Family Science Night–Showcasing the JV Phenology Project

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    Kristin Joivell

    To celebrate and showcase the 2 years of work conducted during the JV Phenology Project, all families, students, administration, and faculty at the JV School District were invited to attend this evening program conducted in May 2018.  After watching a short presentation I conducted to summarize all the science studies completed through JV Phenology Project, the over 150 attendees explored interactive booths set up by community science partners, enjoyed phenology themed snacks provided by the our school’s Parent and Teacher Organization, examined data collected by students, and scrutinized art created by students during the science studies completed during the JV Phenology Project.

    Each community science partner represented some aspect of phenology at their interactive booths.  It was exciting to see how each representative worked to relate their field to the science of phenology with aspects of invasive pests, fly fishing, bird migrations, and identifying plant phenophases being focused on to name just a few examples.

    The community science partners included the following groups and organizations:

    Greenwood Furnace State Park

    Juniata Valley Audubon Society

    Little Juniata River Association

    Juniata Valley Sustainability Club

    Pennsylvania Game Commission

    Center for Science and the Schools

    Huntingdon County Conservation District

    Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey

    Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

    Overall, I think the JV Phenology Project was a huge success!  In an elementary school of about 350 total students, there were 112 students that participated in the studies that I conducted—that’s over 30% of the whole elementary school!  Since over 150 attendees came to Family Science Night in May 2018 during the busy baseball season and nice spring weather, I was very pleased to have such a great turnout!  Most students at our school had never heard of phenology before, but now an awareness of the subject has developed.

    Creating awareness of science education in a small, rural community is something that is very important to me on both a personal and professional level.  I feel that through the JV Phenology Project, I was able to accomplish this goal by providing opportunities for students and families to participate in the studies conducted at our school district and by showcasing the work completed during the studies to the community.

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