The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.
Squirrels are among the most engaging animals of the forest, dashing across logs and leaping from tree to tree. Except for the flying squirrel, they are active during the day, and one of the few wild animals you can actually observe up close. We’ll play some squirrely games and then take a walk to look for these charming bushy-tailed mammals. Bring binoculars if you have them.
This parent/child program is designed for the creative, curious, and active preschooler who loves animals. Each 90-minute session offers a structured series of activities including original songs, movement, dramatic play, hands-on science, and a thematic snack. We'll give you coloring pages to take home, and you'll receive song lyrics, vocabulary, a fun-fact sheet, and a suggested reading list in an email after each class.
Did you know that the wild turkey was Ben Franklin’s nominee for our national bird? Once driven nearly to extinction in much of the United States, the wild turkey has returned. Come learn about this large bird that represents our first American holiday, Thanksgiving. We’ll make a turkey craft and take a walk to catch, with luck, a glimpse of this elusive bird.
In every kind of weather, we love to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats, so join us for one, two, or more of these nature explorations! Each one will focus on the importance of a sense of place as we explore the ecology, sights, and sounds of our natural landscape. Wildlife, local and migrating birds, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy. This session is a coastal forest stroll with a discovery session in the marsh.
It's time for backyard birds to head south for the winter. Joppa Flats Education Center want to give them a proper send-off with a fun, free family event that features bird banding demonstrations, interactive games about bird migration, and lots of table-top science including bird-call recall, bird identification, shorebird feeding challenges, and a mystery bird nest challenge!
Join Artist and Art Teacher Mary Ann McCurdle for one or more of these new family art classes this fall. Each class will begin with a short story, followed by a nature walk, and finish up with a related art project as we celebrate the beauty of the season.
Join the Joppa Flats STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Team, where you will work together with other creative and curious students for a weekly engineering challenge! Under the guidance of Teacher-Naturalist and art educator Jan Morris, this program will challenge your problem-solving skills, increase your awareness of design elements in nautre, and unleash your inner scientist! Possible project themes include erosion control, beaver dam construction, and wind turbines.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on the deck in the salt marsh at Rowley's Rough Meadows for a sing-a-long of sea shanties and maritime poetry, and learn how music was used to entertain, focus on work, and tell stories of nautical life. Bring your blanket and dinner and plan to stay for a picnic under the rising full moon. Instruments and shanty singers are welcome.
Learn about spiders at Ipsiwch River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield during this spooky time of year! All spiders spin silk, but not all make webs to catch their prey. How does a spider spin a web and not get caught in it? Come and find out the other ways these fascinating little animals use their magic threads.
Tuesday, December 12
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