San Francisco and Bozeman, MT. (PRWEB) February 15, 2013
Rocket21™ (the youth social network where kids explore amazing possibilities for their lives and futures) and Turner Endangered Species Fund (supporting endangered species conservation efforts) honored engineering students at Woodland Park, CO High School with a “Dream Big in the Wild” special event on Wednesday, February 13th.
The students and their teacher, Michele Burke, were selected as Grand Prize Winners in a national video competition, designed to increase awareness of wildlife conservation and recovery, as well as to inspire interest in wildlife and environmental science careers. The competition, a collaboration between Rocket21 and Turner Endangered Species Fund, was themed HOWL-O-WEEN: Dream Big in the Wild. The Woodland Park class earned top honors in the 9th through 12th Grade Classroom Division.
As Grand Prize winners, Ms. Burke’s class received an onsite “Howling Party” – a nearly three hour experiential learning opportunity featuring Turner Endangered Species Fund wildlife biologists Val Asher and Hanne Small, both scientists involved in wolf and leopard frog recovery, conservation and research projects in their roles at Turner Endangered Species Fund in Montana and New Mexico.
The visit was especially timely, given the students’ involvement in an ongoing classroom project themed “Working Together to Live Together.” The activity combines the fields of civil engineering and wildlife conservation and presents students with an opportunity to solve problems and apply knowledge gained from other classes.
Ms. Burke discovered the Rocket21 “Dream Big in The Wild” video contest in an article on an engineering website, and thought it would be a perfect tie-in to their ongoing project. She challenged her students to develop a compelling video entry, anticipating that the process of entering the contest would present an opportunity for collaboration and creative problem solving.
Scientists Asher and Small spent the morning with 32 students, including Ms. Burke’s class and a group of environmental science students who were invited to join. In addition to introducing authentic equipment used in the scientists’ ongoing field work, the students had an opportunity to study bones, fur, and tracks. During an interactive session, Asher and Small prompted the youth to think about the future growth of a community, and how that growth may impact the community and the surrounding environment. Perhaps best of all, the students learned first-hand what it’s like to be a scientist working on the front lines of wildlife conservation and recovery.
Teacher Michele Burke noted, “This was a fantastic opportunity for my students. Thank you Rocket21 and Turner Endangered Species Fund for providing my students with the opportunity to have fun making a unique video entry for the Dream Big contest. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have Val and Hanne visit our school and share their science and career expertise.”
Youth across America were invited to create videos featuring their most inspired, passionate, creative, individual brand of wolf howls, to compete for two extraordinary family trips to Montana. Winning howlers will participate in a wolf conservation and recovery activity dubbed a “howling party” along with biologists and researchers at Ted Turner’s Flying D Ranch near Yellowstone Park this summer.
The contest also featured a classroom division, in which classrooms were invited to submit similar videos, to compete for school-based “Howling Parties”; featuring Turner Endangered Species Fund wildlife experts visiting winning classrooms to share their work with participating teachers and students. Rocket21and Turner Endangered Species Fund will visit students in Fairfield, CT. in several weeks.
Click here to view the Woodland Park students' winning video.
Rocket21 provides unprecedented access to world-class experts and organizations while protecting them with a combination of state-of-the-art, real-time filtering and human moderation, extensive safety and security precautions, and a specialized infrastructure designed to keep kids safe.
About Turner Endangered Species Fund
The Turner Endangered Species Fund is a non-profit, private operational charity dedicated to preserving nature by ensuring the persistence of imperiled species and their habitats with an emphasis on private land. The Fund was formed by Ted Turner in June 1997.
For more information about Turner Endangered Species Fund, please contact Mike Phillips at mike(dot)phillips(at)retranches(dot)com.