Archive for the 'Education' Category

Fun with Fishes at Sea Center Texas

Thursday, November 14th, 2019
Sea Center Texas

Sea Center Texas

This is Passport to Texas

Located in Lake Jackson, Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and education center providing creative learning opportunities throughout the year.

Right now, the main educational opportunity that we have are Summer Camps. This year were doing “Wonderful Wetlands,” where they’ll go to dip-net and learn all about the species that live out there. And then, we have “Aquaria-mania, where they will learn what it’s like to work at an aquarium and, they will get to take a behind-the-scenes tour.

We spoke with Juliana Moore this past summer, before the camp started. She is an information specialist at the center.

We have three public fishing events during the year. There’s one in June one in September and the other one is in February. And, those are youth fishing days so, anyone 17 and younger, accompanied by a parent can come out and fish.

And you can have fun with the fishes this holiday season.

We have a big Santa Clause show and Santa Claus actually scuba dives in the tank. So, one of our volunteers will dress up as Santa and gets in there with his elves and they put on a little Christmas show.

Now that’s something you’ve got to see. you can find more Sea Center events on our website; just click on the Parks tab and select Sea Center.

We record our series at The Block House in Austin, and Joel Block engineers our program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Hunter Readiness: Preparing for the Season

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
Hunter education with Steve Hall

Hunter Education Class: TPWD employee Joshua Ndegwa takes shooting instructions form Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

This is Passport to Texas

Deer season is fast approaching, and hunter readiness is key to experiencing a safe and successful hunt.

Preparation, Practice and Planning for that upcoming hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall.

The practice is the big one. I think that in our busy world we just don’t seem to carve out that time. But you can join clubs, you can join shoots like archery shoots or clubs like long-distance rifle shooting to kind of keep your skills honed.

Another way for veteran hunters to sharpen their skills is to become hunter education instructors, giving their knowledge and skills to young hunters. The number one citation written during hunting season is not having a hunter education course, required for anyone born on or before September 2, 1971. Educated hunters understand safety is paramount. Even so, Steve says hunters should be mindful of the most common mishaps.

Even though hunting is safe and getting safer, remember the three top hunting incidents. One is careless handling in and around vehicles. Number two is swinging on game outside of a safe zone of fire, and number three is being sure of your target, what is font of and beyond it.

Have a successful and safe hunting season and remember to share your knowledge with new hunters. That’s how we keep the tradition alive.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Using Nature to Nurture Young Minds

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Learning is even more meaningful when it happens at a state park.

This is Passport to Texas

Nature and nurture join forces when home-schooled children use state parks as their classrooms.

I started doing home schooling because I like to keep my job challenging.

Amy Kocurek is an Interpretative ranger for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy class.

After doing the second home school class, I just started noticing how rewarding it was. I felt just so incredibly, I guess, thankful that I was doing these classes. And, I felt like I was making a really positive impact on these children. Who knows if they would have learned the importance of conservation and preservation in addition to all of these other topics that I’m teaching them.

And, it reminds me that’s the point of being an interpretative park ranger is that your making these impacts on people every time that you talk to them. You don’t always think about and sometimes you forget about it if you’ve been doing the job for a long time. Then you have these moments and you see the light kind of ignite.

When students use the parks and the ranger’s expertise in learning, bonds develop between staff and students.

For me, for the home-schooled class, I can see this light in their eyes and I just know I’m making them think about things that maybe they would never have thought about before, I know that I’m making a difference, an impact. And, it’s just incredibly rewarding.

Life…and learning…is better outside.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

The Outdoor Classroom

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

A homeschool student enjoying his outdoor classroom.

This is Passport to Texas

Imagine a classroom without walls; one that, instead, is in the middle of nature. You don’t have to imagine. State parks welcome a growing number of home-schooled children annually.

I try to do at least one or two home school programs a month

Amy Kocurek is an Interpretative ranger at Martin Dies Jr. State Park. She says students who come to her park do more than sit, listen and memorize.

[We are] a little more hand on. That’s how I think students really learn. When they do something themselves or they experience it in nature. That’s what I try to facilitate – having that one on one experience.

Rangers like Kocurek create learning opportunities where students work on their own and with classmates to explore and understand the complexities of the natural world.

A lot of programs I do for them are programs that I do on the weekend. But, with the home schoolers, you can add a little bit more of an educational sort of classroom component and you can take a lot longer with them.

Classes range from one to three hours and, when possible, make use of the park’s unique features. Topics are wide-ranging and may include reptile studies, Monarch butterflies and fall leaf chemistry.

It’s a little different from regular park visitation or field trips. The home schoolers keep coming back. You build bonds with these kids.

Life… and learning… is better outside. We receive support in part from RAM Trucks: Built to Serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Mentored Hunts for Adults

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Ralston Dorn [background] on mentored hunt.

Ralston Dorn [background] on mentored hunt.

This is Passport to Texas

Interested in hunting but don’t have hunters as friends or family to guide you? Some state parks and wildlife management areas conduct mentored hunting workshops for first-time adult hunters. The program is designed to educate and introduce beginners to the hunting experience.

For the last twenty-one years, no one in my immediate family has ever hunted.

Ralston Dorn is a Dallas paramedic and enthusiastic new hunter

I want to break that cycle. So, I found this through Parks and Wildlife and signed up for it.

Justin Dreibelbis is Ralston’s mentor for the day.

This is an opportunity to come out and, take part in a hunt, learn from experienced hunters and, take skills back to their friends and families so they can go hunting.

[ Ralston] Before taking the shot my adrenaline started pumping. I told Justin, my heart is racing. And, he goes alright slow down.

 [Justin] She’s broadside. When you’ve got a good shot, take it

[Rifle shot / Justin] Good shot, man. Great shot.

[Ralston] Had I gone hunting with my uncle, I’m sure I could have gotten a deer but, I don’t think I would have learned nearly as much after the shot, or before the shot, as I did here it.

Learn more about mentored hunting workshops on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.