gorman Nature Center & Paul Knoop: Retired Education Director, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

(Recommended for 1st time participants)

Be a Citizen Scientist

The rapid advancement of Community and Citizen Science with the everyday technology it uses has created opportunities and provided the tools for teachers and informal science educators to involve youth in the production of authentic science. This session will help bridge research and practice for Youth-focused Community and Citizen Science in the classroom as well as:

  • Delve into key practices for deepening learning through participation in Community Science and Citizen Science
  • Explore case studies to see those key practices in action in many different settings.
  • Learn more about what it means to foster environmental stewardship and strengthening the connection of science and the natural world.
  • Learn more about what different Communityand Citizen Science projects are available for you to use in you classroom.

Presenter: Sam Romeo – Naturalist,  Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

Getting to Know Spiders - Session Closed/Full

Sarah is looking for enthusiastic participants who want to know more about spiders.  During the session, participants will learn more about spider biology and identification.

Presenter:  Dr. Sarah Rose – PhD. From OSU Natural Resources, spider specialist

Improving Your Plant Perception - Session Closed/full

With the elimination of many college botany programs, natural resource personnel are  becoming more and more concerned about the national trend of “plant blindness”- the    inability to understand and identify common plants.  This hands-on program will improve our plant “acuity” by spending time indoors and outdoors focusing on the principles of “basic botany”- everything from plant parts to plant sex, using the plants found at camp and near your home and school.

Presenter:  Steve McKee – Retired Director, Gorman Nature Center

Alien Safari with Artsy Solutions 2nd - 8th graders

Would you like to recognize more of those infamous “invasive species” and do something useful with them? Discover the tricks to telling the bad greens from the good while on a scavenger hunt around camp. Then, try your hand at these kid-friendly crafts:  use leaves you collect to create a solar tie-dye shirt or tote and wind a stylish wreath with branches. We will briefly discuss ways to battle invasives and make native seed bombs for replacing the bad with the good.

Presenters: Jenna Balazs – AmeriCorps, Hocking County Soil and Water District, environmental education  and Lauren Metcalf – Elementary teacher, Vinton County

Life in a Bottle - Session Closed/Full

We will canoe the Hocking (“Bottle”) River and explore the life that it contains and sustains.  Some canoeing experience is recommended but not required. Come prepared to get your feet wet!

Presenter:  Martin McAllister – Appalachian Forests Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Birding 101 at Ash Cave State Park - Session Closed/Full

Join the park naturalist to find out about their multi-year warbler nest survey done at Ash Cave. What was learned through the study? The session will also include, a “Birding 101” hike, plus bird related activities, crafts and games you can use in the field or in a classroom.

Presenter: Pat Quackenbush – Chief Naturalist, Hocking Hills Park Region

Every Day Zero Waste

Learn about the ins and outs of waste reduction, recycling and composting.  How can this idea be incorporated into your home, workplace classroom and everyday life style.

Presenters:  Zero Waste Program Staff, Rural Action

The Art of Making Cheese

Join the “Cheeseman” to learn about the history of cheese making; how to judge the taste and texture of various cheeses; and the chemistry involved in cheese making. Enjoy a simple  demonstration game that can be used with your students, try your hand at taste testing, and make simple cheese that will be enjoyed later in the day. Interesting, delicious and fun!!

Presenter:Jeff Swackhammer – Better known as the “Cheeeseman”: cheese history, cheese making, and cheese styles

Mini Beasts - For primary and intermediate students -Session Full

Live education animals and classroom pets bring educators an abundance of opportunities to integrate that animal into school curriculums. While traditional animals such as reptiles and mammals are fine choices, discover a wider world of interesting animals such as arthropods, segmented worms, and mollusks. Animals in these groups make for amazing study subjects and fascinating organisms to observe. Investigate the merits of different organisms as education animals including but not limited to caterpillars, hissing cockroaches, spiders, and millipedes.    Live examples of several kinds of animals will be available for study and hands on examination.  Care and maintenance, lesson plans, laws, and ethics will also be discussed.

Presenters: Robyn Wright-Strauss – Chief Naturalist, Cincinnati Museum Center, Edge of Appalachia Preserve System; Marcey Shafer – Education Services Coordinator, Fairfield County Park District

Living Green with Solar & Straw Bale

A show and tell field trip of how we planned and implemented our “green” lifestyle.  Why is it important to do our best to try to live in ways that preserve our environment? We will tour our straw bale house to see re-use in action, how we use a rainwater cistern for all our water, our on-demand hot water heater + our solar panels/storage batteries.

