Tuesday, November 8, 2016

the ologies

Thank you, Shelley Wascom, Executive Director of the local Community Shares, for inviting me on your "Voices of Change" program on CTV to talk about the Ology classes I host at Ijams.

The Sunday afternoon Ologies often pair children with their parents, grandparents or guardians as we explore a natural science topic. In the past year we have covered Snake-ology, Spider-ology, Flutterby-ology, Duck-ology and many more. Generally we review basic material indoors (Just what is an arachnid?) with special themed-snacks like spider eggs, gummie worms, chocolate-covered frogs or owl-faced cupcakes, then we go exploring outside looking for our topic de jour. Finding a dragonfly at Ijams is easy during season. Uncovering a snake is a little more difficult. And, goodness, sometimes we even get eyeball to eyeball with a praying mantis. 

We have been known to scratch around in the leaves searching for millepedes or dig in the dirt for beetles, sometimes we dip-net for tadpoles and sometimes we dissect owl pellets looking for mouse skulls. Good, old school fun. 

Since 1968, Ijams Nature Center has been a safe place for urban kids to explore nature and separate the fact from the fiction. 

Shelley and I also talked about Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. The author writes that, "Our children are the first generation to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world."

Children today grow up confined indoors. Being cut-off from reality, young people are left isolated in the virtual world of the Internet and often violent video games. They lose the sense of freedom and the awareness that the world is explorable, knowable and infinitely fascinating.

My next Ijams Ology is Hawk-ology (hawks, falcons and eagles), Sunday, November 20 at 2 p.m. To register call 577-4717, ext. 110. And themed snacks are always welcomed. 

With Shelley Wascom host of Voices of Change on CTV

Mouse skull
Spider looking
Going on a snake hunt
Bird nest making


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