STEM@Home: Citizen Science

Pardon me, are you Citizen Science? No, that’s not a hip new prefix for your name – it’s a description of your new summer hobby! Citizen science is science where everyone participates – including PhDs, amateurs, students, volunteers. Then, professional researchers use the collected data to come to real-world conclusions.

Why citizen science? Well, we live in a big world with big problems – it stands to reason we need big solutions. By working together, citizen science helps gather positively gi-normous sets of data from across the globe, and over years and even decades. That means scientists can develop stronger solutions to environmental, health, and ecological problems. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

SciStarter is the place to kick off your hopefully life-long citizen science career. Over a thousand projects are listed – some gathering global data, some more locally focused. Most of them can easily be done while maintaining safe social distancing and exploring our wonderful state and county parks. Check out a few of our favorites below!

SciStarter Snakes: Michigan Herp Atlas

As anyone who’s visited the Van Kley Animal Museum knows, we love our Michigan herps. Say what? Herp stands for Herpetofauna – or the group of animals including reptiles and amphibians. Ever hear the spring peepers disturb a still evening with their noisy croaks? Or jumped when a garter snake scurried across your path? You’ve interacted with some of Michigan’s native herpetofauna – and the Michigan Herp Atlas wants to know about it!

Slither on over to the SciStarter Michigan Herp Atlas page to learn more about the project and register for the Michigan Herp Atlas.

SciStarter Kites: Public Laboratory Balloon and Kite Mapping

Snakes not your thing? We won’t tell. How about a family project that uses helium balloons and digital camera imagery to create aerial maps of your neighborhood and city? Now we’re talking!

The Public Laboratory Balloon and Kite Mapping project takes a little up-front prep work, but your contribution helps create high-resolution maps that can be used for environmental research. And there’s no limit to the number of maps you can make!

Let’s go fly a kite! Visit the SciStarter Public Laboratory Balloon and Kite Mapping page to learn more and join the Public Lab mapping community!

Check out our website to learn about the Exploratory Learning Center at Hope College, ExploreHope Summer Science Camps (sample schedule) and our academic year programs.

STEM@Home: For the Birds

“Bird Song Hero” and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Academy

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_robin_(%27Erithacus_rubecula)_singing_3.jpg

Ah, the sweet sounds of a Michigan spring day. The whisper of a breeze, rustling through branches just burst into leaf. The burble of a creek, swollen with snowmelt and April showers. The vibrant trills of songbirds, swooping and nesting overhead. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could interpret those liquid melodies, and commune with our feathered friends? What might they be saying, those dainty winged creatures?

  • “Hey! That’s my nest! Get out of here!”
  • “Dude, check out my awesome plumage!”
  • “We’re under aerial attack! Duck and cover!”

Huh. Well then. Perhaps the aviary world isn’t as serene as we imagined… but it’s definitely a whole lot more interesting! Spring is the perfect season to find out more about the complex and crazy world of birds all around us. Luckily, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Academy has a virtual toolkit to start your birding adventure off right.

Bird Academy

Definitely not a Hogwarts for birds, Bird Academy is chock-full of videos, tutorials, and games to make learning about birds not only easy but fun. Videos give a solid introduction to different birding concepts, like the “Inside Birding” series that runs down all the basic bird ID concepts. Yeah… birding. That’s a verb now. Also, you’re a “fledgling” birder. See what we did there? Classic birder joke.

The Bird Academy Learning Games page is also particularly fabulous, with thoughtfully designed interactive games for all ages. Unsurprisingly, surrounded by the natural beauty of Earth’s birds, the scientists at Bird Academy created visually compelling games and virtual experiences that suck you in to the world of birds. Check out one of our favorites, Bird Song Hero, below!

Bird Song Hero

One of the most basic skills in a birder’s toolkit is being able to identify what birds are around. But there’s a problem for us curious investigators. Not only are birds expert at camouflage, but they’re as comfortable flitting about thirty feet in the air as pecking for worms in the dirt. Humans? We’re what you might call “grounded.”

Enter Bird Song Hero, an interactive online game that helps you train your ear to figure out what birds are around you using only their distinctive calls. Using spectrograms – technical images that “show” what a bird’s song looks like – lets you quickly learn how to differentiate bird calls by visualizing what you hear!

