WILD WILD MUSHROOMS
Kids are always surprised to learn what it is that mushrooms are actually doing in the forests and fields, and astonished at the diversity of cool mushroom species that can be seen right in their own neighborhoods. Although the kingdom Fungi is a hugely important part of our natural world, it is often misunderstood…or not understood at all! But with help, it’s actually easy to grasp…and, luckily for us educators, learning about the science of mushrooms is lots of fun.
Our “Wild Wild Mushrooms” children’s program is really all about nature in general. Fungi play crucial roles in the environment, all around us, all the time; yes, sometimes this means breaking down dead wood and other substances…but did you know about the amazing new discovery that fungi can break down toxic chemicals? They are now being used for cleaning up environmental disasters! The world of fungi is a treasure trove of environmental science, and not just amazing educational stories, but fun science activities like making spore prints, taking nature photos, and going on “treasure hunts” to identify and collect Artist’s Conks and other mushrooms to use for crafts. We go over these activities during our “Wild Wild Mushrooms” slideshow; but from May through November we also offer “Fun with Fungi”, an extended half-indoor, half-outdoor program, where everyone can experience the fun for themselves. Contact us to plan a wonderful program for your school or organization.
Email or call us at (401)595-6143.
“WILD WILD MUSHROOMS”
1-hour slideshow program, presented by Ryan and Emily.
Fee: $100 [Ryan—ask Karen]
“FUN WITH FUNGI” two-part class
1-hour slideshow program, indoors, presented by Ryan and Emily.
1-hour hands-on program, outdoors: mushroom walk, science activities, and crafts.
(indoor and outdoor segments can be on the same day, or on two separate days)
Fee: $160 [Ryan—ask Karen]
DON’T WORRY—Handling wild mushrooms is safe, even the very poisonous kinds. In other countries, children often provide great assistance by gathering mushrooms and bringing them home to their parents, who determine which ones can be eaten. However, we know that this would alarm many American parents; so this children’s program steers clear of teaching about edible wild mushrooms. We talk a little about the nutritional value of mushrooms from grocery stores; but as far as wild edible mushrooms, we say only this: the science of mycology—identifying mushrooms scientifically—is the way adults can be trained to tell safe ones from poisonous ones. Then we move on to the next topic.
For PROGRAMS ABOUT EDIBLE MUSHROOMS, FOR ADULTS (OR MATURE KIDS), click HERE [button goes to CLASSES, WALKS, & FESTIVALS]