Walking Mountains programs included 3,500 kids this year
By the numbers
2014-15 school year
4,005: Total students served including private schools.
3,547: Total students served (Eagle County public schools).
44,309: Contact hours including private schools.
40,121: Contact hours (Eagle County public schools).
AVON — Walking Mountains Science Center and Eagle County Schools partnership continues to grow. Every school year, thousands of students visit a Walking Mountains Science Center location to awaken a sense of wonder through outdoor science education. A new partnership with Eagle County Schools for the 2014-15 school year allowed even more students to be served. There are plans to increase that number for the coming school years until all students in Eagle County are able to participate in a Walking Mountains Science Center program.
Over 3,500 Eagle County School students participated this year, which is a 15 percent increase over the previous school year. Not only are more students being served this year, the number of contact hours increased from 35,897 in 2013-14 to over 40,000 this year.
More Time equals Bigger Impact
“While it’s always important to serve more students, we find the more time we spend with students, the greater the impact. We’re very proud to have increased our contact hours by 4,000 over the previous school year,” said Beth Markham, youth programs director at Walking Mountains Science Center.
Programs offered through this partnership:
• School Field Studies: These programs are the heart of Walking Mountains’ work, serving public and private kindergarten through 12 schools with one day and multi-day activities that bring students outdoors while meeting science standards. Covering topics such as weather, snow science, geology rocks, sustainable energy and biodiversity research, these programs complement and enhance the schools’ curriculum. Student assessments indicate consistent improvements in students’ science literacy, interest in being outdoors and environmental stewardship. Along with the single and multi-day programs, Walking Mountains provides Avon Elementary with weekly natural science instruction. This in-school program shows how more consistent lessons have helped to increase science education comprehension by over 45 percent.
• Girls in Science: A popular after school program offered at six middle schools. The program offers science enrichment to girls in grades 3-5, including a large underserved population. Working in a nurturing, safe environment, Girls In Science participants are encouraged to appreciate their own talents, strengths and envision a future that includes self-sustaining jobs in science and higher pay, all while becoming more connected to the natural world around them.
• Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Leadership Academy: An after school program offered at four middle schools to students in sixth and seventh grade. This program engages students in exciting STEM related projects that are driven by student interest and questions and is designed to encourage students to pursue a course of study in science, technology, engineering and math throughout high school and college.
Visit http://www.walkingmountains.org or call 970-827-9725 for more information.