Educational Service Unit #13 Student Events
ESU #13 (NE Dept. of Education) coordinates several student events along with their partners Platte River Basin Environments, Inc., Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, National Park Service, North Platte Natural Resources District, Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools, Scottsbluff Family YMCA Trails West Camp, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, , Panhandle Rock & Gem Club, Riverside Zoo, Scottsbluff Family YMCA Trails West Camp, NE Prairie Partners, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, North Platte Valley Museum, Banner County Historical Society, Pheasants Forever, and Farm And Ranch Museum.
Branch Out, 6th grade
6th grade students from ESU come to the Wildcat Hills for a half day interactive program to learn all about trees. Sessions are presented by area resource professionals: fire as a tool for forestry management, tree identification, tree products and benefits, lets “build” a tree, wildlife uses of trees, and the students take part in planting tree seedlings provided by the North Platte Natural Resource District. Contact Kim Elder, email@example.com
Let’s Rock, 7-8th grades
This geology event takes students back into geologic time to examine the geology of Scotts Bluff National Monument, learn about the geologic timeline, and examine various rocks, gem, & fossils. The students hike down the Bluff with interpreters and view the geologic strata of the area. Contact Valerie_newman@nps.gov
NGPC Panhandle Expo (Careers, Health & Wellness), 7th grade
Nebraska Game and Parks presents this Expo for Panhandle students to try their hand at various nature-related activities, and learn about their related careers, all the while getting students outdoors & active. Fishing, photography, GPS, firearms, archery, wildlife, aerobics, canoeing, and many other topics are choices the students have. The event takes place at the YMCA Trails West Camp. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Wonders, 5th grade
The Mitchell Event Center hosts a day of water education. Students travel to various stations to take part in water-related activities: water rockets (water properties) water uses, the water cycle, conservation, and groundwater. The backdrop is a huge 30 foot walk-in whale. Contact Jana Schwartz, email@example.com
During January & February classroom programs are presented to ESU #13 students in preparation for the US Fish and Wildlife Service Jr. Duck Stamp Competition. An artist and naturalist combine forces to present a program that teaches about wetlands, adaptations, and waterfowl and the students begin an art project for the competition. Since 2005, a student from ESU #13 has won the NE Best of Show. Please see the “Products for sale” section of this website to order them. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Children and Nature in Our Parks
This organization is a partnership of many of the agencies within the Panhandle of Nebraska who provide nature oriented education: Educational Service Unit #13 (NE Dept. of Education), Platte River Basin Environments, Inc., Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, National Park Service, North Platte Natural Resources District, Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools, Scottsbluff Family YMCA Trails West Camp, Farm And Ranch Museum, Community Evergreen House, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Children’s University, and City of Scottsbluff Parks and Recreation Dept. The mission of the partnership is to provide quality outdoor educational opportunities for families and students utilizing the wealth of natural areas and parks within the Panhandle of Nebraska. Many of the educational events listed on this website are sponsored by Children and Nature in Our Parks and correlate to educational standards. For further information contact email@example.com.
A grant from the National Park Service in 2008 provided funding for the High Plains Science Adventures summer science camp and also Visit Our National Parks.
The cities of Scottsbluff and Gering are currently in the process of redeveloping Riverside Park. A grant from the National Park Service is providing for informational kiosks that tell about the plants, animals, history, and tourist sites of the area. Children and Nature in Our Parks will be featured on one of the kiosks which will have information about the outdoor educational opportunities that are provided in the Panhandle of NE.
High Plains Science Adventures, 6th -8th grades
Each summer students spend 5 days with scientists and explore a different area of science. 2007 focused on “Water, Water, Everywhere”. Students canoed the North Platte River, explored Nine-Mile Creek (a creek where water-sucking invasive species have been eradicated), studied meteorology, the connection between groundwater and surface water, and learned how water influences many areas of our lives in the west.
In 2008 “Paleontology: Can You Dig It?” was the science topic. The students dug for fossils with paleontologists, traveled to the Mammoth Site in SD and Agate Fossil Beds in NE, and learned all about the wealth of fossils along the Fossil Freeway of NE/SD. Registration takes place during the winter each year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org