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Winter Landscape Dioramas | AES Second Grade

Posted in Kids' Corner
Exploring Hallam Lake on a field program

For the last three months ACES has been collecting shoeboxes. One hundred and twenty of them, to be exact, one for each second grader at Aspen Elementary School. The shoeboxes have been stacked in the ACES Science Classroom at Aspen Elementary School, and now that students have returned from winter break they will begin to transform their shoebox into an amazing diorama, exhibiting local animals, and how they deal with the challenges of winter.


Studying the Roaring Fork Watershed with Aspen Elementary School 4th Grade

Posted in Kids' Corner

You turn on the tap to wash your hands at Aspen Elementary School.  Where does that water come from?  It goes down the drain mixed with soap and dirt.  Where does it go?  How can we find out if the water in our local rivers, lakes, snow, plants, and soil is healthy and clean?


Kids First Environmental Education Conference

Posted in Kids' Corner

“Time outside is where kids truly learn about life….” - Robin Moore, Director, Natural Learning Initiative


The White-faced Ibis and the Power of Citizen Science

We’ve had a lot of fun with all of our Rock Bottom Ranch (RBR) visitors this spring, but two in particular have stood out. This week we’ve been graced by a pair of White-faced Ibis, who have been spotted multiple times flying around the Ranch and feeding in the pastures! This highly nomadic bird strikes a dramatic figure next to the Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks that are our usual avian visitors. Its plumage appears black under some conditions, but when hit by sunlight it reveals itself to be an iridescent blue-green.


Third Grade Nature Detectives

Posted in Kids' Corner

In environmental education class Aspen Elementary School (AES) third grade students have been learning about what it takes to be a naturalist detective in the winter. Ask any AES 9 year old, and they’ll tell you that you can look for animal clues in the snow to help create a story of who has been out and about. Nibbled pinecones mean a pine squirrel has been chomping away in the trees up above. Scat along the trail means a coyote has been trotting around looking for dinner. Long rubbings on aspen trees mean elk have been busy scratching their teeth to consume the bark.


Owling Nights at Hallam Lake

Posted in Kids' Corner
Visit our Great Horned Owlat Hallam Lake, a fun Aspen activity!

"And then Pa called: Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo. Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whoooooooo. I listened and looked so hard my ears hurt and my eyes got cloudy with the cold. Pa raised his face to call out again, but before he could open his mouth an echo came threading its way through the trees. Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo."
- Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen


Learning About the Stars

Posted in Kids' Corner

Have you ever gone outside on a crisp, clear, winter evening to look at the stars?  Perhaps you tried to connect a few of them together to make your own constellation? Or maybe you found the three stars that make up Orion’s belt? What if you could see all of these stars in an area the size of your living room?


Aspen Mountain Second Grade Field Program

Posted in Kids' Corner
Aspen Elementary 2nd grade snowshoe field trip on Aspen mountain

In ACES’ Environmental Education class second graders learn about animal adaptations. Ask one of them and they’ll tell you that an adaptation is “something an animal has or does that helps it to survive.” During this winter season we have been focusing on what adaptations animals have to help them survive winter. 


Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding

A couple of weeks ago I was able to experience a saw-whet owl banding project near Rifle, Colorado with Kim Potter, a wildlife technician with the US Forest Service and a licensed owl bander. Kim has been banding owls near Rifle for many years, and over a couple of nights throughout the fall Kim invites the public to come watch the banding.


Creepy Crawly Night, 2012

Posted in Kids' Corner

Happy Halloween from Aspen Center for Environmental Studies! On the evening of Monday, October 22nd, ACES hosted 'Creepy Crawly Night' for all Aspen Elementary School second grade students and their families. The Hallam Lake Nature Center was decked out in spooky decorations, spider webs, and information and crafts involving our favorite creepy crawly Aspen animals, like spiders and bats. Some of our resident indoor animals made a special appearance, such as the ball python, the Eastern box turtle, and the Western tiger salamander.