  • On the Challenge Level, be sure to listen to all three of the bird calls as often as you wish. Can you “read” the spectrograms when the birds sing?
  • Beat the Ultimate Level and score 90% or above. Don’t get tricked by the space robot!
  • Take it past the game and to the biggest, best level… Reality! See if you can identify the birds tweeting in your own backyard with just your own two ears.

Check in with ExploreHope all summer long for fun, hands-on ways to engage with the amazing world all around us.

STEM@Home: Kid-ventions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office for Kids

Image credit: Creative Tools from Halmstad, Sweden / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Calling all kid-ventors! Are you itching for an at-home kid-venture? Maybe you’ve got dreams of making money with a new product as a kid-vendor? Don’t just whine about it, like a kid-venter – STEM@Home is here to help you become a kid-inventor! The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has shared some fascinating resources on the history of America’s inventions – and you get to step inside the mind of an inventor and patent-holder.

Dream It, Do It: Using Patents to Create

The USPTO has over 10 million patents on record, highlighting the innovation and creativity of Americans for hundreds of years. Get up close and personal with three of them in the USPTO’s Build/Make an Invention page. Try your hand at building the inventions that were once brand-new ideas!

Inventors invent to solve a problem or bring a new idea to the world. What problems of the inventor’s world do you think the following patents might solve? Do we still have those problems today? How do we try to solve them – or can you think of a better way than the inventions below to improve the world?

  • K-2: Flipbook. Make your drawings come alive!
  • 3-5: Paper Cup. Calling all scouts! This patent is held by Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts in America.
  • 6-8: Model Rocket. You can’t really build a model rocket with household materials…. or can you?

How’d They Do That? The Science of Innovation

Inventions aren’t miracles of nature – there are teams of people working on developing some of the amazing inventions that drive (sometimes literally!) our modern world. The USPTO has partnered with NBC to create Science of Innovation videos. Featuring interviews with inventors and patent holders, describing the process of developing their innovative techniques, these videos have There are plenty of topics to geek out over, but some of our favorites are:

  • 3D Printing
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Devices,
  • Driverless Cars

Excited for some hands-on problem solving of your own? Check out Hope Summer Science Camp’s Exploration Boxes, a summer of STEM challenges without leaving home! Banish boredom while you innovate and build your own marble roller coasters, water runs, and chain reaction machines – while getting inspired by virtual design sessions led by our summer camp staff. Register today!

STEM@Home: Let’s Spark! At Home

The Smithsonian Institution’s Spark!Lab at the Holland Museum

Sure, ExploreHope and the Hope Summer Science Camps are your go-to for hands-on summer science experiences. But did you know there’s a nationally-recognized, year-round STEAM lab for kids just down the street from us? The Holland Museum has been a longtime partner for our camps, but especially now that they are hosting the Smithsonian (Yes, THAT Smithsonian!) Spark!Lab, allowing visitors to “explore inventions – and their own inventiveness.”

Hey! You’re inventive! And in today’s world, there are certainly plenty of opportunities for a clever kid to develop a problem-solving product. Although the museum is closed for now, the Holland Museum Spark!Lab website links to tons of great online resources for aspiring inventors to access at home. Check out two of our favorites below.

Spark!Lab Instructables

We love the Spark!Lab Instructables site – a place to virtually try some of the invention challenges. Ever made a spaceship? Today’s your day! Jet over to Instructables’ Design A Spaceship module and use the Spark!Lab approach to “Think it, Explore it, Sketch it, Create it, Try it, Tweak it!” Maybe you can even… “Sell it!” NASA’s always open to hearing from clever contractors!

  • Explore it: Investigate different spacecraft designs over the last 50 years. Why might designs change as missions change?
  • Sketch it: No astronaut would set off in a rocket without a mission plan – so sketch your plan before you start to virtually build!
  • Tweak it: “Faster, Cheaper, Better” – if it’s NASA’s logo, it can surely be yours.

READY TO LAUNCH? Info, tips, and more HERE.

DO Try This At Home!

At home? That’s the place to be these days – so visit DO Try This At Home, the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center’s answer to making invention part of your daily routine. Inject a little creative competition into your life with the “Now What?” Invention Game. First, you spin a silly situation. Then add a few crazy limitations – and see where your ingenuity takes you!

Incidentally, the “Now What?” game was developed with Scratch, a FREE online resource for kids (and curious adults!) to build and program interactive stories, games, and simulations. Why not invent a video game to flummox your friends, or animate a recent silly story to amuse your grandma, or just take whatever story is inside your head and get it out there to share? Start your Scratch adventure HERE.

