SOLE Adapts to Virtual Learning

As many of you know, one of our favorite wildlife topics is animal adaptations. We love to learn about animals' characteristics that help them survive better in their environment. Over the past year, the SOLE team has demonstrated the strength of our own adaptations as we continue to engage SOLE students and their families in the face of a new, virtual environmental education field. Our creativity, desire to learn, and passion for engaging with students have helped us to create some exciting new opportunities for our students and families. We’d love to share a bit more about the changes we’ve made and the process of getting there!

One of the greatest hurdles has been reaching our classrooms all across the state of Colorado to deliver our in-class programming. Like many, we have turned to video conferencing platforms to connect with students from our office in Denver and sometimes even from our homes. We have even been utilizing good ole fashioned snail mail! We’ve mailed boxes of cookies to schools so that students can participate in our cookie mining activity. Seen below is Jessie (a member of the SOLE team) being filmed as she mines for chocolate chips to provide an example for students participating from their classroom.

We've even found out that our pet tarantula, Webby, is far from camera shy. Here she is stealing the spotlight on one of our virtual programs!

Another way we’ve shifted our programs this year is by focusing on educational videos so that our content can reach students even in their own homes. Check out the many new videos that are a part of our Wild Classroom video series! The most recent video about snow is sure to pique your interest this time of year. It also includes an interactive experiment for you and your students or family.

Lastly, as a way to connect with our SOLE families, we've created a virtual book club. The first month featured “Can You Hear The Trees Talking” by Peter Wohlleben. Once again harnessing the power of snail mail, we mailed participating families a copy of the book. Then, families joined us over Zoom for a brief discussion of the book followed by an interactive lesson on trees in Colorado and a chance to design their own Colorado forest. Check out one family's creation below!

In the end, the flexibility and ingenuity of SOLE’s team have allowed us to reach students and families in new ways. We now consider acting, cinematography, script-writing, and video conferencing to be characteristics that help us to thrive in our ever-changing habitat. We’re looking forward to connecting in person someday but in the meantime, we hope you join us for some of our virtual programming!

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