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Icon for: Megan Noonan

MEGAN NOONAN

WGBH Boston
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Claire Quimby

    Claire Quimby

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 07:32 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I'd love to know more about the types of media you've found to be more successful in facilitating learning outdoors. Do you find that some types of activities or content work better than others?

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
    Megan Noonan
  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 03:13 p.m.

    Hi Claire, Thank you for your comment. One of the resources that we've found that kids and parents love are our interactive activities using our apps. Our most popular app is our Photo Hunt app where kids can take photos in nature with our characters. We have two others and we've provided the links to the apps below...

    Creaturizer - http://pbskids.org/apps/plums-creaturizer.html
    Photo Hunt - http://pbskids.org/apps/plums-photo-hunt.html
    Outdoor Fun with PLUM - http://pbskids.org/apps/outdoor-family-fun-with...

    Give them a try and let us know what you think about them!

     

  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:54 p.m.

    I love these ideas to get families out and exploring. You’ve made the outdoors accessible and compelling site of wonder, discovery, fun, and adventure for families of all backgrounds. Have you been able to gather information about who uses the website? What are the ways you’re getting the word out about these great resources?

     
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    Megan Noonan
  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 03:22 p.m.

    Hi Heidi, Thank you for your comment and praise of our program. We have resources that are designed for parents, educators and kids. You can find many of the submissions that kids send in to our website which you can see here, http://pbskids.org/plumlanding/pictures/index.h... We find that our website gets a nice balance of both adults and children who enjoy using our site.

    To share our resources, we will use social media and the relationship with our partners to share information about PLUM to a new audiences. 

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Sarah Garlick

    Sarah Garlick

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 01:25 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing! When I was watching, I was thinking about the potential links between learning about natural sciences by exploring the outdoors and learning about health sciences by considering the physical and mental health impacts of being in nature. Are the health sciences an explicit topic of your project?

  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 21, 2017 | 06:00 p.m.

    Hi Sarah, 

    Thank you for your comment! Health sciences are a naturally a common benefit that we see from our program. Although this isn't highlighted, our resources do have physical and mental health impacts of being in nature. These resources are not explicit but it is very much of importance when we are creating activities, games and also in the future of developing PLUM LANDING. 

  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:01 p.m.

    Hi Sarah, I wanted to follow up to provide you a little more detail about how PLUM LANDING is working with health programs.   

     The video posted here is part of a new collection of resources we are creating called the PLUM LANDING Explore Outdoors Toolkit. All of the resources in the Toolkit (hands-on activities, app, animated videos, educator videos, and parent videos) are intended to help urban families with 6- to 9-year-old children engage in physically active, outdoor science exploration.

     

    The inspiration for the Toolkit came from our work with the outdoor prescription movement, in which health care providers write children “prescriptions” for spending time outdoors, and families “fill” these prescriptions by participating in outdoor activities, either on their own or via facilitated programs or events. Many outdoor prescription programs are finding success in reaching urban kids and families and getting them outdoors, but do not include science education as a component to their programming. WGBH proposed to create the Toolkit in order to provide these programs with the materials they need to transition “get outside and get active” programs to “get outside, get active, and learn about the environment” programs—while at the same time ensuring that the materials are appropriate for broad use in a variety of informal education settings serving urban families. We have been working with our research partner, EDC/CCT, every step of the way, to gather information on how the materials are used in different settings, and to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced and infrastructure needed to inspire and support urban families in exploring environmental science in their neighborhoods.

    Both the Toolkit and the research will be finalized this summer. We will post the research reports to informalscience.org when they are complete.

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 19, 2017 | 03:47 p.m.

