Next Discovery Days program at Sitka Sound Science Center to be about hearts

hearts_discoveryday2015

The Sitka Sound Science Center recently introduced Discovery Days, a free program for annual pass holders that takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on various Saturdays. The next Discovery Days event on Saturday, Feb. 20, when the theme for the day is hearts.

“(Dr.) Paul Bahna, professor at UAS Sitka Campus, will be joining us to take a look at the inner workings of the heart. We’ll compare the hearts of different animals, listen to our hearts, and so much more,” Sitka Sound Science Center Education Manager Ashley Bolwerk said. 

Swing on by the Sitka Sound Science Center, 834 Lincoln St., with the whole family for a variety of examples to explore and hands-on activities. It’s sure to be great time. This is a family event and open to learners of all ages. The Discovery Days program launched in November 2013 and previous programs have been about kitchen chemistry, electricity, fossils, birds, ice, animal tracks, plants, herring, plankton, amphibians, everyday scientists, and hearts, plus there was an overnight aquarium sleepover for kids and parents. The group also hosted a booth at Family Science Day at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Annual passes are available at the door, $50 for families and $30 for individuals. Passes are available on Saturday. Keep your eyes open for upcoming Discovery Days activities.

SitkaSprouts_flyerIn addition, don’t forget the Sitka Sound Science Center recently launched a free new program called, “Sitka Sprouts: Planting the Seeds of Science in the Next Generation,” for kids ages 3-5. Sitka Sprouts takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The program features stories, activities and crafts, and the kids are encouraged to dress for the weather.

For more information, contact education manager Ashley Bolwerk or 747-8878, ext. 22 or abolwerk@sitkascience.org.

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Winter Film Series to highlight oceans with two films in February

February-Films1

GYRE90-22082013164205-600x380-cropped-20130822164205_plastic_artTwo marine-themed films will be presented at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, (doors open at 6:30) and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, during the free Winter Film Series at the Sitka National Historical Park‘s theater. GYRE: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean and Beneath the Reflections are two contrasting films that together highlight the supreme beauty and biodiversity of Alaska’s rich marine waters while also addressing marine conservation issues.

GYRE: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean addresses the issue of marine debris in a creative and artistic way. Documenting a team of scientists, videographers and artists, the film follows the team collecting beach debris from coastal debris hotspots in Alaska. The trash collected is then transformed into vibrant and symbolic art. At the conclusion of the film, the artists are beginning to design their pieces of art. As a bonus to the film, attendees of the film screening will be able to view a slideshow of many of the finished pieces of art that were displayed in the GYRE art exhibit in Anchorage.

BeneathTheReflectionsDVDBeneath the Reflections will take attendees below the surface to view the rarely seen underwater marine ecosystem of Glacier Bay National Park. Revel in the charismatic flora and fauna that call these rich marine waters home.

Be sure to leave room for snacks, as free popcorn will be provided during both screenings. Attendees to the film series will also be eligible to win door prizes provided by park partners.

The Winter Film Series, held monthly at Sitka National Historical Park’s visitor center, is jointly presented by Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka Conservation Society, and the Sitka Sound Science Center.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about Sitka National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/sitk or visit the park’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SitkaNationalHistoricalPark.

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Next Discovery Days program at Sitka Sound Science Center to be about birds

DiscoveryDay_Birds

The Sitka Sound Science Center recently introduced Discovery Days, a free program for annual pass holders that takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on various Saturdays. The next Discovery Days event on Saturday, Feb. 7, when the theme for the day is birds.

“We’ll soar through the amazing adaptations of birds from feathers to talons. Sitka Sound Science Center staff will be joined by special guests from the Alaska Raptor Center for some hands-on fun with birds,” Sitka Sound Science Center Education Manager Ashley Bolwerk said. 

Swing on by the Sitka Sound Science Center, 834 Lincoln St., with the whole family for a variety of examples to explore and hands-on activities. It’s sure to be great time. This is a family event and open to learners of all ages. The Discovery Days program launched in November 2013 and previous programs have been about kitchen chemistry, electricity, fossils, birds, ice, animal tracks, plants, herring, plankton, amphibians, everyday scientists, and hearts, plus there was an overnight aquarium sleepover for kids and parents. The group also hosted a booth at Family Science Day at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Annual passes are available at the door, $50 for families and $30 for individuals. Passes are available on Saturday. Keep your eyes open for upcoming Discovery Days activities.

