What’s Up Willow Bend? Feb. 2023 Blog Post

February, 2023: Programs Galore!

Hi friends! We started off our jam-packed, fun-filled February by partnering with Lowell Observatory to host a Science Science themed “Earth and Planetary Science”, in celebration of Pluto’s discovery 93 years ago. This was our first Science Science theme of its kind and what a blast it was! Families learned about why planets are different colors, how planets rotate around the sun, constellations, moon cycles, and more!

This month, we taught 7 different subjects in the classroom, which included climate, weather and renewable energy; recycling, waste and earthworms and even a program on environmental education. Despite five+ snow days this month, kindergarteners up to college students received nearly 50 lessons from us this February. We are finally, and gratefully, reaching numbers we saw during pre-pandemic times, woohoo! Thank you to the following schools for having us: MEMS, Kinsey, DeMiguel, FJA, Sechrist, Cromer, Knoles and NAU!

Thanks to our board member, Jillian Worssam, her and our team have created an all-new weather program. Kinsey Kindergarteners were the first to receive the lesson this month, and it went great! Students learned about the sun, what it does, how shadows and how plants are affected by the sun’s light and warmth.

Outside of the classroom, we hosted a field trip to the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for Kinsey 4th Graders who received our 3-part waste program just a week prior. Part of this program includes visiting the MRF so that students can see what they learned in person, in action! Did you know 52-60 tons of recycling goes through the MRF every day?

On top of our busy teaching schedule, our team member Ash took a couple days to help facilitate the Southern Arizona KidWind Challenge & Celebration in Eloy, AZ. Students competed in building and testing their own wind turbines and sail cars. The winner not only received tickets to the DiamondBacks game, but is also going to showcase their structure in the STEM dugout! Speaking of, Willow Bend and the Flagstaff Sustainability Office are hosting our own Northern Arizona Youth Climate Summit here in Flagstaff in April! Students will compete three ways: building a wind turbine, building a solar structure or creating a local climate action plan. We’re excited to see what creative creations and solutions 4th-12th grade students come up with!

That’s all for now, stay tuned for next month’s blog post!

-The Willow Bend Team