Be sure to keep in touch with Hope Summer Science Camps for great STEM resources throughout the summer, and thanks again to the Holland Museum Spark!Lab for a wonderful partnership!

STEM@Home: LEGO Lesson Love

Explore the world of simple machines with LEGO challenges from Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls!

Photo attribution: woodleywonderworks

Sure, your LEGO blocks have been VIP of the toy room for years now. Your minifigs could populate a small city. You’re got LEGO Hogwarts, the LEGO Death Star, and the Eiffel Tower (in LEGO) in places of honor in your room. But did you ever think…. did you ever believe… that you could master entire science concepts using only LEGO? Believe it, my friend – that day is here.

The LEGO-loving family behind Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls have put together all sorts of amazing LEGO demos, including LEGO explorations of the six simple machines used in engineering. Challenges range in difficulty from preschool to high school, so every learner can get their brick on!

Challenge 1: LEGO Bridge

Whether you’re just jumping into the concept of building with LEGO, or have a totally self-designed LEGO city in your basement, constructing bridges offers challenges for all builders. Start with a 6″ span and work up from there. The first challenge is getting the bridge to stay up… then there are so many ways to push its limits.

Bridges explore classical building concepts like arches, columns, tiling, etc. They introduce the concepts of extension (where the bridge pulls apart) and compression (where the weight is being concentrated). Each of these forces require different solutions to provide the strength and balance of a bridge.

  • Might is right: Check how strong your bridge is – stacking on lots of identical objects is a great way to compare strength between bridges. Consider soup cans, board books, or matchbox cars.
  • Go the distance: Once you master six inches, expand, expand, expand! Do the same techniques work on a bridge with an eighteen inch span?
  • So inspirational: Google “famous bridges” and find some new techniques. How do designs change as materials change?

WHOLE NEW MEANING TO PLAYING BRIDGE. Info, tips and more HERE.

Challenge 2: LEGO Pulley

Pulleys are one of the six simple machines that show up in countless ways throughout our modern world. How do cranes lift heavy loads to build sky scrapers? Pulleys. How do Boy Scouts quickly run flags up poles? Pulleys. How do elevators lift, rock climbers safely ascend, and red velvet curtains swish across the stage? Pulleys!

Using just LEGO wheels, bricks, and string, you can build simple and compound pulleys to explore how they use force redirection and mechanical advantage to make lifting heavy loads easier.

  • Big spender: How many pennies can you lift with a simple (one-wheel) pulley?
  • Compound interest: Can you use compound pulleys to lift more pennies than the simple pulley?
  • It wheel-y matters: Build a simple pulley with two different wheels styles. Does the choice of wheel make a difference in how the pulley operates?

PULLED IN THIS DIRECTION? Info, tips and more HERE.

Challenge 3: LEGO Waterwheel

Sunny days are on their way and this LEGO build will let science class take place outdoors. Using an inclined plane (another simple machine!) and LEGO, explore fluid dynamics, waterwheels, and hydraulic engineering!

  • Ramp it up: Does your watercourse behave differently at different ramp angles? What about with a trickle of water vs. a deluge?
  • Divide and conquer: Can you design a way to divert 25% of the water away from the main watercourse? How can you measure your results, beyond eyeballing it?
  • Minimalism is so trendy: What are the fewest bricks you need to divert water successfully?

WHISTLE WETTED? Info, tips and more HERE.

STEM@Home: Earth Day, Your Way

Did you get your party hats? Crepe paper streamers? Make sure to blow a noisemaker or two, because April 22, 2020 is a special day for Planet Earth – it’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Sure, 50th anniversaries are technically known as “golden” anniversaries – but don’t worry, Earth isn’t expecting anything flashy from you. Phew!

From appreciating the wonders in your own backyard, to making more sustainable shopping choices, there are plenty of ways to show your love and appreciation for Planet Earth in our everyday lives. Check out some of our favorite suggestions below!

The Outdoor Discovery Center’s Backyard Learning Crusade

Nature-lovers in Holland know to check out the ODC’s beautiful trails and wide-reaching programs year-round, but while schools are closed, learning about the Earth can still move forward! The Backyard Learning Crusade offers themed guides for observing nature through the grade levels.

