BY REBECCAH HAINES

To you, fall may be exciting due to the return of football, the cooler weather, and the changing foliage.  However, it can also be a season for celebrating science.  Everyone loves a good holiday — a reason to celebrate, let loose, and have some fun.  The following fall science festivals can allow you such an opportunity in your classroom in the upcoming weeks.

September:

World Water Monitoring Day (WWWMD), September 18 – This is an international program designed to provide students hands-on engagement with local water bodies in order to learn about water quality.  Classrooms that participate can monitor a local body of water and report their data and observations to the website.

National Estuaries Day, September 25 – Many of us live near an estuary and estuaries are some of the most biologically productive regions on earth.  Take a moment with your class to celebrate the importance of these habitats.  The website has tons of resources to help you celebrate!

National Public Lands Day (NPLD), September 25 – Wow!  Two celebrations in one day!  NPLD combines community service, outdoor appreciation, and learning about science all in one.  At the website, you can find preregistered sites at which events are already scheduled, or you can register your own site.  Registered sites in North Carolina include trail work at Great Smoky National Park, and lakeshore clean-up at Jordan Lake.  Also at the website, you will find some other educational resources on climate change, trees, and the Gulf oil spill.

October

National Fossil Day, October 13 – Sponsored by the National Park Service, National Fossil Day is “organized to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.”  Students of all ages are curious about fossils, so participating in this science celebration can certainly pique your students’ interest.  Again, the website has lessons and activities that you can use in your classroom to help celebrate this day!

I hope you take the time with your class to celebrate one of these science days. Showing students that science isn’t just about nerdy guys in white coats is always a powerful way to teach.

World Water Monitoring Day (WWWMD), September 18

National Estuaries Day, September 25

National Public Lands Day (NPLD), September 25

National Fossil Day, October 13

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