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A group of participants poses for a photo in front of the visitor’s center
Information icon Outdoor Eco Day partners gather at the end of a rewarding day. Photo by Moria Painter, USFWS.

STEM enrichment for fourth graders at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery

What could be better than a beautiful, crisp, sunny October day spent at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery enjoying hands-on science fun? On Friday, Oct. 27, a 10-year tradition continued when more than 230 Russell County fourth graders spent the day immersing in nine exciting STEM stations at the annual Outdoor Eco Day hosted by Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, the Friends of Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery and the Russell County Soil Conservation District. (STEM is an educational acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)

Students explored nine different STEM related stations, spending 20 minutes at each. Kentucky State Parks presented Serpentine Time, which focused on the importance of snakes in our lives and included a close look at helpful, friendly snakes. The Lake Cumberland Bee Keepers discussed Pollinators and taught the kids the importance of honeybees and other pollinators in our lives. The Kentucky Division of Waste Management presented an energetic recycle relay that brought attention to what materials can be recycled and kept the kids moving.

Three children gather around a solar panel powering a fan.
Fourth grade students study how solar energy produces power and how it can be manipulated. Photo by Moria Painter, USFWS.

Wolf Creek presented a hands-on activity demonstrating how trout eggs are processed at the hatchery. The Kentucky Division of Air Quality presented Drivers Start Your Engines, an interactive race where students calculated the fuel economy of various vehicles. Natural Resource Conservation and the Soil Conservation District demonstrated soil erosion and water quality by utilizing the enviroscape model. Lindsey Wilson College Sustainability students gave a presentation on alternative power sources by using several solar models. We also were happy to partner with Hidden River Cave, presenting karst landscapes and the Kentucky Division of Water presenting the Incredible Journey, every drop of water that has ever been on earth still exists it just moves around and takes on different forms.

Students, teachers, and presenters left the day feeling uplifted and more knowledgeable. Each teacher was presented with a goodie bag for the classroom that included science posters related to topics from the day, new science classroom books and many other reminders of a great Outdoor Eco experience.

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