So much more than 20-minute activity, each theme gives specific observation guidelines, along with online resources to extend kids’ investigations. Plus, try some of the discussion starters to keep the learning going through dinnertime!

Ready to dive in? Why not start with Small World, Big Changes?

LET THE BACKYARD CRUSADING BEGIN: Ready to set off, into the wild blue yonder? Info, tips and more HERE.

State of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Earth Day Resource Round-Up

Earth Day includes not only nature study, but also conservation and resource management. Brush up on recycling guidelines with some cheeky raccoons, get a quick run-down on water contamination in the Great Lakes, take a virtual field trip of a power plant, and more! EGLE has put together some great Michigan websites to explore environmental issues in our communities.

O MICHIGAN, MY MICHIGAN: Ready to keep our peninsulas super-pleasant? Info, tips and more HERE.

Show your love for planet Earth all year ’round and check out these Hope Summer Science Camps. Enroll today!

  • Art in Nature (June 15-19, grades K-2)
  • Exploring Energy (July 20-24, grades 3-5)
  • Wonders of the Watershed (July 6-10, grades 6-8)
  • Watershed Restoration (July 20-24, grades 9-12)

STEM@Home: Dyson Engineering

Week 5: The James Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards

More than vacuum cleaners – although their vacuums ARE boss. More than super-fast hand dryers, bladeless fans, and space age heaters – the Dyson name goes along with creative, clever solutions to everyday problems. Hey! You’re clever! You’re creative, too. And you certainly live every day in the real world. So let’s start tackling some around-the-house engineering challenges, the Dyson way.

The James Dyson Foundation offers two kinds of challenge activities: 44 downloadable “challenge cards,” with shorter activities illustrating a specific concept, and six more open-ended video challenges, offering kids a chance to play around with the design process a bit more. One of each is highlighted below – so pick your path and let’s get started!

Challenge 1: Build a Cardboard Chair

Got any old boxes piling up in the recycling bin? Amazon packaging and old banana boxes will do, but so will cereal boxes, shoe boxes and any kind of cardboard you can find.

Using only cardboard – no glue, tape, or nails – you can make a chair you can really use! Discover the amazing strength properties of cardboard, and explore different design principles engineers use to make those super-sized diaper boxes able to stack sky-high.

  • Open House: Sketch all the different types of chairs in your house you could use as a model. Which one will be most successful in a cardboard version?
  • Mother Load: Test your chair’s load-bearing capabilities with differently-sized people in your house. Can your chair hold both kids and adults?
  • Expand-O-Matic: Now that you’ve got some building tricks up your sleeve, choose another piece of furniture to recreate in cardboard. Bookcase? Coffee table? Hey, maybe even a cardboard vacuum!

DON’T SIT THIS ONE OUT: Info, tips, and more HERE.

Challenge 2: Underwater Volcano

Volcanoes are equal parts terrifying and amazing, but their underlying process is even more incredible. Convection – the way heat rises and falls in liquids and gases – governs not only how volcanoes erupt, but how storm systems move in the atmosphere, how ocean currents swell, and even how oatmeal bubbles in a pan!

The convection connection (that’s what we call it in the biz) is how loads of natural processes work – and we can model it with this nifty trick in Dyson Challenge Card #2. Using just five items (a big jar, water, food dye, string and a salt shaker) get up close and personal with the most important swirling current you’ll ever meet.

  • STEAM-y Lava: Make a flip book illustrating what happens to your underwater volcano once you drop the hot salt shaker in the cold jar. Explosive!
  • Weather or Not: Dig deeper and discover how convection is connected to the weather. Start out with the NOAA SciJinks website.
  • Go Big, Already At Home: Your mission: create the most dynamic eruption possible with your underwater volcano. Hint: what makes the water inside the salt shaker different from the water outside it?

CONVECT THE DOTS: Info, tips and more HERE.

Hands-on science lets kids explore their passions and interests. After a STEM-filled spring, keep the fun going all summer long and check out these Hope Summer Science Camps. Enroll today!

  • Prehistoric Planet (June 22-26, grades K-2)
  • Exploring Energy (July 20-24, grades 3-5)
  • Programming and Circuits (June 22-26, grades 6-9)
  • EV3 Mindstorms Challenge (July 6-10, grades 6-12)

STEM@Home: Potter-ology

Week 4: We Are Teachers – Harry Potter Science

Calling all Potterheads! Taking a break from syllabi and curricula doesn’t mean no more mischief to manage. Nurture your wizard-in-training with this great roundup of real-life science activities at We Are Teachers inspired by the magical world of Harry Potter.

