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STEM vs Wild - Indentification

OK, so my kids and I have already done this because we couldn't wait to get started. It's really fun and very surprising how much we got into it and learned on just a quick (not so quick) walk around the block.

Quick Background - STEM vs Wild is the idea that STEM is everywhere. It's all around us at all times. This specific idea helps us focus on the natural world and the environment and how STEM interacts and converges into that world. It's not a competition between STEM and the Wild but rather a partnership and how they can work together....and have worked together forever. From the first-ever tools that were made for hunting and farming to creating shelters out of sticks and mud. Fast forward to how we see and capture our natural world with satellite imagery, drones, and advanced telephoto lenses. We record and predict weather patterns and storms. I could go on forever on this topic. But now it's your turn.

Exercise #1 - Write or type six ideas on how STEM is used in our natural world.

Exercise #2 - Now let's get outside. Download the App Picture This. This is a plant identification app. Do not pay to use this. That will, of course, unlock special features but you don't have to pay to simply take pictures and get a good result. Walk around your house and identify all the trees, grass, weeds, flowers, plants, have in your own yard. Next, take a family walk. Warning, this walk could get long because your kids will fight over who gets to identify the next tree and flower. Warning 2 - this is a super fun family outing and what this is all about so enjoy the time. You will be amazed at how many different species of trees and plants are around here. This is a great example of how STEM is helping us become familiar with the world directly outside our window. Think about the Technology of the phone and the camera. Think about the coding that is the backbone of that plant database.

Bonus Exercise - If you're really feeling this assignment and want to take it to the next level, use Google Slides to create a fun presentation called "My Neighborhood Environment" or whatever you want to call it. Upload the pictures and identification of all the trees, plants, and flowers around your block. Write a short note and deliver that to your neighbors with the web address to the presentation. Handwritten notes are super fun to get but if you're worried about doing that then send them an email or post it on your neighborhood app or send them a quick text. I think they would absolutely love to get this information.

Have fun with it. This exercise will lead to so many new questions about your environment. Why do I have 6 different trees in my yard? Who put them there? Can I eat these strange looking berries? Mom, may I please have some ice cream? So many important questions.... ;0)

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