ITHACA, N.Y. –– Since COVID-19 has necessitated its closure, the Sciencenter has been putting on virtual programming to keep the community engaged and connected as social distancing restrictions keep us apart.

Next week, the programs will celebrate Earth Week with a variety of virtual, Earth-themed activities.

Each morning from Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24, at 10:30 a.m., Sciencenter educators will host live Zoom activities all focused on sustainability and Earth science content. The link to those zoom programs can be found on the Sciencenter website.

Many of these activities were developed by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net), a community of informal educators and scientists of which the Sciencenter is a part.

“We try to make the activities pretty straightforward and digestible, and provide props and ideas to extend that hands-on learning throughout the day,” said Emily Barclay, the public and media relations manager at the Sciencenter said. “We love to connect with families and help them pursue that learning on their own and practice those foundational science lessons at home.”

The Sciencenter’s Curator of Live Exhibits will also take the public through virtual tours of the Animal Room on Tuesday, April 21 and Thursday, April 23 at 2 p.m. These informational, virtual, meet and greets with the Sciencenter animals will be live-streamed on the Sciencenter’s Youtube channel.

“My favorite are snakes, so we’ll probably be spending some time with the snakes,” Barclay said.

In addition, the Sciencenter is excited to participate in Get Your GreenBack Tompkins’ virtual Tompkins Earth Day event. The event will be live-streamed through their Facebook page on Wednesday, April 22, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and will feature many local organizations and experts. The Sciencenter and other family-oriented activities will take place during the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot and will feature the Sciencenter live collections.

Be sure to follow the Sciencenter on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates about Sciencenter Earth Week virtual events, and to take advantage of the Earth-themed resources they will share throughout the week.

Earth Week Zoom Activity Schedule:

  • Monday: Rising Sea – Consider the effects of climate change on sea levels and landmass.
  • Tuesday: My Community – Envision your ideal neighborhood!
  • Wednesday: Native Species – Get acquainted with our animal neighbors in the Sciencenter’s New York Natives corner!
  • Thursday: Watch & Create: Creativity for Sustainability – Turn screen time into imaginative investigation!
  • Friday: Paper Mountains – Model the effects of pollution on interconnected waterways.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Gill via Flickr. 

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at