SitkaSprouts_flyerIn addition, don’t forget the Sitka Sound Science Center recently launched a free new program called, “Sitka Sprouts: Planting the Seeds of Science in the Next Generation,” for kids ages 3-5. Sitka Sprouts takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The program features stories, activities and crafts, and the kids are encouraged to dress for the weather.

For more information, contact education manager Ashley Bolwerk or 747-8878, ext. 22 or abolwerk@sitkascience.org.

2015 docent flyerFinally, high school students and adults can train to become a docent. As interpreters, docents encourage visitors to explore the breadth the Molly O. Ahlgren Aquarium and Sheldon Jackson Hatchery have to offer. This program will consist of 12 weekly sessions, each running from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Feb. 11 through April 29. These training sessions cover introductory material from public speaking to biological sciences, perfect for those looking to enhance their understanding of marine and terrestrial life here in Sitka, Alaska.  For more information or to apply, visithttp://www.sitkascience.org/about/volunteer-opportunities/docent-program/ or contact Taylor White at twhite@sitkascience.org. Continuing education credit is available.

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Yaa Khusgé Yaaw Woogoo will teach sixth-grade students about herring during spring break

2006 Herring collection 007

HerringBranchesThe Sitka School District and the Outdoor Foundation, in partnership with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Sitka National Historical Park, will host a free, week-long marine science and culture camp during spring break, March 16-20, for 20 sixth-grade, middle-school students.

Yaa Khusgé Yaaw Woogoo — Knowledge-of-Herring Camp — provides students the chance to explore the cultural and ecological importance of herring in a hands-on camp. Participants will use cutting-edge technology while working with renowned marine ecologist Michelle Ridgway to study Pacific herring in the field and in the lab. Students who participate in the camp will gain valuable experience conducting scientific research and will gain a deeper understanding of the critical role herring play in Southeast Alaska’s marine ecosystem, as well as the cultural significance of this keystone species.

Daily camp activities will include observing herring and other marine wildlife during marine field trips, conducting research throughout Sitka Sound and in the lab, learning about herring’s cultural significance from Native elders and culture bearers, exploring Sitka’s coastline to learn about critical herring habitat and using advanced scientific technology. Each daily session, held from 12:30-5:30 p.m., will conclude with a presentation or field activity lead by scientists, Native elders or local herring experts.

Applications are available at the Sitka National Historical Park visitors center, 106 Metlakatla St., at Blatchley Middle School, or they can be downloaded at http://www.nps.gov/sitk. All applicants must be in the sixth grade. Interested participants should submit an application by Feb. 20 to receive priority consideration. Completed applications should be returned to staff at Sitka National Historical Park’s visitor center. The hours of operation for the visitor center are Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional information, please contact Ryan Carpenter at 747-0121.

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Sitka Sound Science Center to host beer density discussion at Baranof Island Brewing Company

BeerDensity-flyer

Liquids can have different densities or gravities depending on a variety of conditions, such as temperature or ingredients. That’s one reason frozen water (ice) floats in water at room temperature, because the warmer water is more dense than the ice.

From 6-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, the Sitka Sound Science Center will host visiting Scientists in the Schools presenter Julia O’Hern as she leads a discussion and experiments about beer density to adults at the Baranof Island Brewing Company taproom at 215 Smith St. O’Hern has been in Sitka this week doing a series of presentations on marine science and liquid density knowledge to third-graders at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Various types of beer have different densities, and they can change during the brewing process. During Friday’s presentation, you’ll be able to pour a bit of one type of beer into another, then watch to see how the beers separate from each other so the denser beer is on the bottom. A good example of this is the half and half (or black and tan), which has a pale ale or lager on the bottom with a darker and less-dense stout or porter on the top as a layered drink. Another experiment includes mixing a cold beer with a warm version of the same beer. After the experiments, O’Hern will be around to chat about her exploits as an oceanographer.

“Density is important to oceanography because density drives ocean currents, nutrient cycling, and therefore biological habitat preference,” said Ashley Bolwerk, Sitka Sound Science Center Education Coordinator. “We are just going to briefly discuss how density works by using beer to separate layers, which actually happens in the ocean with different temperatures and salinities.”

