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Anchorage Middle School Students Tackle Climate Change in Free Two-Week Summer Program—Spaces Still Available!

This summer, Youth Employment in Parks is teaming up with Alaska Geographic and the Chugach Children’s Forest to introduce climate and energy science to Anchorage middle school students. The free two-week programs, known as “Changing Climate: Say What?” dive headfirst into the science and challenges surrounding climate change.

The free, closed-enrollment program uses a hands-on approach to science education. Student participants take their questions into the field and brush shoulders with scientists, rangers, and other experts to help them research the answers. The lead instructor, Americorps member Betsi Oliver, developed the content with Alaska Geographic, the official non-profit education partner for Alaska’s public lands. “We will do science experiments every day in camp,” Oliver says, “examining climate, energy solutions, and how we want our future to look.”

Field trips to sites around Anchorage, including Campbell Creek Science Center, connect Anchorage youth with wild places at their doorstep. Wind for Schools will run a workshop on wind energy in Alaska where campers will build and compete their own wind turbine designs. “Too many adolescents are indoors during the summer,” says Oliver. “In this camp, studying climate change and doing science are excuses to get outdoors, investigate nature, and have a lot of fun.”

The camp is staffed by a crew from Youth Employment in Parks (YEP). YEP employs local teens in municipal jobs to enrich the community though improved parks and enhanced recreation opportunities. The YEP Recreation Crew leads climate change camp from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In the afternoons crew members provide free enrichment activities for kids in Davis Park through the Park and Play and Arts in the Park programs.

The science camp is offered weekday mornings, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at Spenard Recreation Center from July 6-16, and at Fairview Recreation Center from July 27 – August 6. Youth must enroll to participate. To learn more or to enroll a middle school student in “Changing Climate : Say What?” contact Betsi Oliver at eoliver@alaskageographic.org or 907-771-8450.

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