The Science Mill is honored to receive a Texas Outside grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) for our Science Outside! Club. The CO-OP was founded by TPWD in 1996 to help introduce underserved populations to environmental education, conservation and outdoor recreation programs. The Science Mill’s new Science Outside! Club will further this initiative by engaging fourth through eighth grade students (and their parents) from rural communities in Blanco and Burnet Counties in outdoor science and recreational activities.
“The Science Mill is committed to significantly expanding its out-of-school, outdoor science activities in order to better serve young people from underrepresented populations. Our goal is to inspire young people to envision themselves in STEM careers related to outdoor recreation, conservation and land management. We also want to foster a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors, conservation and the environment,” said Dr. Robert Elde, Science Mill Founder, Science Director and Vice Chair of the Board.
The Science Outside! Club is a collaboration between the Science Mill and Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve, the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, Inks Lake State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park and Blanco State Park. Club meetings will take place at the Science Mill, and participants will also have access activities and events hosted by our partner organizations.
“The Science Mill has a history of successfully offering STEM- and career-focused summer camps and field trip activities, and we are excited to begin collaborating with organizations whose expertise and outdoor spaces are necessary for doing first-rate science outdoors,” said Elde. “We are proud to partner with the State Parks near our communities, the Bamberger Ranch and the LBJ National Historical Park to create and deliver this program.”
Science Outside! activities will include using Micro:Bit and Weather:Bit technology to create personal, digital weather stations, studying aquatic science, learning about conservation efforts and more. Club participants will meet with experts from the Science Mill and local communities for hands-on learning sessions. They will also complete assignments on their own in between club meetings, and report back on their findings.
Keep an eye on this space and our social media profiles for updates on the Science Outside! Club! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.