After-school Science Clubs
Kwiáht launched the islands’ first after-school science club in 2008 on Orcas with support of the Orcas Island Community Foundation and local parents. At the suggestion of parents, the club was divided in 2009 into an elementary-level program that focuses on field trips and discovery of local ecosystems, and a middle-school program devoted to lab skills and conservation research. Middle school clubbers carried out a countywide study of Triclosan and Estradiol in sewage effluent in 2010, and then turned their attention to evaluating bioremediation projects such as a large artificial wetland built in Eastsound to manage contaminated rain runoff. A third Orcas club is planned for high school students on the example of Lopez Island Conservation Corps. Kwiáht also contributes technically to the Farm-to-School program at Lopez Elementary School, which not only grows food for school lunches but also seeds for local gardeners.
Some recent Orcas science club adventures include:
- Collecting rocks and minerals in the Dolphin Bay Quarry
- Collecting mushrooms at Mountain Lake in Moran State Park
- Seining for fish that live in the eelgrass in East Sound
- Exploring a wetland for amphibians, insects, and crustaceans
- Searching for rare orchids around on Mount Constitution