News Release

April 18, 2012

Celebrating 20 Years of Success, the Junior Duck Stamp Program Puts on a Fresh Face with New Curriculum Guides

Media Contacts:
Rachel F. Levin, (703) 358-2405
Noemi Perez, (703) 358-2688

Created two decades ago as an innovative way to teach children about wetlands and waterfowl, the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program reaches more than 27,000 students each year, giving them the opportunity to learn scientific principles, connect with their natural world, and artistically express their knowledge of the beauty, diversity and interdependence of wildlife.

"Now in its twentieth year of connecting children to nature through the arts, the Junior Duck Stamp Program just keeps getting better," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "We've designed a new educational curriculum that will spark kids interest in habitat conservation and careers in natural resources through science, art, math and technology."

As part of its 20th Anniversary, the Junior Duck Stamp Program has updated its hallmark arts and science curriculum to make it fresh, modern and even more relevant and engaging for today's teachers and students. The new Junior Duck Stamp Program Educators Guide and Youth Guide provide 10 lesson plans, with exercises and activities focusing on conservation science, our changing natural world, and fun. The new curriculum guides are available for download at www.fws.gov/juniorduck.

Written, field-tested and evaluated by educators and biologists, the new curriculum includes such elements as using the internet as a conservation tool and discussion about today's conservation challenges, including climate change and its impact on wetland habitat. It is multi-culturally relevant and available to all American students, and it incorporates information about careers in conservation.

"Aimed at students in grades 5-8, this new curriculum gives students - and teachers - an opportunity to investigate what is fun, unique and mysterious about waterfowl and wetlands in North America," said Migratory Birds Chief Jerome Ford. "It stresses wildlife observation, nature journaling, and photography whether in their own backyards or among the natural treasures of the 100-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System."

To make them useful right off the shelf, the new Junior Duck Stamp curriculum guides meet a number of national educational standards, including the National Science Education Standards, North American Association for Environmental Education standards and National Visual Arts education standards for children in grades K-12.

As part of the curriculum, students are encouraged to create drawings and paintings of waterfowl to submit to their state Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Winning art from each state is judged in a national contest for a chance to be made into the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sales of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp benefit state conservation education throughout the United States.

The 2012 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest will be held Friday, April 20, at the Patuxent Research Refuge, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, Md. The event is free and open to the public, and will be streamed live on the Web beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern. For more details and to watch the Webcast, go to www.fws.gov/juniorduck.