Rockets on the Moon
The Cove’s Interpretive Ranger Erin Bennett has been looking for a way to reach younger visitors that are not old enough to participate in the Junior Ranger Program this summer. “With more young families camping in the park there is an unmet need to include more of our visitors in our programs,” say’s Erin. Erin is The Cove’s liaison for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects with local schools – and as it turns out, STEM is not just for older kids, it starts in Pre-K. Ranger Jennifer Godfrey at Detroit Lake suggested Erin try out the My Sky Tonight Program, which is a free program that guides educators on how to teach astronomy to children (ages 3-5) and provides the materials to get started.
Erin recently went to the Children’s Learning Center in Madras and Culver Elementary School to try out some of the programs. As a 3 part series, children learned about the moon, its many phases, and how craters are formed; they became rocket engineers by building their own air rockets to get to the moon, and used their imaginations to become astronauts where they explored a moon landscape by making mini rovers and collecting rock samples. “Working with the kids is so rewarding; they are full of energy and curiosity and ask amazingly tough questions,” Erin said.
If you are visiting The Cove this summer, check the blog, park flyers or with park staff for new opportunities for our younger visitors.