They flitted, they flew, and they soared – Monarchs and kids alike – at the Butterflies UPCLOSE event at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School. More than 100 kids, parents and butterflies celebrated the joy of nature and God’s creation, led by teacher Brenda Kreutz and her second graders who were the tour guides for the butterfly pavilion. The 14 students spent six weeks learning about the life cycle of a Monarch by growing close to 30-40 caterpillars, observing and recording the process in reports they shared with those in attendance. They worked with Betty Bemis of Backyard Butterflies who provided the caterpillars and her expert advice.
Dani’s Dreams took their work and published it into a one-of-a-kind booklet with drawings and information compiled by the students. In late May the students held a signing party, receiving their copies and donating one to the Zion Lutheran School library.
The books are now on sale for $10 online HERE or copies will be available at the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 6 at New Palestine High School.
Congratulations to Paige Taylor, Zion Lutheran School whose design (left) won the 2016 Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs contest. Her design will appear on hundreds of T-shirts for the Aug. 6 Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run to support the new Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park!
Keeping it in the Taylor family, second place design goes to both Kate Taylor and Danielle Taylor, both Zion Lutheran students.
Register HERE to purchase your shirt and register for the walk/run!
Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs and New Palestine High School teacher Brittany Bennett and her students hosted ECOFEST 2016 April 15, celebrating bringing innovative STEM education activities to Southern Hancock students. Students, parents and grandparents took the challenge and enjoyed bubbles, gliders and saw the liftoff of a solar balloon thanks to NPHS student volunteers at the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School.
Ana Ostendorf and Allison Norman gave students in attendance a sneak peak at the ECOFEST solar energy lesson. All those in attendance saw solar in action thanks to David Griffin and learned how this renewable energy works in a video produced by our Dani’s Dreams reporters Sarah and Emily Adam.
NPHS Alumnus Ryan Schroeder tested ECOFEST participants’ knowledge of invasive species with his “Friends or Foes” game. Schroeder is the president of the Purdue University Environmental Science Club. DNR Project Learning Tree Coordinator Donna Rogler shared her extensive knowledge and seedlings to take home. Willing Hands Entertainment provided free facepainting for all kids!
Because of the great response to ECOFEST Lessons and the festival, Dani’s Dreams is extending the deadline for the Southern Hancock T-shirt Wars to sign up for membership and help your favorite elementary school win a $300 grant! Sign up by May 6 online here to become a Dani’s Dreams Team member and get your favorite kid a free T-shirt, wristband, certificate and exciting and fun activities and information they can use all year to “Change the World!”
With each membership, one Southern Hancock elementary school could win a $300 grant for the school, and every child gets a free specially designed T-shirt, wristband, certificate, special e-newsmat and loads of fun educational activities for only $25 a year! All proceeds go right back to Southern Hancock schools to support environmental education!
Southern Hancock kids, parents and community members can Change the World by supporting Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs and sponsoring ECOFEST lessons in our elementary schools. SIGN UP TODAY to become a Dani’s Dreams Team member and get a specially designed T-shirt for your elementary school. Members can pick up your T-shirt at the ECOFEST Earth Day Festival April 15 at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School, New Palestine.
The school with the most memberships by the ECOFEST Earth Day Festival April 15 will win a $300 grant for your school! Proceeds from the memberships go to support the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Township Park coming in 2016!
Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center
Now in the midst of winter, some animals are in a stage called hibernation. This is a state of inactivity where their body temperature decreases and their heartbeat and breathing slow down. Their bodies go through this to conserve energy that the animals spent all fall saving up. During fall time, the animals eat an increased amount of food to increase their overall body fat. This allows them to be insulated and they will use it throughout their hibernation period for energy.
Many animals hibernate. Some animals in our area that hibernate are skunks, chipmunks, some squirrels, and some bats. Also, bears hibernate but those are not in our area. They are mainly in mountain regions to our south and east. These animals hibernate to conserve energy in the winter months when food is hard to find. As animals prepare for hibernation, they eat enough food to last them through the upcoming winter months. Their bodies produce special fat tissues around their brain, heart, and lungs to provide extra insulation in those areas.
Animals who use lots of energy throughout the winter days, but do not hibernate, become dormant during parts of the day. This is similar to hibernating however instead of sleeping throughout winter, they sleep for a major part of the day in order to conserve energy. Hummingbirds and some small bats are examples of animals that are dormant for parts of winter.
During winter you see less squirrels, chipmunks, and skunks, now you know that they’re just in hibernation and once spring rolls around, they’ll be back to their playful ways. In my next column, I will be exploring what germination is as spring time grows closer and the flowers begin to bloom.
Check out the Dani’s Dreams Facebook Page to see the Top 10 Coolest Hibernators! Become a Dani’s Dreams Team Member here and find out how to track animals with our winter newsmat! You’ll get a wristband and a certificate, too!
Southern Hancock families enjoyed going with the flow at Children’s Museum Night, Feb. 3 in the Zion Lutheran Gym, sponsored by Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis traveled to New Palestine, bringing hands-on activities, conservation information and lots of fun facts, including the fact that we use 360 million gallons of water a day in the United States!
During the activities, families learned about the different properties of water, watersheds and how pollution affects the water supply; they made water cycle bracelets, participated in a low-flow shower demonstration, watched water filtration in action, and created oil-and-water drawings.
Children’s Museum Night kicked off the year’s activities at Hancock County’s only Outdoor Education Center! Support STEM and environmental education in Hancock County and receive a membership kit TODAY for your child to “Change the World!”
Don’t miss out on your chance to plant the seeds of innovative education opportunities for New Palestine area children – Join Dani’s Dreams Team and become a yearly member for as little as $25 per individual or $50 for everyone in your household! Each child who joins Dani’s Dreams team will receive a membership certificate, wristband, a seasonal e-newsmat and admission to all Dani’s Dreams events during the year.
Businesses can sponsor Dani’s Dreams environmental education lessons for a Southern Hancock or Zion Lutheran classroom for $100!
Call 317-640-4430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for marketing, promotional and sponsorship opportunities for your business with Dani’s Dreams community facilities and events!
Click here to join the Dani’s Dreams Team and be a part of innovative education activities for our children. Your membership fees support area students and classroom teachers in their quest to think outside the classroom and “Change the World!”
Come to ECOFEST, “Spread Your Wings” and enjoy the fun family activities, crafts and snacks on April 15, 4-5:30 at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School.
This Wednesday is Dani’s Dreams Night at the New Palestine McDonald’s, 5-8 p.m. Join us for T-shirt giveaways at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 and test your nature knowledge with our newsmat! There will also be a special reading of “The Adventures of Ralph Sean Green”. Enjoy a fun, family dinner and help Dani’s Dreams plant the seeds of science and STEM education in Southern Hancock County. We need your support to make it happen!
Listen to a first-hand account of the upcoming Monarch Migration from a local girl, Estela, who lives in Angangueo, Mexico. Keep track by checking back on Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s website in the coming weeks!