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Eco-Ventures at the E.A.R.T.H. Center

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Abigail Kesely

on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Eco-Ventures at the E.A.R.T.H. Center

Life Skills & Mission Mandates
"Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice." Anton Chekhov
100% planned to share what they learned.
96% were more interested in learning about the topics covered.
85% said the activities were easy to understand.

The Eco-Ventures Team:
Guest Speakers
& Field Trips
Worked with other agencies and volunteers such as:
MC Department of Solid Waste Management.
East Brunswick Recycling Center.
The Rutgers Eco-Complex.
MCUA/Edgeboro Landfill.
MC Master Gardeners.
Local Farms.
Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences at RU.
Projected Program Outcomes
We reach our objectives by providing youth with opportunities to:
From Environmental Awareness to Environmental Action
Eco-Ventures at the E.A.R.T.H. Center
Eco-Ventures at the E.A.R.T.H. Center is a week long environmental education program for youth in grades 5th - 8th.

It is held at the E.A.R.T.H. Center, which is located inside Davidson Mill Pond Park in South Brunswick.
The E.A.R.T.H. Center is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County office.
Ec0-Ventures was Started to:
1. Take advantage of the location.

2. Fill a need for middle school environmental science programs in the summer.

3. Have a collaborative program between departments.
"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future." Franklin D. Roosevelt
program objectives:
We will promote environmental awareness, stewardship and energy conservation.
Youth will understand basic ecological concepts.
Youth will understand waste management concepts and principles.
Youth will learn and practice important life skills, such as leadership, teamwork, critical thinking and goal setting.
through hands-on learning!
Last full week of August.
Monday - Friday, 9am-2pm.
Half an hour lunch.
Wednesday Field Trip.
Friday PSA's.
3 Year Activity Cycle.
Three month follow-up surveys indicated that

of youth were successful in accomplishing their goals and changing their behaviors and those of others.

Pre/Post Test Results

Program Evaluation Results

Plan of Action Results
Abigail Kesely

Youth explore the eco-systems within Davidson Mill Pond Park, as well as the Ag and Natural Resource demonstration areas.
Pond/Wetland Study
Compost Demo
Woodland Study
Children's Garden Tour
Solar Farm Tour
Nature Walk
An opportunity to see first-hand how and why things work!
Oil Spill Activity
Hydrogel Experiment
Power of Wind Experiment
Build a Mini-Landfill
Biofuel Experiment
Watershed Activity
Learning can be FUN!
Food Web Game
Quick Frozen Critters
Build a Predator!
Scavenger Hunt!
Oh, Deer!
The Toothpick Hunt (Camouflage Game)
A chance to put their new knowledge and ideas to action!
Recycling Genie PSA
Rain Barrel Girl PSA
Butterfly House PSA
Laura Bovitz, County 4-H Agent
Abbie Kesely, 4-H Program Assistant
Michael Wolenter, RU SEBS, Class of 2013
Michele Bakacs, Env’t and Resource Mgmt Agent
Matt Bickerton, RU Cook College Alumnus
Jessica Baculis, RU SEBS, Grad Student
William Hlubik, County Agricultural Agent
Rich Weidman, Program Associate, Agriculture
David Smela, Public Information Assistant

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.
This chart shows an increase in percentage of participants who answered the questions correctly across the board.
Evaluation Results!
VERY GOOD –- 26%
GOOD –- 4%
Participants rated Eco-Ventures as:
Pre/Post Test Results
Group Posters
Increased knowledge.
Gain in decision making, teamwork, and cooperation skills.
Change in attitudes about environmental impact.
Increased interest in becoming involved.
Increased interest in learning more.

Changes made in their impact on the environment.
Share what they learned with family and friends.
Incorporate "green" practices into their daily routines.
Find additional opportunities to learn about environmental issues.
Return to program as participants or as youth leaders.
Experience successes at school, attributed to learning experienced at program.

Changes in environmental impact in families, schools and communities.
Involvement and leadership in environmental groups in school and the community.
PSAs developed by youth are used by media outlets and there are indications that the PSA message is adopted by viewers.
Eco-Ventures at the E.A.R.T.H. Center philosophy and program methods are replicated in other states.

Northeast Regional Award: Natural Resources/Environmental Education Team, National Assoc. of Extension 4-H Agents, 2008.
Excellence in 4-H Programming Award, New Jersey Assoc. of 4-H Agents, 2008.
Program of Distinction, 2008.
Northeast Regional and State NAE4-HA Excellence in Camping Award, Team, National Assoc. of Extension 4-H Agents, 2009.
State 4-H and Youth Search for Excellence Award, National Assoc. of County Ag Agents, 2009.
Full transcript