The MYN is proud to announce the launch of our new children’s program, “Backyard Naturalists.” The mission of Backyard Naturalists is to inspire a lifelong appreciation of the natural world in children through educational programming that integrates science, art, and technology. The program will draw from the considerable educational resources of the Highlands Nature Center, where staff has provided hands-on science-learning opportunities to help educate the community and promote conservation for over 60 years. Backyard Naturalists will utilize the images produced by MYN to capture the attention of a generation of children fully integrated in technology.
Backyard Naturalists participants will learn the essentials of how to be an amateur naturalist. The program will include eight weeks of lessons structured to promote a better appreciation and understanding of the natural world by nurturing creativity and independent observation skills. Study topics will include learning about plants and animals, community interactions between species, nature journaling, illustration and a nature photography workshop. Using this knowledge, the students will work together to develop a wiki, a website that is collaboratively developed by a community of users, which allows them to freely add content, edit and become active participants of the website rather than just visitors. In this way technology becomes a tool and an asset used to put students in touch with the natural world around them in ways that only beautiful close-up photography can provide. Backyard Naturalists will have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of our participants and encourage them to get outside and explore the natural world that is as close as their own backyards.
The program officially launches on March 19th, 2012 in Highlands, North Carolina and will be available in other locations over the coming months. If you have interest in leading a Backyard Naturalists course in your own community, please email Sonya Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org visit the Backyard Naturalists website for more information.