The West Virginia Outdoor Learning Lab will introduce scouts to the world of environmental
science, technology, engineering and math (E-STEM). The lab will include
a series of fun hands-on outdoor activities centered on the BSA.
As part of the West Virginia Outdoor Learning Lab, scouts will complete activities to earn an environmental-STEM patch at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in southern West Virginia.
Through the program, scouts will earn a patch while learning about ecology, biology, water science, wildlife and wetlands. To earn the patch, scouts must pick up a WVOLL activity book and complete four out of the eight activities over the course of the National Jamboree. The scouts will use observational skills, critical thinking and modern technology to take measurements, enter data and plot simple graphs to see the results.
“Today’s scouts are computer-savvy and our program will integrate their existing
skills with their interest in understanding natural processes. This, in turn, will
be a gateway to pursuing higher education in the E-STEM fields and, perhaps careers,”
said Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute
West Virginia University.
By completing the program activities, scouts will earn the WVOLL program patch.
Over the past year, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences have worked with WVWRI staff and the BSA to install a network of research equipment to study the climate and ecological makeup of the Reserve. The research forms the basis of a unique interactive curriculum that engages the scouts through E-STEM activities.
The team includes Jim Anderson , professor of wildlife and fisheries resources, Nicolas Zegre , associate professor of forest hydrology, Richard Thomas, professor of biology, Dave Smaldone , associate professor of resource recreation and tourism and Eric Merriam , post-doctoral research assistant.
“We are really excited to showcase this project at the Jamboree,” said Andrew Stacy , WVOLL project manager.
“I think the scouts will enjoy the program we’ve put together. The activities are based outdoors and are fun, interactive and will challenge the scouts to apply themselves.”
The reserve is the BSA’s newest high-adventure camp and is adjacent to the New River Gorge National River and more than 13 miles of the property border the park, providing access to more than 70,000 acres of managed, Appalachian highlands wilderness beyond the summit property. Approximately, 40,000 scouts are expected to be on site for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree with about 20,000 cycling through the site every two weeks during the remainder of the summer.
See additional story at:
CONTACT: Andrew Stacy, West Virginia Water Research Institute
Check http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/ daily for the latest news from the University.
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.