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4-H Natural Sciences/Outdoors
OSU Extension, Benton County 4-H - Increasing Science Literacy in Youth
The goal of the OSU Extension Service 4-H Environmental Education programs is to increase overall natural science literacy in youth in Benton County. Through a variety of educational efforts, community partnerships and the local support of many associated agencies and organizations our staff is engaging over 1,000 youth/year in learning about and exploring local ecosystems.
4-H School Enrichment Programs
4-H Wildlife Steward Program – a 4-H school enrichment program for elementary school classrooms: trained educators support teachers in providing outdoor science learning.
Oregon Season Tracker School Program - Climate Change Citizen Science - a 4-H school enrichment program: a collaborative project linking students with researchers through citizen science to study climate science. Suitable for classrooms grades 4 - 12.
4-H Teen Weedspotters –a 4-H school enrichment program: Bringing Awareness to Action - 4-6 sessions as an in-school and/or summer program for high school youth in rural communities –in partnership with Benton Soil and Water Conservation District and participating science teacher. Participants learn to identify invasive plant species of concern, perform inventory, mapping using GPS, removal and initial restoration on a schoolyard or nearby landowner site.
FOCUS (Forests, Organisms, Creeks, yoU Study) - a 4-H school enrichment program: a full day field based science exploration for classrooms grades 3 - 5 sited at Beazell Memorial Forest. Students explore outdoors, use the science lab, make sound maps & record observations in their own field journal. Lessons address NGSS & Common Core Standards.
Professional Development for Formal and Non-formal Educators
For Teachers and Community Educators – educator workshops for teachers and community educators at a local natural area. Science based content focuses on specific topics working with youth in outdoor settings: climate change citizen science –phenology, birds, native plants, wetlands, invasive species, forests, etc..
Natural Resource Educators Working Group – created in 2004, this working group of community environmental educators is led by OSU Extension, Benton County. It brings together over 30 agencies, organizations and non-profits. The focus of the group is to provide a continuum of environmental education opportunities for youth and adults in Benton County.
Find professional development workshops for formal and non-formal educators, activities and events for families and students.
Recent Events - past natural resource events and workshops!
Get Outdoors Day - is hosted in partnership by OSU College Forests and OSU Extension Service (Benton County Forestry & Natural Resources and 4-H). The event encourages youth and families, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters. The goal is to “connect youth and first-time visitors to the great outdoors and support the ideals of sustainability, fitness and nutrition”.
Curriculum and Resources
Ecology Field Cards of the Willamette Valley – a five set series of outdoor educational materials, (Douglas-fir Forest, Oak Woodland, Upland Prairie, Riparian Bottomland, Wetland and Wet Prairies) . These laminated, graphically rich, ecology field cards and accompanying 40 page, educator’s guide describe 50 of the most common organisms (plants, fungi, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians) found in a particular habitat in the local ecosystem.
Educator Kits and Lending Library - Over a dozen natural resource educator kits and related curriculum (K-12) focused on local ecology are available for check out at the OSU Extension Service, Benton County. These kits are used frequently by public and home school teachers, community educators, 4-H and Scout club leaders.
Natural Resources and Science Curriculum and Materials - Habitat Naturalist Booklets and other science curriculum information great for engaging the students in your life with the world around them!