Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Teaching about wildlife corridors

The MCE's upcoming exhibition, 'How did the cougar cross the road...Restoring Wildlife Passages at Snoqualmie Pass" offers some exciting opportunities to develop new strategies in environmental education in museum settings.   The exhibition is centered on a recreation of the planned wildlife bridge, which will be built over the next several years near Price Creek, south of Lake Keechelas, allowing wildlife to cross the interstate safely. What kinds of safe, educational activities could take place on this ramp and platform? 

For instance, we do have a few wildlife hand puppets: could children use part of the platform as a kind of "Wildlife Puppet Theater" and perform little puppet plays about wildlife for children and adults standing on the floor below?  Would we need to create a kind of small frame with a curtain on the main platform for such a purpose?

Perhaps we could also, in the "Art Lab" section, have materials for children who hope to make their own animal hand puppets, to take home or leave at the museum for other children to use in the Wildlife Puppet Theater.

We will have animal pawprint casts in the show, and also hope to place vinyl pawprints along the pathway leading up the wildlife bridge. What would be good ways to teach children to learn to identify the specific animals associated with each kind of pawprint?

We also have some plastic animal dung or scat from different wild animals. What activities involving this material might be fun and educational for children?

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