PresentersKathy Guest – Paper Sculpture Artist and Jon Jager – The Designing Eye; natural science/history museum exhibit designer.  Green Living, solar and straw bale house residents and planners

Exploring the World of Headwater Streams

Explore the headwater streams of the Camp Oty”Okwa with fisheries biologist and water quality expert Kelly Capuzzi. Learn how fish, salamanders and aquatic insects can tell you if streams are healthy or polluted This hands on workshop will also teach you how you how to collect habitat data from headwater streams withyour students and how this data could be used to protect Ohio streams through citizen science.

Presenter: Kelly Capuzzi – Studied fish and stream work at OSU; 25 years with Ohio EPA

Sedges & Other Things that like their Feet Wet! - Session Closed/Full

We will begin with an introduction on sedges. We will learn what they are, how to identify them, where they live, and why we should care about them. Participants will travel from a dry oak forest and descend into a mesic forest before entering the flood plain forest. We will compare the composition of communities and see the different abiotic factors interacting with each ecosystem. We will spend a majority of the time in the floodplain forest investigating and identifying sedges and other organisms present there.

Presenters: Joe Moosbrugger – Assistant Preserve Manager, Crane Hollow Preserve

Habitat Héros - Hug the Pollinators - Primary grades -Closed/full

Incorporate hands-on outdoor exploration, music, art, and literature into dynamic powerful learning experiences protecting pollinators and their habitats.  Everyone in every school, park,  nature center and in every home can join the Habitat Heroes teams! Take the challenge and “Hug the Pollinators”!

Presenters: Miami County Park District Naturalists

Symbiosis & Coevolution

This session will focus mainly on:

1) Diving into 5thgrade standards for symbiosis through short videos, games, and searching for real-world examples in the field such as brown-headed cowbirds parasitizing warbler nests, oak apple galls, beech drops, and woodpecker nests.

2) Going a step further beyond symbiosis to examine local examples of coevolution, such as  butterflies and flowering plants, which have physically shaped each other throughout their long history of dependence.

Presenter: Joe Brehm – Environnmental Education Director, Rural Action

Rethinking our Landscape - Session Closed/Full

Climate change, pollution, deforestation, invasive species, uncaring politicians, it’s easy   to get overwhelmed with bad environmental news. This session will remind us of the good environmental news that is out there. But, as Dr. Sues said, “Unless someone like   you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Presenter: Dave Nolin – Former Director of Conservation at Five Rivers MetroParks; Author: Discovery and Renewal of Huffman Prairie

Engaging with Music

Music has helped us connect with each other, the land, and social communities as part of our human nature. We all have instruments in our cultures that help us bring forth song.  Let’s   gather to chat about our musical traditions and have a chance to share, touch, and try our hands a variety of instruments form Doug’s traditions.  Along this musical journey we will touch on some folk history and encouragement to bring music into our classrooms and everyday lives.  Bring an instrument if you want to share and let others touch it.

Presenter: Doug Outdoor Education Coordinator, Naturalist, Five Rivers Metroparks; musician

Life Without Lungs: Getting to Know Salamanders-Session Closed/Full

Lungless salamanders are the most abundant creatures with backbones in Ohio’s forests but few people ever see them. Find out more about their life history, diversity, and habitat as we search under stones and in leaf litter for these amazing amphibians

Presenter: Andrew Huffman – OSU PhD student; Masters research on salamanders

I'm Eating What?

What goes into making a pizza and trail mix?? Follow Almuth as you travel around the world to learn what plant parts you are eating from plants you find in your travels. It’s amazing where  some of our food comes from!

Presenter: Dr. Almuth Tschunko – Professor Emerita, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Marietta College

Weather 101

CHEAP WEATHER TOOLS!   Bring your questions and be ready for some weather fun! We will be covering lots of weather facts in a short time! WHAT IS A CLOUD, WHY ARE THEY THERE! WHAT  MAKES WEATHER CHANGE. HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.  PLUS FUN!

Presenter: Tim Pinkerton – Retired Science Teacher

Mission: Mystery  - Session Closed/Full

With clues guiding you from station to station, you will use science tools, think critically, collaborate with others, and explore the natural history of camp. This session will show you how to combine a little mystery with science investigations to create a fun and educational outdoor experience.

