Want to bring the AWCC to your classroom? A Virtual Field Trip to the center is great for students of all ages. These unique tours are a wonderful opportunity to learn about wildlife, conservation, animal adaptations, and more. Students get a front-row-seat for viewing our animals as well as the beautiful Chugach Mountain range that surrounds the center. Check out this message from AWCC’s Director of Education, Lily Grbavach, to learn more about a virtual field trips at AWCC:
“Student field trips to our sanctuary have always been an exciting part of the school year for AWCC. Students frequently visit from Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and Mat-Su Borough School Districts. We also see students from private schools and other youth-serving organizations. In addition, we also see classes of student visitors from across Alaska and the Lower 48 each year. In 2019, over 3,500 students visited AWCC for in-person programs, and AWCC traveled to 19 schools on outreach trips. We are proud to offer programs to this high volume of students. We couldn’t do it without the support of funders including Alaska Community Foundation.
At the start of 2020 we were prepared for another busy year of student visits. Of course 2020 had something else in mind entirely. Due to the switch to online learning in our school districts, we pivoted to address their changing needs. Suddenly all the field trips to AWCC were cancelled and teachers needed virtual options. We began offering virtual walking tours and show & tells featuring animals at AWCC. During our programs, we share information and facts about our animals, their stories, and the wild populations they represent. Students have opportunities to ask questions of our naturalist team, see how our animals behave, and even get behind-the-scene peaks of life at AWCC for our animals and staff.
While we wish all students could visit us in person, there have been positive side effects to virtual experiences. We are now reaching a wider audience while continuing to serve students in Alaska. However, we are now accessible to students from California to Connecticut! We are very excited about our potential to engage more students who are too far away for a day-long field trip. I am proud of our team for shifting direction effectively during the switch to learning from home and virtual programming.
Interested in virtual field trips at AWCC with your students, campers, or scouts? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give our office a call at 907-783-0058. You can also learn more at www.alaskawildlife.org/education/visit-awcc-virtually
-Lily Grbavach, Director of Education”