Fla. Museum spring break camps lead k-5 students on outdoor exploration

March 10th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Lace up your boots. Spray on your bug repellent. And prepare for a weeklong adventure of animal tracking, jungle exploration and science discoveries.

The Florida Museum of Natural History invites kindergarten through fifth-grade students on an outdoor expedition to be held during the Alachua County spring break week, April 3-7. Students will explore the Amazon on a 3,000-mile caravan from the Andes to the sea, learn to be an expert animal tracker and uncover the varied cultures of the Amazon — all without leaving Gainesville.

“The topics of Florida Museum spring break camps are designed to encourage campers to explore the natural wonders found in our own backyards and on the other side of the world,” said Susan Duvenhage, Florida Museum associate director for exhibits and public programs. “Camp classes combine imagination and science to give campers a spring break that is not only fun but also educational.”

The Florida Museum will offer two hands-on camp classes, morning and afternoon, led by museum docents and staff. Campers can participate in both classes or select just morning or afternoon.

The morning class, “Nature Detectives,” will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will teach students to identify a variety of animals found in the University of Florida Natural Area Teaching Lab, as well as animals often found in their own backyards. Campers also will learn how to use animal tracks, scat, skulls and other natural clues to reveal the many species of wildlife living in the Gainesville area.

The afternoon class, “Amazon Adventure,” runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and ventures into the depths of the Amazon rainforest to explore the diverse array of plants, animals and cultures that inhabit the Amazon region, as well as revealing new discoveries of science and culture.

“These classes will really open students’ eyes to the exploration of science, different cultures and the outdoors,” Duvenhage said. “Florida Museum campers get a break from being students and become pioneers and detectives.”

Registration for Florida Museum members is $90 for one class and $180 for both classes. For non-members, registration is $110 for one class and $200 for both classes. Pre-registration is required. Students who participate in both morning and afternoon classes must bring a sack lunch.

For more information, call (352) 846-2000, ext. 277 or visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/education/childrens_classes.htm.

Media contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 846-2000, pramey@ufl.edu
Writer: Emily Banks