Teens Explore Local Environmental Science

by | Jul 31, 2015

It’s not every day that teens have the opportunity to explore environmental science in a hands-on, non-traditional, out-of-school setting, middle school and high school students can do just that twice a year in two teen programs at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue.

Environmental Science Pathways offers students in grades 6-8 a unique introduction to the foundations of environmental science and clean technology. For eight weeks in the fall and spring, Pathways participants become environmental scientists, conducting research in the biologically diverse wetlands of Mercer Slough Nature Park as well as hands-on experiments in our state-of-the-art wet lab. They explore future career paths in science as well as the various roles that scientist play. By presenting the science behind renewable energy, watersheds and our natural environment in fun and engaging ways, the Mercer Slough program responds to an essential need in our community for after-school science programs that engage the middle school age bracket and encourage them, to pursue further education in the field.

The innovative Environmental Science and Technology Practicum expands upon the Pathways program, providing students in grades 9-12 with an experimental connection to environmental science that will inspire them to pursue futures in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). For nine weeks in fall and winter, high school students work with science professionals who act as mentors as they explore educational pathways in the environmental science and technology career fields. Practicum participants take on in-depth aquatic and terrestrial research in the field and in Mercer Slough laboratories. At the end of the series teens receive a certificate of completion to enhance their academic portfolios and college applications.

Environmental Science Pathways takes place afterschool on Thursdays from 3:30-6 p.m. Mercer Slough is pleased to offer transportation assistance for Bellevue Students. The Environmental Science and Technology Practicum takes place Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

To learn more about these programs, call (206)443-2925.

Built on a 320-acre wetland, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration of Pacific Science Center and the City of Bellevue.