Outdoor Education

Explore all workshops in the Outdoor Education track below!

icon graphic for Animal Science and Agriculture

4-H Citizen Science

  • Wednesdays, July 5 – August 2
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Open to all youth ages 9 and up
  • Maximum 15 attendees

Did you know that YOU are a scientist and can contribute to the science community?!? This virtual 4-H citizen scientists club encourages youth to practice citizen science in their own backyard, with a variety of citizen science opportunities to consider, and report their observations while making connections with fellow citizen scientists in their community and around the state. Youth will need outside access and the ability to take and share photos online. Register by June 23.

Getting Creative with Nature’s Canvas

  • Thursdays, July 6 – August 3
  • 1:30 – 3:00 pm
  • Open to all youth
  • Maximum 12 attendees

Are you just itching to express some creative energy? In this workshop, youth will get to explore all the creativity the environment has to offer! By collecting and utilizing the nature found in your daily life, we’ll create marvelous bean mosaics, sun print cyanotypes, potato block print scenes, and pinecone gnome sculptures. Youth are encouraged to let their creative energy loose in every class! They’ll even have the opportunity to share their work and sit down for a Q&A session, with a real Maine artist. We can’t wait to get crafting! Register by June 21.

Learn to Love Pollinators

  • Wednesdays, July 5 – August 2
  • 11:00 am – Noon
  • Open to all Maine youth ages 9 and up
  • Maximum 12 attendees

Do you like insects that pollinate? Do you like to explore gardens, meadows, and plants that are native to our environment? Join this workshop series to learn more about pollinators, and how and why they are important. Each week we will explore something new related to Maine’s pollinators. Activities will include exploring bee anatomy, dissecting a flower, designing a virtual pollinator garden, exploring the area around you and discovering how it does or does not support pollinators and more. Materials will be provided and mailed to participants. Some gathering of items from outdoors will be required to participate. Register by June 23.

Nature Science Journaling

  • Mondays, July 10 – August 7
  • 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • Open to Maine youth ages 9 and up
  • Maximum 12 attendees

In this 5-week workshop series, we will become natural scientists as we observe, describe, and draw the patterns we find in nature. Combining scientific observations with drawing, we will work on developing our attention to detail as we explore the big and small natural patterns all around us. You do not need to be good at drawing to enjoy this workshop! Materials will be provided. Register by June 26.

Owl Pellet Detectives: Uncovering the Secrets of the Woods

  • Tuesdays: July 11, 18, and 25
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm 
  • Open to all Maine youth ages 10 – 16
  • Maximum 15 attendees

Join us to discover facts about owls native to Maine and what they eat. Participants will each receive an owl pellet to dissect. Materials will be provided and mailed to participants. Session three will feature a guest speaker to share more about owl pellets and how they can help with research. You will also learn how to be a citizen scientist and help collect data! Register by June 30.

Tick Trackers

  • Tuesdays, July 13, 20, and August 10
  • 10:00 – 11:15 am
  • Open to Maine youth ages 9 and up
  • Maximum 10 attendees

Join the mission to monitor and study ticks in your community! Join Farmer Kristin of Lone Spruce Farm and Carla from the 4-H Tick Project for an interactive exploration of ticks in Maine. This workshop will explore ticks by collecting and preserving your own, identifying species, investigating where ticks are found in Maine, taking safety precautions when outdoors, and more. Participants will conduct tick drags to collect tick specimens in their local area. Specimens are returned to Hancock County 4-H, and then submitted to the UMaine Diagnostic Research Laboratory Tick Lab for identification and disease testing, which contributes to the lab’s Tick Surveillance program. Youth data also contribute to a community science (aka “citizen science”) project called the Maine Forest Tick Survey, which is a multiyear, multidisciplinary research project established to determine how forest land management practices impact tick populations and disease risk across Maine. The project provides youth an opportunity to explore ticks and tick-borne diseases, which is a connected story of climate, ecosystem change, and public health.

All materials will be provided and will be available for pick up at your local county Extension office prior to the first meeting. Register by June 16.

Winged Wonders: Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond

  • Monday, July 10, 17, 24, 31, and August 7
  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Open to youth ages 12 and up
  • Maximum 15 attendees

In this series, youth will learn what birds and dinosaurs have in common, learn to identify birds around them, explore bird flight, and learn about feeding birds in their backyard. We will meet weekly to get to know each other, share and reflect on what we have learned, and to introduce new topics. This series will require about an hour of independent work between sessions with materials accessed through our virtual classroom. Register by June 26.

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