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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Sept. 18, 2003

Students can explore science during "Snooping Day"

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretive Center will present "Science Snooping Day" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.

The inaugural event will allow children in grades K-8 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 enjoyable natural surroundings of the campus's Environmental Study Area.

Participants in the kindergarten program will listen, smell, feel and taste their way through different habitats in the Environmental Study Area. The children will then express and interpret their discoveries through sketching, coloring and painting.

Students in the 1st and 2nd grade program will focus on forest discovery by identifying different kinds of trees using bark, buds, branches and leaves.

Participants in the 3rd and 4th grade program will learn about plant diversity and discuss why certain plants grow in certain places and how an ecosystem might change over time. This group also will investigate several habitats to find the types of invertebrate animals living there and will use bug boxes and magnifying glasses to categorize the creatures.

Students in the 5th and 6th grade program will learn about the hydrologic cycle and the movement of water. While walking along the Natural Areas, participants will discuss the path water takes across land into rivers, and ultimately into oceans.

Participants in the 7th and 8th grade program will visit the Rouge River, graph the river channel using gathered data, and use an orange to find out how fast it is flowing by using simple methods of measurement and math.

All students will have a choice to attend one of two sessions, either a morning session from 10 a.m. to noon or an afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Science Snooping Day is free, but registration is required. To register, or for more information, call (313) 593-5338 or visit www.umd.umich.edu/dept/na/scienceday.html.

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