NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Batman Spotted in Elko!

On Thursday, January 29th Nevada Outdoor School teamed up with Fun Factory in Elko to do an after school lesson on Nevada’s flying mammals. Students learned about the 8 most abundant bat species found in northern Nevada and what habitats they can be found in. Through an interactive identity game, students matched the species to their habitat and were able to explore photos of the different species to see the differences between them. The students then moved on to a trivia/research station where they were able to scour books for cool facts and new information on bats, and then put that knowledge to use in a trivia game. In addition to their research and the game, students were able to look at two bat specimens in jars to see what bats up close. Afterwards, the next stop was at a station exploring challenges that bats and people face when they find themselves in the same areas. We explored different things such as bat poisoning from the use of pesticides, loss of habitats due to de-forestation and cave disruptions, and talked most extensively about White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal infection that disrupts the hibernation process for bats and is decreasing bat numbers rapidly. To understand WNS and how serious it is, students became hibernating bats to see the effects of WNS. The next station, students were able to step inside the world of bats by entering a large scale bat house. We discussed the benefits of bat houses and explored pictures of how bats sleep in bat houses and were able to explore a real bat house already assembled. The last stop on the bat journey was a game that explored an adaptation that bats use to assist their navigation and capture of prey, a process called echolocation. The students once again became bats, and one by one were blindfolded and had to clap to navigate a maze of other students that would clap in response to let the bat (student) know where obstacles were.

Blindfolded student faces Batman and tries
to use echolocation to catch his prey.

The objective for this lesson was for students to have fun and to learn in a relaxed environment. A lot of bat species are declining in numbers and knowledge on bats is largely missing. For the students that attended this lesson, they were able to become more familiar with the problems that are currently being faced by bats and people and are now more familiar with the bats that can be found in their backyards.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1st Annual MLK Dodge Ball Tournament!

Over the MLK Day weekend the Nevada Outdoor School AmeriCorps members held a Dodgeball Tournament to raise money for the Kids Backpack Program here in Winnemucca, NV. The Kids Backpack Program allows hungry and needy students to come to the school on a Saturday and fill up their backpack with enough food for their family for that weekend. The Frontier Community Action Agency is in charge of this program and is an amazing resource for the town of Winnemucca and the families that live here.
Now, on to dodgeball! We had a surprising turn out of teams participate, with 15 being the final number. We had them play in four, 4-team round robin brackets to begin their day and then play in a placement bracket to end it. This guaranteed each team 5 games that day. We had many community members come out and watch the action! Everyone seemed to have a great time and as the day went on the games got more and more competitive. The winning team ended up being Snoop Dodgy Dodge, which was a very diverse group of community members. They won a trophy and bragging rights for the 2nd annual MLK Dodgeball Tournament, which will take place next year.
                                   Snoop Dodgy Dodge 2015 Dodge Ball Winners
I have lived in Winnemucca practically my whole life and I was so excited to see the wonderful people of this community coming together to raise money for these hungry kids. I am so blessed to be a part of the NOS AmeriCorps team and I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with. I would also like to thank everyone who donated pizza, paper plates, time and effort to this day!
-Jessica Eastman