As an EcoExplorer, your child will carry out simple, fun EcoChallenges that will guide them in completing their EcoQuest. For every completed EcoChallenge, your child earns a badge!
The Cary EcoQuest program gets children connected to nature with activities that are straightforward, accessible, and accomplished with minimal parental assistance. It will spark children’s curiosity about the local ecosystem that exists right where they live, instill confidence in their skills to think and explore like an ecologist, and prepare them for future science investigations back in the classroom and beyond.
We are offering this program for free!
Help your child springboard into EcoQuest by signing up for two weeks of “EcoQuest Crew” interactive Zoom meetings with Cary educators! Eco-Explorers will meet for a total of 5 Zoom meetings.
The dates for the “EcoQuest Crew” program are July 6-9 and July 12-16. The first week will focus on the “Naturalist” badge and the second week will focus on the “Field Tech” badge. If you request the EcoQuest booklets, those will arrive in the mail prior to July 6th.
Download an orientation packet that provides an overview of:
New This Year!
Registration is open through June 25, 2021.
EcoExplorers will carry out investigations outside of their homes to learn ecology the way scientists at Cary do. The goal of this program is for kids to learn all they can about the ecosystem that exists in the natural space outside their homes, such as a backyard, potted plants on a patio, whatever green space may be available! They will keep a personal nature journal, collect insects, fungi and plants, participate in citizen science projects, set up experiments, and try their hand at being eco-educators and eco-artists.
To complete this EcoQuest, your child must complete a series of EcoChallenges for which they will receive fun metal button badges. We would love to see these badges on backpacks, hats or tee-shirts at future Cary camps!
Cary EcoQuest is recommended for children entering grades 2-5. We have suggested participation levels:
This program is flexible and your child can work at their own pace to achieve badges - they can do activities for an hour each day or longer, complete a badge within one week or spread it out over multiple weeks. They can even continue their EcoQuest after the summer program concludes!
For added support, we are offering themed guidance and activities that align with the first two badges (Naturalist and Field Tech) during the virtual Zoom meetings in early July. Although screen time is not absolutely required to complete the EcoChallenges, we do recommend at least minimal participation in our online enrichment opportunities—like being part of an EcoQuest Crew—because they allow participants to connect with Cary Educators and fellow EcoExplorers.
For those interested in being part of an EcoQuest Crew, there will be virtual get-togethers each week of no more than 45 minutes for EcoExplorers in each of two age bands - entering grades 2-3 and 4-5. Additionally, there will be a bilingual Spanish-English Zoom session option. These sessions will invite EcoExplorers to share their discoveries, get to know each other and the educators, and receive encouragement and guidance on their path to completing the EcoQuest.
At registration, please indicate if you would like your child to participate. We would like the EcoQuest Crews to be consistent groups where children become familiar and comfortable with each other and with the leaders during these two weeks.
We will be using Zoom as our communication platform and Padlet as the platform to post weekly activities and discoveries. Both are private platforms that are free and simple to use, and will only be used by the EcoQuest program participants.
The EcoQuest Program will be led by Ashley Alred with the assistance of high school Eco-Leaders from the 2020 EcoQuest program.