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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
On Tuesday, April 22nd, Everglades National Park will host a live broadcast of an electronic field trip to celebrate Earth Day and National Park Week. School children from around the country will have the opportunity to virtually visit the Everglades while learning about native plants, invasive species, and conservation.
The interactive 60-minute broadcast will take place April 22 at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. (EDT) at the Royal Palm area of the park. Students will explore the trails and participate in three "Your Turn!" activities, which students viewing the broadcast can also do in their classrooms.
• "Unwanted Guest": identifying native and non-native species
• "Going…Going…Gone": the effects invasive species have on native species
• "We’re Sponging off the Everglades": a lesson on water use and conservation
During the live broadcast, developed and produced by Ball State University in Muncie, IN, students will be able to call in using a toll-free number, or e-mail questions to the show's hosts and experts, making for a truly interactive experience. The show will also include a special message from first lady Laura Bush, who visited Everglades National Park in February to launch the National Park Foundation’s Junior Ranger Essay Contest.
Staff from Everglades National Park and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will host the event along with three middle school students from the National Park Foundation’s "First Bloom" project, and Peter Rosen, a 6th grader from Utah and the grand prize winner of this year’s Junior Ranger Essay Contest. A fourth-grade class from Campbell Drive Elementary School in Homestead will also be on hand to assist with the "Your Turn!" activities.
Dan Kimball, Superintendent Everglades National Park, said “we are very proud to have these students visit the park and share information about this special place with other students across the nation.” Dan, don’t know if you want to change your quote more. Sponsors of the trip include the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, Ball State University, and Macy’s.
In conjunction with the EFT broadcast and Earth Week, Macy's will be launching its "Turn Over a New Leaf" campaign beginning April 20. The first 100 children who visit Macy's on April 22 will receive a National Park Foundation eco-friendly "Kid Power" activity and coloring book. The coloring books will also be available in National Park visitor centers during National Park Week. Students who complete the book and return with it to Macy’s on April 26 or 27 will receive a special “Kid Power” patch.
Many PBS stations nationwide will air the broadcast live, but classrooms can access the broadcast as well as archived shows on Ball State's EFT Web site, www.bsu.edu/eft, and on Apple's Learning Interchange Web site, http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/.