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Alaska

Science Community Connections

Students in Sitka have many opportunities to work with scientists and explore sceintific inquiry grounded in practice both through the school district and through community based organizations. If you would like more information about informal science education collaboration or to add some activities to this list, please contact Ashley Bolwerk.


Community Schools
Contacts: Mandy Summer and Margaret Galanin
Website:

  • 21st Century After School: This Community Schools program provides enrichment opportunities for students that qualify for the program(students who are either economically disadvantaged or scoring below grade level on standardized tests). 21st Century partners with the  Science Center for science enrichment activities once a week.
  • Community Recycle Program: Sitka Community Schools is revamping the Community recycle program. It will now be a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Program with a heavy emphasis on education. This year Community Schools will have an Americorps Volunteer who will be creating school curriculum and extracurricular events to promote the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

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Keet Gooshi Heen (KGH) Elementary School
Contact: Rebecca Himschoot

  • Stream Team: This recess program is geared toward 5th grade students. They monitor Cutthroat Creek, the weather, and other local factors throughout the year, with an additional guest expert from time to time.
  • Science Night: It’s a science open house for the whole family, where you can explore everything from the sky to the ocean. Local organizations and visiting groups from throughout Southeast bring their favorite science activities to share here in Sitka.
  • Project Fair: Each spring KGH students can explore those topics which peak their curiosity as they prepare for the Project Fair. Collaboration with experts is encouraged!

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Sitka Conservation Society (SCS)
Contact: Tracy Gagnon
Website: www.sitkawild.org

  • Fish 2 Schools: Fish 2 Schools is a program that provides locally caught fish for the school lunch program, along with educational programming at KGH and Blatchley.
  • Sitka Way of Life 4H Club: The 4H club meets in the evenings and on the weekends to teach students local skills related to hunting, harvesting, food preparation, crafts, and navigation.
  • Conservation Classroom: This year the SCS Jesuit Volunteer will be teaming up with a classroom at KGH to explore many of the ways that students can conserve and make environmentally sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

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Sitka High School
Contact: Rob Parsons

  • Lego Robotics Class: Sitka High will be offering a Lego Robotics Class this year.  Students will explore programming, building, and testing their personally designed machines.
  • Science Mentor Program: This program has infiltrated many of the resource management and professional science organizations (Sitka Conservation Society, US Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, UAS, etc) in Sitka to connect Sitka High School students with a science mentor.  These student/mentor pairs pursue a research project throughout the school year.
  • Field Science: The Sitka High Field Science Class will be pairing up with the US Forest Service and SCS to learn field science methods and techniques.  The class also links local scientists and resource managers with students through a bi-weekly guest lecture and activity series.
  • National Honor Society: Members of the National Honor Society are required to do a set amount of community service each year.  Many of these students would love to help out with science related community activities.

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Sitka Sound Science Center
Contacts: Alaina Avery, Ashley Bolwerk, and Lisa Busch
Website: www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org

  • Pre-K Palooza: Once a month the Science Center is inundated with young enthusiastic scientists. Classes visit the Science Center throughout the day to explore a different topic each month.
  • B2: Be a Biologist: This is an after school program open to students grades 3-5. There will be two five-week sessions offered this fall to give students and opportunity to develop their love of science.
  • 21st Century After School: This joint program with Community Schools brings members of the program to the Science Center for science enrichment activities on a weekly basis.
  • Eco Explorers: This lunch program at Blatchley Middle School strives to support meaningful, outdoor connections to the natural environment and the amazing science community that exists in Sitka. The program is offered once a week.
  • Science Mentor Program: This program has infiltrated many of the resource management and professional science organizations (Sitka Conservation Society, US Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, UAS, etc) in Sitka to connect Sitka High School students with a science mentor. These student/mentor pairs pursue a research project throughout the school year.
  • Sitka High GIS: The Science Center is pairing up with two high school students from SHS to complete a community-based GIS project this fall. The students have learned GPS and GIS mapping skills and are seeking to complete a project, which will be meaningful to the environment and community, through their spatial analysis skills.
  • Scientists in the Schools (Sitka Whale Fest)
  • Taking AME

Sitka Tribe of Alaska
Contact: Victoria Canul-Dunne
Resource: Nancy Douglas

After school program: This program is run in conjunction with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and strives to encourage place-based learning with regard to traditional skills and land stewardship.
    
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