Presenter: Robyn Wright-Strauss – Chief Naturalist, Cincinnati Museum Center, Edge of Appalachia Preserve System

Learning through Storytelling

Students will listen when you tell stories. You can use them to introduce an idea, start a conversation, or recap what they have learned.  A folding paper story I tell leads to students  wanting to make airplanes and test their flight. Several stories and demos illustrate what is needed for combustion. I use a story about the moon as an introduction to frame of reference or to the science and math of space measurements. The wide mouth frog story illustrates the food web. A ghost story incorporates simple machines. All age students like to listen to stories. They remember the lesson better if they can connect it to a story. Discover how to create your own stories and get your students engaged.

Presenter: Betty Alfater – Retired high school science teacher; Camp Oty’Okwa environmental education staff

Change through Time: Part 2

Continuing from last year…by request!

From the big bang until now- these are some of the things that molecules do given 4.5 billion years of evolution. The session will focus mainly on the last 3 billion years on earth discussing the theories of the origin of life, evolution, speciation, and evidence for evolution. This session will explain how small changes (mutations) in DNA can lead to big changes in populations, resulting in speciation and biodiversity. We will discuss how evolution does not have a goal, but how it is merely a series of chance events that result in past and present species, sometime with seemingly bizarre results.

Presenter: Steve Nickel: High School Science teacher, Port Clinton Schools

Trees of the Eastern Hardwood Forest - Session Closed/Full

We will investigate the ecology, biology and structure of this most amazing ecosystem. Brief  introductory comments will be followed by outdoor explorations, sensory activities to promote perception and lots of eye-opening new knowledge.

Presenter: Paul Knoop – Environmental Educator, Natural Areas Consultant and Naturalist

Geology & Historical Exploration - Session Closed/Full

Our first stop will be at a mid 1800’s sandstone quarry where we will explore the old quarry and talk about the local geology in this unglaciated portion of Ohio. At our next stop, we will ascend Mt. Pleasant in Lancaster, which offers a spectacular view of both glaciated and unglaciated areas. At Lockville Park, we will see how sandstone from the quarries was used to  build the Ohio canal system. Our final destination will be the upper falls of the Hocking River where we will explore the river gorge and Rock Mill, a restored 1824 grist mill.

Presenters: Tom Shisler: Director/ Educator/Naturalist, Wahkeena Nature Preserve, Fairfield County Park District and Paul Knoop: Retired Education Director, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

Crane Hollow Preserve

Please join us as we hike into Gold Mine and Early Hollows, part of Crane Hollow Preserve.  The hike will showcase the beautiful oak forest above the cliffs to the picturesque northern hardwood-hemlock forest below.  We will discuss the ecology and the plant and animals found in these habitats, including those found by the ongoing breeding bird species count. This section of the Preserve contains a natural arch we can explore, interesting rockhouses, waterfalls, and cliffs.  Pack plenty of water for the trail. The hike will be held rain or shine so dress appropriately for hiking and weather.  Your feet may get wet so wear waterproof shoes or bring a spare pair to change into.  Long pants and sturdy hiking shoes are recommended.   Feel free to bring a hiking stick or poles. Crane Hollow does not have an organized system of maintained hiking trails. Participants need to be physically capable of  hiking about 1.5 off-trail miles in sometimes strenuous terrain that includes rocks and steep slopes.

Evening Adventures

Bats of Ohio – Lifecycle and ecological groupsing of Ohio bats; 2 sources of bat mortality, and bat echolocation. Outdoor bat dector demo.

Presenter: Katrina Schultes, Wayne National Forest

The North Star and Its Family – Explore the circumpolar constellations. View double stars, galaxies and star clusters through telescopes!!

Judy and Mike Feinstein, Stargazers of Miami County.

Plastics - a Global Issue

We will look at the overall global issues relating to plastics.  Including the pros and cons of this   amazing, terrible, wonderful but troublesome polymer material!  Plan on some hands on ID and more!

Presenter: Katrina Carpenter – Education Specialist – Perry County Waste Reduction and Recycling; Grass Fed Beef Farmer

An Incredible Story

Join Jim as he shares his schools efforts to reconnect habitat at Granville High School. How was  this project achieved; school, student, and community involvement; what are the educational benefits?

Presenter: Jim Reding, Science Department Chair, Land Lab and Garden Manager Granville High School

Cooperation & Team Building

Let’s get acquainted! Ideas to help build a community within your classroom; introduce groups of new students to one another; ways to stimulate a feeling of cooperation through the year.

Presenters: Lorrie Huysman and Empress Bethel, Salt Creek Intermediate Science teachers

2019 Ed Week Schedule

2019 presenters-list