Hagrid’s pounding down the door and your acceptance letter awaits! Swoosh your wand and try your hand at Hogwarts subjects like Potions, Charms and Astronomy. Wands at the ready!

Potions – Disappearing Ink

Make your own Marauder’s Map – or any other sneakily secret message your heart desires – with this demo from Teach Beside Me (part of the We Are Teachers link roundup). All you need is laundry detergent, paper, and a black or UV light.

Phosphorescence is the secret to this magical mayhem! Chemicals called “optical brighteners” in the laundry detergent absorb low-energy yellow light and emit it as higher-energy blue light. With ordinary use, clothes seem whiter – but under a black light, the detergent burns with an unearthly fire! Become a Potions master today!

  • Acceptable: Send a secret message to a family member.
  • Exceeds Expectations: Combine regular and invisible ink for a sneakily misleading note.
  • Outstanding: Map out the best Easter Egg hiding locations in your yard.

NOW YOU SEE ME…: Click here for info, tips, and more!

Charms – Levitation

Wield awesome cosmic power and control the movement of objects from a distance using only the power of…. static electricity! Ever feel a spark when you touch a door handle, or watch a toddler’s hair stand on end after coming down a slide?

Static electricity is what we call the buildup of negatively charged, subatomic particles called electrons on the surface of objects. All objects have a modest positive or negative electric charge on their surface – and when there’s a big difference between two objects, watch out! ZAP!

Of course, as a wizard-in-training, you can use this knowledge for more than avoiding a really bad hair day. Move sticks, levitate plates, control bubbles and more!

  • W.O.M.B.A.T.: Rub a balloon on your head and giggle as it sticks to you.
  • O.W.L.: Make a pop can roll around at your command.
  • N.E.W.T.: Levitate that plate!

WINGARDIUM LEVIO-SAHHHH, RON: Click here for info, tips, and more!

Astronomy – Constellations

Did you know that Astronomy is a Muggle subject, too? You can totally get a head start on your Hogwarts courses by learning about star constellations now!

Ancient people were just like you – they wanted to understand the world they lived in. They studied the night sky and noticed that many of the bright lights moved in predictable patterns, while others seemed to stay put. We now know that the “moving lights” are actually planets, and tracking them helped to develop the first calendars. “Behind” the planets is the infinite universe, filled with far-off stars and galaxies. The unchanging position of these stars led storytellers to develop myths and names for certain groups of stars – including some groups very important to Harry Potter fans!

Best suited for younger Potterphiles, Royal Baloo gives a simple introduction to some of the constellations pertinent to the Harry Potter storylines.

  • First Year: Look for Polaris, the North Star, in the night sky.
  • Second Year: Try to find Sirius, Draco, and Lupus – the constellations, not the characters!
  • Third Year: Read up on other constellations visible from Holland in the spring – then go outside and try to find them!

THE STARS MY DESTINATION: Click here for info, tips, and more!

Know a Wizard-in-Training entering grades 3, 4, or 5 next year? Be sure to enroll them in Hope Summer Science Camps! “The Science of Harry Potter” is offered twice, in June 15-19 and July 20-24. Come check it out!

STEM@Home: Moving Stories

Week3: The Tinkering Studio at Exploratorium.edu

Hands getting itchy to make and do? Head buzzing with ideas? Fingers tingling? ExploreHope knows the feeling, and we’re here to help! This week we’re highlighting The Tinkering Studio, located at one of the coolest museums in the country, the Exploratorium.

Tinkering and storytelling unite as you build a moving machine, and transform light into art. Parents, be sure to check out the rest of the Exploratorium’s website. Make sure you’ve got some time set aside though – there are literally hundreds of STEM activities and explorations available. Now let’s get those busy brains working!

Activity 1: Cardboard Automata (ages 7+)

Auto-Mata. A-tomato? Aw-TAH-mata! However you say it, a cardboard automata is just a fancy way to describe a machine that moves independently. A moving machine? It lives! Run for your lives!

So are automata freaky robots, or fancy machines? Good question! The first automata alarmed and amazed people, who feared they were truly alive. Today’s robots spring from the dreams those historic automata inspired! Master the basic mechanisms, and let your imagination work hand-in-hand with your ingenuity.

