Vernal Pool Educational Projects
Poster Outreach Project
- procedure -
The Poster Outreach Project can easily be considered a multi-disciplinary activity. It involves science, writing, art, cooperative learning, publication and community outreach.
Decide that you would like to make a poster with your class. Discuss the project with other teachers that might work with you. Determine whether or not you will be able to make a financial contribution to VPA. Decide on the type of poster you will make. Then email the VPA (see Sign UP)to express your interest and confirm your participation.
Do Your Vernal Pool Research
Research can be any combination of field work, class observation, library work and internet searching. Some teachers like to do the poster before a spring vernal pool visit. Others incorporate the visit into the poster research.
Make the Artwork
Art may be on any size paper up to 12" X 17". If you use 12"x18" art paper, either cut the size down or have students draw a margin before work. All paper should be held the same way, either landscape or portrait. All art should be in the same medium. Water colors and colored pencil seem to work best. The subject of the art should be prominent and not a little speck in the center. Do not put names of animals or people on the front of the artwork. Write student's full name in pencil on the back.
Clay sculptures can be clever and attractive. However, they are difficult to photograph. Don't do sculpture unless YOU can photograph them well when done. Your photos will need to be closeups and clear. We will need either the negatives or digital copies.
Write the Text
Your text will be limited to no more than 9 lines of about 10 words. A poster looks very busy and is hard to read with more text than this. You might have the students write the first report and then rewrite it at the 90 word limit. This is where we all learn about the editing process and choosing correct words.
Text can be prose or poetry. Choose what fits into your curriculum. Be sure the text conforms to the theme you have for the poster. The greatest pitfall on text seems to be that students get much of their material from field guides and then write the text mostly as a description of the animal or where in the world it is found. They should try to consider that their audience will eventually be the public and that is to whom they should be writing.
Type the text, save as a Microsoft Word Document or as Rich Text Format. Each text unit should have the student's full name with it.
Organize Your Materials
Prepare a list with all student's name typed along with the name of the animal they are working on. Check that each piece of art has a name and that each unit of text has a name. Text should be on a floppy disk or can be emailed to us.
Write out the material that should go in the title block. This might include the school, class, teachers who worked on the project, a title for the project, etc. You can include pictures of the students and/or your vernal pool.
Let us know how to deal with student names. Do you want no names, first names only or first name and last initial? Does each panel get a name or are the names placed by themselves in the border of the poster or in the title block?
Send Everything to Us
You can mail everything in a large envelope or priority mail box (available at the USPS). Email to let us know it is coming.
If you are making a contribution to us to help defray the costs of this project, now would be the time to send it if you haven't already done so.
We Make Your Poster
When we get the material, we will scan the artwork and edit the text for scientific accuracy. If the text has errors or space problems, we'll email it back to the students can correct it. Within a few weeks, we'll send you a full size draft of the poster for your corrections and comments. When we receive the draft back, we'll prepare and print the final poster and send you seven copies.
Two copies will be on high quality photo paper and will be laminated for protection from UV light. These are the copies which most school keep for their own building. The other five copies will be on heavy paper and we can laminate them for you if you request it.
You Place Copies of the Poster in Your Community
You and your students can place your Outreach Posters in the commmunity. The placing of the posters is often a good photo-op for the school. This certainly would be a good time for you to get some well deserved publicity.