Seeing through eagles’ eyes, extracting strawberry DNA, and a bingo scavenger hunt are among the activities created by the Kansas Wetlands Education Center to entertain and educate budding young scientists over the spring break in March.
From March 9-20, the KWEC will host drop-in science camps for students of all ages, taught by Fort Hays State University students. No registration and no fee is required.
The activities will be from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Monday, March 9 and 16 – Sprout into spring by discovering all about seeds. How can a tiny seed contain all the parts of a plant? Campers will dissect seeds to see what’s inside, learn how to plant and grow them, and they will make take home a garden veggie seed tape and a plantable gift tag of flower seeds.
Tuesday, March 10 and 17 – DNA is in all living things, and students in this lab will become lab scientists when they extract, isolate and observe the DNA of a strawberry – in minutes. It is an easy and fun experiment that can be performed with common household items.
Wednesday, March 11 and 18 – For those who like scavenger hunts, bingo, and nature, this activity is for them. They can win a game of bingo by filling in their cards with natural finds at the education center. In case of inclement weather, the activity will be indoors.
Thursday, March 12 and 19, and Sunday, March 15 – Whether you are exploring motion, gravity or water, physics can be found everywhere, and the inner workings of the universe can be observed through experiments with many household items. In this camp, students will build a balloon powered car, determine the center of gravity for balancing any object, and explore how water infiltrates different substances.
Friday, March 13 and 20 and Saturday, March 14 – How do predatory birds use their eyes to catch prey, and why do owls, eagles, and hawks have eyes in the front of their heads? These questions and others will be answered in a fun activity that lets participants play at being a bird of prey trying to catch its next meal. In the process, they will learn about the importance of stereoscopic vision.
Bonus KWEC WILD Activity – Monday, March 9 and 16 at 9:30 a.m. – The WILD Club is looking for new families. The club is an initiative of the Kansas Green School Network for school-age kids who want to explore nature and get outside. Participants in this activity will construct and paint bird house gourds to attract feathered friends to their backyards this spring. Registration is required for this program by calling KWC at 877-243-9268.
The KWEC is located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend along K-156 at Cheyenne Bottoms. Hours for the KWEC from March 9-20 are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information visit wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu or call 877-243-9268.