Also, the Sitka Sound Science Center is excited to introduce its monthly Volunteer Day on one Saturday a month. We’re asking volunteers, who have always wanted to give back to the Science Center, to swing by from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 31, to help out with our various volunteer projects. This month, we’ll be tackling some painting projects. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join. Painting supplies will be provided, but wear your painting clothes.

For more information, contact education manager Ashley Bolwerk or 747-8878, ext. 22 or abolwerk@sitkascience.org.

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Next Sitka Sound Science Center Discovery Days program to be about marine debris at Keet Gooshi Heen Family Science Saturday

DiscoveryDay_MarineDebris

The Sitka Sound Science Center recently introduced Discovery Days, a free program for annual pass holders that takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on various Saturdays. The next Discovery Days event on Saturday, Jan. 24, when the theme for the day is marine debris. For this week only, the program will host a booth from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Keet Gooshi Heen Family Science Saturday event at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

“Our exhibit will explore marine debris, but there will be exhibits from the USDA Forest Service, Alaska Raptor Center, University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, and so many more. There even will be starlab shows in the mobile planetarium. This is a free, family oriented event, and it’s always a ton of fun,” Sitka Sound Science Center Education Manager Ashley Bolwerk said. 

Normally, on every other Saturday, families can swing on by the Sitka Sound Science Center, 834 Lincoln St., for a variety of examples to explore and hands-on activities.This is a family event and open to learners of all ages. It’s sure to be great time. However this week there is no additional Discovery Days event, just the Keet Gooshi Heen Family Science Saturday. The Discovery Days program launched in November 2013 and previous programs have been about kitchen chemistry, electricity, fossils, birds, ice, animal tracks, plants, herring, plankton, amphibians, and hearts, and there was an overnight aquarium sleepover for kids and parents. The group also hosted a booth last year at Family Science Day at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School.

Annual passes are available at the door, $50 for families and $30 for individuals. Passes are available on Saturday. Keep your eyes open for upcoming Discovery Days activities.

SitkaSprouts_flyerIn addition, don’t forget the Sitka Sound Science Center recently launched a free new program called, “Sitka Sprouts: Planting the Seeds of Science in the Next Generation,” for kids ages 3-5. Sitka Sprouts takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The program features stories, activities and crafts, and the kids are encouraged to dress for the weather.

For more information, contact education manager Ashley Bolwerk or 747-8878, ext. 22 or abolwerk@sitkascience.org.

The Sitka Sound Science Center is excited to introduce our monthly Volunteer Day on one Saturday a month. We’re asking volunteers, who have always wanted to give back to the Science Center, to swing by from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 31, to help out with our various volunteer projects. This month, we’ll be tackling some painting projects. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join. Painting supplies will be provided, but wear your painting clothes.

Finally, high school students and adults can train to become a docent. As interpreters, docents encourage visitors to explore the breadth the Molly O. Ahlgren Aquarium and Sheldon Jackson Hatchery have to offer. This program will consist of 12 weekly sessions, each running from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Feb. 11 through April 29. These training sessions cover introductory material from public speaking to biological sciences, perfect for those looking to enhance their understanding of marine and terrestrial life here in Sitka, Alaska. For more information or to apply, visithttp://www.sitkascience.org/about/volunteer-opportunities/docent-program/ or contact Taylor White at twhite@sitkascience.org. Continuing education credit is available.

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Explore the fascinating world of ducks during a free film at Sitka National Historical Park

Duck_flyer-1024x791

The next free film in the 2014-15 Winter Film Series is An Original DUCKumentary, which will be shown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Sitka National Historical Park visitors center theater. This film won the 2013 Emmy Award for outstanding nature programming.

From striking iridescent colors, to their complex plumage patterns, ducks add beauty and color to the world around us. But there is more to ducks than this outer beauty, there is their charismatic behavior and fascinating lifestyle. This film also celebrates Sitka’s recently completed Christmas Bird Count on Jan. 4.

The Winter Film Series is a partnership between the Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka Sound Science Center, and Sitka Conservation Society. There will be free popcorn and door prizes, too.

For more information, check out the film series page on the Sitka Sound Science Center website, http://www.sitkascience.org/news/winter-film-series/

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