August 3, 2012
Taking it Public

Like every good scientist we took our research and findings public.  To do this we created a PowerPoint that showed all the phases of creating our action project. The phases were inventory (issues and assets), issue selection, research (policies and practices), choosing a practice, burning questions, creating a project goal and taking action.  We presented the PowerPoint two times; once for our community in the southeast side ofChicagoatSandRidgeNatureCenterand once forFieldMuseumemployees and guests at theFieldMuseum.  At the presentations we also shared with our audiences the video we created and the games and activities we designed.  We were all very nervous to speak in front of a crowd but we practiced our public speaking and put our fears aside to get through it. In the end it was such a great feeling to have shared with our friends and family what we had been working on for the last six weeks!

On our last day it was hard to say bye.  We got to know each other pretty well and worked so hard as a team that it would be difficult not to see each other the following week.  Although, the internship had to come to a close we promised to stay in touch with each other and the Field Museum.  Who knows, maybe we’ll be back here some day.  

August 3, 2012
This is us playing the games we created with guests during our final presentation at Sand Ridge Nature Center. 
Photo credit: Laura Milkert

This is us playing the games we created with guests during our final presentation at Sand Ridge Nature Center. 

Photo credit: Laura Milkert

August 3, 2012
Here we are on stage during the opening of our final presentation at the Field Museum.
Photo credit: Laura Milkert

Here we are on stage during the opening of our final presentation at the Field Museum.

Photo credit: Laura Milkert

August 3, 2012
This is us outside the Sand Ridge Nature Center right before our community final presentation. From left to right: Zana Carter, Tasha Charles, Alyssa Fletcher, Demecka Williams, Chental Handy, Brianna Wnek, Diego Damian, Viviana Mota and Levi Jenkins. 
Photo Credit: Laura Milkert

This is us outside the Sand Ridge Nature Center right before our community final presentation. From left to right: Zana Carter, Tasha Charles, Alyssa Fletcher, Demecka Williams, Chental Handy, Brianna Wnek, Diego Damian, Viviana Mota and Levi Jenkins. 

Photo Credit: Laura Milkert

July 30, 2012
This is the Pieces of Life game redesigned, from the original Web of Life game, by Demecka Williams and Diego Damian.  The game includes one ecosystem name tag, 12 different species name tags, a ball of yarn and the guide on how to play. For more information on this game please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org. 

This is the Pieces of Life game redesigned, from the original Web of Life game, by Demecka Williams and Diego Damian.  The game includes one ecosystem name tag, 12 different species name tags, a ball of yarn and the guide on how to play. For more information on this game please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org. 

July 30, 2012
This is the Nature Memory Game created by Tasha Charles. The game includes three sets of cards with eight matching pairs each and the guide on how to play. For more information on this game please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org.

This is the Nature Memory Game created by Tasha Charles. The game includes three sets of cards with eight matching pairs each and the guide on how to play. For more information on this game please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org.

July 30, 2012
This is the Exploration Nature Walk created by Alyssa Fletcher, Brianna Wnek and Viviana Mota.  This hands-on activity is made up of several activities, such as a sensory game, drawing pictures and looking through toilet paper rolls. The guide provides more activity ideas.  For more information on this activity please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org.

This is the Exploration Nature Walk created by Alyssa Fletcher, Brianna Wnek and Viviana Mota.  This hands-on activity is made up of several activities, such as a sensory game, drawing pictures and looking through toilet paper rolls. The guide provides more activity ideas.  For more information on this activity please contact the Field Museum at jcanas@fieldmuseum.org.

July 27, 2012
Tasha Charles explaining how to play the Nature Memory Game she created to a group of children at Centro Comunitario Juan Diego.
Photo credit: Ford Environmental Leadership Intern

Tasha Charles explaining how to play the Nature Memory Game she created to a group of children at Centro Comunitario Juan Diego.

Photo credit: Ford Environmental Leadership Intern

July 27, 2012
This is us leading a group of children from Centro Comunitario Juan Diego in a nature exploration walk through their community garden.
Photo credit:  Jessica Cañas

This is us leading a group of children from Centro Comunitario Juan Diego in a nature exploration walk through their community garden.

Photo credit:  Jessica Cañas

July 27, 2012
Taking Action

Since we finished our research we’ve been working on brainstorming ways to connect people to nature.  We decided as a group that we would focus on connecting kids to nature because that seemed to be the age in which people have really memorable encounters with nature.  We wrote out a goal and strategy:

We want children from the Southeast side of Chicago to be more engaged in hands-on activities in nature, which will result in an increase of their knowledge and connection to nature.

Then we got fast to work creating hands-on games to connect children ages 6-12 to nature.  We created a nature memory game using pictures of animal and plant species from the Calumet Region.  We also redesigned a game called The Web of Life and turned it into Pieces of Life that shows kids how all species in an ecosystem are connected and what happens when humans dump trash in it.  However, a group of us wanted to work with even younger kids so, we created an Exploration Nature Walk for four and five year olds in which they freely explore nature.  Another group of us decided that parents had to be targeted as well because they are the caregivers of children.  That group designed a video for parents and young adults emphasizing the importance of connecting kids to nature. 

We took our games and activities to two communities, South Chicago and South Shore.  We played the games with over 50 kids from Centro Comunitario Juan Diego and the summer camp at the South Shore Cultural Center.  It was a lot of fun to play the games with kids.  They loved them! 

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