Welcome to Our Virtual Summer Camp !
Summer camp canceled? Looking for something to do this summer? We have a fun solution in store for you! Inspire-EdVentures has partnered with the WAMY Community Action Center in Boone NC to develop a virtual summer camp for our neighbors in the High Country of North Carolina!
That’s right – we decided to build a virtual summer camp and take you on an EdVenture! So what can you expect to see? We have chosen a beautiful stream ecosystem on the property of Cove Creek School in Vilas NC as our setting. There, we have set up both trail cameras and bird cameras to capture the local wildlife. We will also have a series of activities to get you into your local stream to learn about stream ecology.
We will not only be sharing these pictures and videos with through this site and our social media pages but also developing activities that students can do in their own backyards! And later this summer, we have a series of special virtual field trips planned to the jungles and coral reefs of Belize!
We have designed these materials for the 3rd to 5th grade level, but we really think that all ages will enjoy the chance to get outside and explore nature using these resources!
Our goal is to bring the beauty and nature of the North Carolina mountains to students who can not attend summer camp this summer. We are providing these resources for free, but if you like what you see, consider donating to the WAMY Community Action Center to help support our partner’s mission.
All of the outdoor and backyard activities should be done under the supervision of an adult.
How Does This Work?
Each Wednesday we will be sending out a weekly activity list based on one of our activity areas below. For example, for Week 1, starting on June 24th) we will be starting our BioBlitz week. Of course, you are free to use any of the resources below at your own pace.
If you wish to be added to our mailing list (you may unsubscribe at any time), please complete the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then email you a file of activities each week. There are no cost for these activities!
Take a Virtual Tour of Our Summer Camp in the Mountains of North Carolina!
Week 1: BioBlitz!
What is a BioBlitz?
Biologists use the term bioblitz to refer to a survey of everything that is living in a given study area. For us this summer, that is going to be our backyards!
For our bioblitz, we are going to guide you through activities where you look specifically for insects, or creatures under rocks, of different types of flower or fungi.
What you can do for now is to go into your backyard, sit quietly for a few moments, and notice what you can already see. What types of trees, birds, and bugs are in your backyard? You don’t have to know their names, just write down what you see in, or better yet, draw a picture. Some of the most famous biologists in history were also great artists!
- eMammal : Upload photos of any mammals that you encounter on your bioblitz.
- iNaturalist: Record the biodiversity in your yard.
- An Introduction to Scientific Journaling: Scientific Journaling
- Get to Know Your Backyard Scavenger Hunt! ScavengerHunt
- Backyard Maze Game: BackyardMaze
- Crossword Puzzle: BackyardCrossWord1
- Backyard Word Find: BackyardWordFind
- Swallowtail Butterfly Coloring Page: eastern_swallowtail2
Week 2: BACKYARD BIRDING
What Birds Can You Find in Your Backyard?
To answer this question we have adapted existing doorbell monitoring technology (Blink) to experience the wonders of our bird friends! That’s right… we have BIRDCAMS!!
Our motion-activated cameras have the ability to take short videos of any bird that comes to our feeders, and sometimes, some uninvited guests! What will we find? Well over the next few weeks we will see, but we promise it will be fun.
So what are we going to do with these images? Well, first of all, share the beauty of these birds with you! But also, we will be using them to build some fun photos, videos, and home activities that you can do on a rainy day.
But, more importantly, here is what we want you to do. Don’t just look at our pictures, go out into your own backyard, find a quiet place to sit. Watch and listen for the sounds of our bird friends! What do you see? What do you hear?
The fun of summer camp is experiencing nature, let’s do that together.
Check out some of the birds we’ve seen in our backyards!
Week 3: Backyard Science & The Scientific Method
Let’s Ask Some Questions!
What Lives in our Forests?
We have all experienced the peacefulness of taking a walk in the forest. The wind in the trees, the smell of the leaves – all of these things are things that we fondly remember from our journeys.
But what about the things we did not see? Sometimes we may catch a hint of a bird, or a squirrel, but often we leave our journey wondering what else did we not see?
As part of our summer camp, we are going to answer that question. Using trail cameras, we are going to explore what wildlife is present along a mountain stream in the North Carolina mountains. Our cameras take a burst of two photos, both day and night, every time something enters into the field of view.
When you check out the photos below, also take a look at the date and time in the lower right. When is this animal active and why do you think that it is active at this time? By exploring what the camera is showing us, we can learn more about the animals we may not normally see.
So, what will we see? Well…. let’s explore this together!
Check out some of the pictures from the trail cameras below!
What Lives in Our Streams?
Did you know that may of the insect species we see in our backyards spent time as young larvae in the streams? Or that our streams contain snails and crayfish, along with lots of species of fish?
To help you better understand what lives in our streams, we have invited a stream ecologist to come to talk with us not only about what we may find, but how you can use this information to determine how healthy your stream is!
Over the next few weeks we will be preparing some short videos, handouts, and activities to get you exploring the small streams of our mountain home!
Looking for More EdVentures?
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last updated: July 8, 2020