Once again, science came alive at the Lloyd Center this summer! Students of kindergarten through eighth grade ages participated in interactive and engaging activities as they learned about local habitats, wildlife, and properties of the natural world during the Center’s summer programs. The variety of programs helped to foster students’ sense of wonder and instill an understanding and appreciation of our coastal and watershed environments.
“Kudos to you and your staff for yet another flawless program. I trust you with my children, and each time they attend a program of yours, they return filled with great stories, an encouraged sense of wonder and a passel of information. You always know how to balance learning with fun and that is a special way to help them grow as budding young scientists. Thank you for making my son’s summer special.” – a repeat summer program student’s parent
The Young Naturalist Program, a community favorite, ran four days a week from July 5 through August 18. Some five to seven year-old young naturalists joined us for half-day sessions, while others stayed for full days. We also had some tiny explorers that attended one day of the week while others participated for the entirety of a week (or more!). Our younger students learned about the sea, sky, forests, and ponds throughout the summer in a variety of ways: they interacted with wildlife, hiked, dip-netted for estuary organisms, searched for insects, explored habitats like salt marshes, kettle ponds and streams, created crafts, played games and more!
Our week-long Coastal Studies Programs, for students in second through eighth grades, ran from June 30 through August 12. The first program of the summer, Eureka!, was back by popular demand after a successful pilot program last summer. During this program students transformed into “mad scientists”, learning about the properties of matter and energy while conducting fascinating experiments!
Our second program of the season was Coastal Ecology, wherein students discovered the amazing relationships between marine organisms and coastal environments. Coastal Ecology students explored salt marshes, estuaries, sandy beaches, rocky shores and more, and created interactive “lapbooks” to compile information during the week (“lapbooks” are like 3-D notebooks).
The third program of the summer offered to older students was Marine Biology 1. During this week, students explored an estuary, barrier beaches, sand dunes and other marine and coastal habitats. They learned about a variety of marine biology topics in the classroom, including taxonomy and ocean layers, which they models of using jars of colored water!
During our fourth program, Freshwater Wetlands, students got their feet wet – and muddy – while venturing through local marshes and wetlands and collecting wetland organisms. They also were able to attend a Native American Ceremonies Day, hosted by local New Bedford Rod and Gun Club members with Native ancestry.
During our fifth and final Coastal Studies program, Marine Biology 2, students explored a barrier beach ecosystem, eel grass beds, and other habitats. They engaged in inquiry-based activities about subjects like ocean currents, and learned about organism relationships during fun games like food web Jenga! At the conclusion of all five Coastal Studies programs, students presented the information they’d learned during the week to family and friends.
Lloyd Center Summer Education Programs have been offered to the community for over thirty years and thousands of local children have participated in these programs. Each year, nearly half of our Summer Program students attend on scholarship. The programs help maintain students’ enthusiasm for learning during the summer, engage students with hands-on, interactive science activities, and allow students the chance to interact meaningfully with the natural world around them.