DR. FRANKENSTEIN’S GOT NOTHING ON YOU: Get the basics here!

  • Three in a Row: Can you master round-and-round, up-and-down, and back-and-forth motion by changing your cam structure?
  • The Storyteller: Illustrate a favorite scene from the books you’re binging using your automata.
  • Earth Day Guru: Let your recycling bin inspire design of your automata. Colors, patterns, texture, shape – how will different materials affect your design?

Activity 2: Light Painting (all ages)

Brushes, sponges, fingers….flashlights? You’ve never painted like this before! Explore light, color and movement over time while you make fabulous art. All you need is a digital camera, a light source, and a dark room! And the best part? Clean-up is a breeze!

READY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF? Info, tips and more here.

  • The Scavenger: How many different light sources can you use in your art? Think about lights on toys, remotes, watches, tablets – just get permission first!
  • Transformers: turn yourself into a butterfly, angel, alien or any other crazy creature.
  • Three’s Company: In the picture above, why don’t we see the motion of the girl’s arms? Who moved the lights? Who took the picture? Experiment with using more than one or two people to design your light painting!

If the intersection of science and art is your favorite exploration destination, check out these Hope Summer Science Camps!

  • Tinker Engineers, grades K-2
  • Science of Art, grades 3-5
  • Art and Design, 4-8
  • Inventing in 3-D, grades 6-12

STEM@Home: Spring Has Sprung

Week2: Ranger Rick Online and iNaturalist

Snowy days? Sunny mornings? Don’t let the weather fool you – spring really is on its way. Our Michigan plants and animals know that a new season of life and growth is in full swing. Don’t miss the opportunity to get outside and watch it in real time!

Trees are budding, birds are calling, bulbs are sprouting, and squirrels are chattering! The whole world is waking up! So get out in your backyard, or maintain social distancing at your nearest nature preserve, and join in the fun with these great online nature resources.

Younger Kids: Ranger Rick online (www.rangerrick.org)

Ranger Rick magazine has awesome animal articles, activities, and crafts. Grab a free (no strings attached!) three month subscription to their website chock-full of nature study ideas by visiting rangerrick.org.

SQUIRREL DETECTIVE:

Have you noticed the squirrels out in full force over the last few weeks? Us, too! Hone your spy skills with the Spy on Squirrels activity! First, learn their common behaviors – then grab a notebook and start your backyard stake-out. 

  • Sketch Artist: Add an illustration to your notebook – could you identify your backyard squirrels in a line-up?
  • Bait and Switch: Design and build a squirrel-proof birdfeeder from the recycling bin – it’s harder than it looks! 
  • The Gang’s All Here: What other animals, big and small, do you notice in your backyard? From bugs to raccoons, they’re all part of your neighborhood’s ecosystem.

STRATEGIC SQUIRREL UNIT READY TO GO? Info and more

Older Kids: iNaturalist app for iPhone and Android (iNaturalist.org)

Ever wondered what kind of maple shades your patio? Or tried to figure out if you’ve got English, common, or poison ivy growing up the chimney? iNaturalist is the app for you! Free to download in the GooglePlay or Apple Store, iNaturalist lets kids and adults join a community of nature lovers. 

Snap a few photos of the plant in question (try to get close-ups for best results) and then let the app suggest possible species matches. After you make your best ID, photos are submitted to the iNaturalist community – where both amateur and professional naturalists can give ID input. Trust us – ExploreHope tried it out recently with a group of middle schoolers, and we found it completely addictive! 

  • So…Many… Plants: Can you find 10 different plant species in your backyard? 
  • The Big Reverse: Try to identify another user’s plant submission!
  • Science Loves Company: Send us a message or follow us at explore2019 on iNaturalist, and let us see what you’re finding!

DR. LIVINGSTONE WE PRESUME: DOWNLOAD HERE!

Plants and animals make your heart sing? Sign up for these great Hope Summer Science Camps perfect for budding naturalists!

  • Art in Nature and Cool Critters and Crawlies: Grades K-2
  • Exploring Ecosystems: Grades 3-6
  • Wonders of the Watershed: Grades 6-8
  • Watershed Restoration: Grades 9-12
  • Invasive Species Research Experience: Grades 10-12

Image credit: Paul VanDerWerf from Brunswick, Maine, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)