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April Outreach Events highlighted by Earth Day, Documentary Showing

Outreach initiatives take center stage as Emporia State University offers a month full of exploration, learning and fun. Participants can enjoy a variety of activities including a planetarium show, science story time, a bilingual event and an Earth Day celebration.

The Peterson Planetarium offers two showings of “Sunstruck!” on Thursday, April 11, and Thursday, April 25, both starting at 4 p.m. The all-dome video and live night sky tour provide attendees with an understanding of the sun and its impact on Earth. Seating is limited and registration is required.

On Saturday, April 13, from 11 a.m. to noon, the Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center invites middle school students and older to a bilingual event called “Let’s Talk About Water Bears of Emporia, KS.”

The workshop focuses on the exciting world of microscopic creatures called tardigrades. Students will learn how to collect and observe these water bears in their natural habitats while gaining valuable insights into their biology and behavior. Registration is required.

PAROC’s monthly story time and activity events for children 7 and under provide an engaging story followed by an activity. The topic for April is eggs and baby animals, and attendees will participate in an egg hunt. Storytime will be on Monday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to noon and on Thursday, April 18, from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Registration is required, and children should be accompanied by an adult.

PAROC will be a hub of activity on Saturday, April 20, as ESU celebrates Earth Day from 10 a.m. to noon. Activities include a bilingual story walk, art, hiking, music, face painting, a bake sale, plant sale and other educational activities. Attendees will have a chance to win prizes by collecting stamps for the Earth Day Passport. Annie Wilson, founding member of the Tallgrass Express String Band, will be performing live music from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

The Earth Day activities are in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, National Science Teaching Association, Emporia Public Library, Emporia Spanish Speakers, Native Lands Restoration Collaborative and Vamos a Pescar. ESU student groups helping to support the event include the Green Club, Wildlife and Fisheries Club, graduate student organizations and education majors.

A riparian restoration volunteer workday will also take place where attendees can learn about native lands, removing invasive species and erosion occurring along stream banks of the tributary leading to the Neosho River. Attendees wishing to participate in the riparian restoration should register online. Registration is not required to attend the other Earth Day events.

Documentary fans will have the opportunity to see the film “Hot Times in the Heartland” at Emporia State on Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. in Science Hall 72. The documentary explores how a changing climate is impacting Kansas and the approaches communities are taking to adapt. Following the showing, the filmmakers will be on hand to lead a Q&A session. No registration is required.

The community is invited to all featured outreach activities at no cost. Attendees are reminded to register early to ensure availability for events with limited seating.