This was a 2012 pilot program of The Reach Center. It is no longer available. To explore current ecology and other STEM opportunities, contact us to talk with a STEM Guide or search our STEM Resource Bank.
Do you like exploring?
Want to make a difference in the world?
Ever wonder what lives in your backyard?
Explore your world and dive into ecology in a fun, hands-on way in this first year-long program of the Reach Center in collaboration with our partner, the UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H program.
Ecology Explorers will bring a group of students together to learn and do science and math outside of school. To participate in this program this year, you must be in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in 2012-2013, attend a participating middle school in Cumberland County, and commit to actively participate all year in this intensive learning experience, starting with a week-long summer camp at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp & Learning Center (see full list of requirements on the next page).
Have you wanted to experience a science summer camp but found it out of reach? This camp week is entirely free to participants!
What Is Ecology Explorers?
- Interesting and fun activities and workshops at summer camp and at two weekend meetings.
- An introduction to ecology and related science and math topics.
- Educators and scientists who will present information and answer your questions.
- A community of peers to team up with on projects.
- Students in the program help decide what you do—you have a say in what you want to explore.
- An opportunity to learn about and participate in real-world ecology using a service-learning model.
- Online discussions and mini-courses offered on topics of participants’ chosen interest, such as invasive species or forestry.
- Support to complete a service-learning project that you design and develop with other members.
- Free: For students who participate in the full year-long program, the Reach Center will cover the entire cost of the camp fee ($595). All materials and equipment, virtual courses, travel, and lodging and food at in-person meetings are completely free for participants.
How It Works
All of these are required to participate:
- One week this summer at the Bryant Pond summer camp (July 1-July 6)
- One weekend this fall (September or October)
- One weekend next spring
- A final project meeting next spring that will depend on what you choose as your project
- At least 1 to 2 hours each week throughout the school year online or on your own to work on your project and investigate ecology-related topics (including some scheduled online meetings)
- Participation in documenting your progress online throughout the year
All weekend in-person events will be located at Bryant Pond or in the Cumberland County area, and will be scheduled with participants.
What Problems Do Ecologists Solve?
Ecologists study living things and how they interact with each other and the environment. Ecology is important in natural resource management (including forestry and fisheries). Ecology Explorers will select a project to do as a team. This may be a citizen science project. Citizen science is ordinary people—including kids—working with scientists to explore interesting phenomena that change. Some citizen science projects online that could be part of your ecology program study the weather (wxqa.com and cocorahs.org), squirrels (projectsquirrel.org), sunflowers and bees (greatsunflower.org), and invasive species (vitalsignsme.org). There are many more possibilities too!
How to Get Started
This program is recruiting groups of students who attend school in Cumberland County. A summer science camp at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp & Learning Center July 1-6 launches your year-long adventure. Contact us at email@example.com if you have questions.
The online application is closed. However, 4-H Ecology Explorer programs may be available: contact us to learn more.