    Boozhoo Megan,  As a former public broadcaster (out of WNMU-TV Marquette, Michigan), I am so excited to see this work via WGBH! I am currently at the Northern Michigan University Center for Native American Studies and much of our work with our NSF Includes program will also be outside. They may be an assumption that Native American Studies is solely about Native peoples, Native nations, etc.  Really Native American Studies is about Native peoples and their relationship with their ancestral homelands/environment (or lack thereof due to assimilation, relocation, etc.). While many of the NSF programs seem to want to move "forward" with technology, our program -- located within Anishinaabeg territories -- is curious about how to think like the Anishinaabe ancestors and living WITH the earth, trees, water, air, other beings... So... skillset questions may be -- what engineering do you need to know to build a canoe? What environmental science do you need to know to build a canoe? What water science do you need to know to build a canoe? This is also in line with the contemporary "green" movement in that our work will also discuss how to respectfully work with natural sources of materials (vs. a consumptive view of the earth as a resource).  Because we recognize that we must live in a world with forward moving technology... how do you use social media to build and reinforce relationships?  ~ April

  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 03:44 p.m.

    Hi, April! We have given a lot of thought to the role that technology plays in inspiring kids and families to spend time outdoors, exploring science. As I mentioned in response to Martha’s question, above, the video we posted here is part of a larger Toolkit that WGBH and EDC/CCT are creating and researching in order to support educators and parents in leading outdoor science activities with children.  In working with informal and outdoor education programs in urban areas across the country, we have found that some programs are more receptive than others in using technology. While some saw potential for technology (like videos and apps) to pique children’s interest and offer structure and support for teaching science, others were wary about using technology in outdoor education contexts. We responded to these concerns by offering additional information for educators in how the use of technology can enhance, rather than distract from, outdoor science learning.

     

    Now that the project is wrapping up, we are turning to technology and social media to disseminate our research and materials. Every month, for example, we send out a social media toolkit, containing suggested Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, to more than 200 partners, who then share posts with their own followers. We in turn share news and resources from our partners on PLUM LANDING’s social media platforms. We have found this to be a good way of building relationships with organizations that share our commitment to environmental science education.   

  • Icon for: Martha Merson

    Martha Merson

    Informal Educator
    May 21, 2017 | 07:06 a.m.

    Energetic video with a nice rhythm. Can you talk about your development process? Did you use focus groups for the parent videos or promo video? Are you writing up your findings on which apps and resources are most frequently used? I'd be interested and I'm sure others on informalscience.org would be as well.

  • Icon for: Megan Noonan

    Megan Noonan

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 03:45 p.m.

    Thank you, Martha! The video we posted here is part of the PLUM LANDING Explore Outdoors Toolkit, a new set of free, public media resources designed to help informal educators and parents infuse science learning into outdoor recreation. The Toolkit, which will debut online this summer, aims to get urban children (ages 6-9) outside exploring the environment around them while debunking the myth that nature is something that only exists beyond city limits.

     

    In order to create the Toolkit, WGBH undertook a research process with our partner, Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology (EDC/CCT), to iteratively design and develop materials that would support families and educators in exploring actively exploring environmental science with children. As a part of this process, we worked with informal education programs around the country to test materials for the Toolkit in various stages of development. Topics for our parent videos (which include the video featured here and 7 additional short videos, all in English and Spanish) sprang from discussions with program directors and educators at outdoor education programs serving urban families. Scripts were developed in partnership with our project advisory board and the hosts of the videos (Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro and José González and Melissa Avery of Latino Outdoors). Once we had rough cuts of the parent videos, we tested them with parents and made revisions based on their feedback.

     

    WGBH and EDC are now in the process of completing the Toolkit components and finalizing the research reports. The reports, which will be posted to informalscience.org when complete, will provide additional information – both on the how the specific Toolkit materials (hands-on activities, app, animated videos, educator videos, and parent videos) were used, as well as more general insights on the challenges faced and infrastructure needed to inspire and support urban families in exploring environmental science in their neighborhoods.

  • May 22, 2017 | 07:23 p.m.

    Wow! How upbeat! And, you make it sound so simple to do -- get outdoors!

    Thank you! There is now quite a bit of research emerging about the benefits of Nature-Based Learning! This project provides further momentum!

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