Okay, the kids didn’t really take over, but there was a lot of them, and they came in waves, not unlike a zombie apocalypse, albeit a very enthusiastic and well behaved zombie apocalypse! Last week OWCN had the privilege to host a group of 60 students from Cobblestone Elementary in Rocklin, California at our office building on the UC Davis campus.
This was a very unique outreach for us, as we usually go to schools and have limited space to work in. Instead of a short presentation and a handful of quick activities, we took advantage of a large lobby in our building (and a very gracious set of helpers from the One Health Institute), and hosted a wider array of hands on activities. The kids were able to visit up to 10 stations to learn about oiled wildlife response, and earn enough “punches” on their activity card, to get a small prize on the way out.
We had some of our old favorite kids activities, such as washing feathers and Tim’s famous safety section, where kids get to try on PPE, not to mention our “lard glove” station, where kids learn about insulation in non-furred marine mammals. However, this time around we were able to add in many more stations, including looking at damaged vs. undamaged feathers under a microscope, field stabilization trivia in our MASH, and using maps and computers to project the trajectory of an oil spill.
In all, this outreach was our most successful to date, and hopefully we will have more opportunities to host this type of outreach at our office space. Additionally, a number of kids informed us that we will be seeing them as volunteers in 6-7 years when they turn 18!