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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Oct. 13, 2004

Science Snooping Day is Saturday, Oct. 16

DEARBORN---The Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will present "Science Snooping Day" from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16.

The event allows children in grades K-12 and their parents to engage in outdoor science investigations designed to pique curiosity, encourage thoughtful observation and instill a love of the natural sciences.

The Science Snooping Day programs fulfill some of the State of Michigan Education Benchmarks and Standards for Science Education. Program activities will reinforce concepts children learn in school by providing a real-world context in the natural surroundings of the campus's Environmental Study Area, according to Rick Simek, EIC program supervisor.

Participants in the kindergarten program, which runs from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., will take a walk to experience sights, sounds, smells and textures of autumn.

Students in the 1st and 2nd grade program, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will participate in a fall scavenger hunt to see what kind of colors, shapes, creatures and other signs of the season can be found.

Participants in the 3rd and 4th grade program, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will observe a variety of insects that are still active before fall freezes slow down insect activity until next spring. Participants also will explore autumn flowers and insects in pursuit of the year's last sips of nectar, Simek said.

Students in the 5th and 6th grade program, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., explore creatures that help break down leaves, twigs and branches into organic material for the soil. Participants will explore the blanket of leaves on the forest floor to look for 'decomposer' creatures and the predators that come to eat them.

Participants in the 7th and 8th grade program, which runs from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will explore aquatic insect sampling and identification. Participants will use nets and other tools to capture and observe live aquatic insects.

Participants in the 9th-12th grade program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will explore autumn bird migration by going for a walk through different habitats to search for birds that are migrating south through the area.

Science Snooping Day is free, but registration is required. To register, or for more information, call (313) 593-5338.

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