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Conceptual Encounters

Developing deeper understandings of a single ecological concept

Duration 45 to 90 minutes (1 actvity)
Participants 10 - 14 years
Staffing One to two - activity dependant
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Site Rural or urban - can be adapted for use on different sites

These activities are ideal programme building tools, flowing in small steps from the concrete to the abstract level of understanding. Each Conceptual Encounter activity deals with one of the four main ecological concepts - the flow of energy, cycling of materials, interrelationships and change over time.

Information on running all the Conceptual Activites and the props used that help to make them such powerful learning experiences can be found in two binders, Conceptual Encounters I & II. The binders are available to buy from the Earth Education UK resources page.

Conceptual Encounters I (For Ages 10-12)

Conceptual Encounters I was designed as part of our Earthkeepers programme. The following activities are included:

  • "Munch Line Monitor" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Energy Flow

    The concept of energy flow comes to life at Mama Nature's Munch Room where Munch Line Monitors follow the flow of sunlight through a food chain. Evidence of of different things 'munching' in then collected in their Munch Trays.

    munch line monitors picture
  • "The Great Spec-tackle" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Cycling

    Pinch a speck of a dinosaur; share a speck of water with Cleopatra; inhale a speck of air that Marco Polo breathed. Join representative specks (visible molecules) for their journey through the air, water and soil cycles.

  • "Time Capsules" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Change

    Curious maps, buried time capsules, and intriguing artifacts reveal the secrets of change. Visit the Time Room to follow the footsteps of ancient ancestors as they move into the future. Travel with a soil speck on its journey through time.

  • "Connection Inspection" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Interrelationships

    The interrelationships among living things are often difficult to see, but you can use the "connection scope locator," to spot the complicated webs which support all life on earth. Everyone becomes 'connected' to a web of life and discovers what happens when the connections get broken!

    connector inspection picture
  • "Home Sweet Home" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Community

    Join the Mayor and Judge Mopner to tour three natural communities and help Web-footed Bug Baggers, Tiny Buzzing Bloodsuckers, and Soft Fluttering Nectar Sippers search for a home. Participate in the courtroom drama when a marsh turns into a field. Examine the evidence presented and decide who must go to the morgue for recycling.

Conceptual Encounters II (For Ages 13-14)

Conceptual Encounters II was designed as part of our SUNSHIP III programme. The following activities are included:

  • "Solarville" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Energy Flow

    Journey from the sun to earth, where you'll meet Mario, the pizza man of Solarville. discover the hidden energy involved when you order your own special pizza. A delicious way to find out where our energy comes from and how it is used.

    Solarville Picture
  • "The Cycle Factory" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Cycling

    Take part in the cycles that keep all life going by working to get air, water and soil to a tree to help it grow. A fast-paced, action-filled experience that brings natural cycles to life.

  • "The Museum Project" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Change

    Help out a museum by unpacking old crates and reconstructing a long-forgotten exhibit. Fascinating objects and the need for some detective work provide a great way to bring the concept of change home.

  • "Temple of SOL" -- Ecological Concept Focus: Interrelationships

    Visit the ruins of a people who lived long ago and left a story of their search for the interrelationships that tie all life together. Use their hieroglyphics to find out about these connections yourself. A touch of the past adds a magical spark that makes this an unusual adventure.

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