Educational Opportunities

Ice Fishing Basics

Jan 25, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park, Shelter #5
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Learn the basics of ice fishing and get some hands-on experience. Bait and poles will be provided.

Book Worms

Jan 30, 6:30 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Join our book club with Naturalist Heidi Anderson to discuss Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose.

Caucus for Cookies

Feb 1, 1:00 pm
Location:
Living History Farms
Event For:
8-13 years
Audience Location:
Open to the public
Cost:
$4.75 - $7.25
Organization:
Living History Farms
Contact:
Amy Day
Email:
amyday@lhf.org
Phone:
(515) 278-5286
Participate in a mock caucus and learn about Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status as you sample yummy cookies! Families will partake in the caucus experience by campaigning & voting for their favorite sweet treats. Arrive by 1:45pm to participate in the entire caucus process, led by Mayor Bob Andeweg.

Toddler Tales

Feb 6, 10:00 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Let your imagination run wild with this fun, nature-themed story time! Hear a story followed by the naturalist’s choice of an activity such as an animal encounter, puppets or a craft. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Ice Fishing Basics

Feb 8, 1:00 pm
Location:
Thomas Mitchell Park, pond
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Learn the basics of ice fishing and get some hands-on experience. Bait and poles will be provided. Participants over the age of 16 need a valid fishing license.

Kayak 101

Feb 8, 6:00 pm
Location:
Urbandale Pool
Event For:
Public
Cost:
$25
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
We’ll shake off the winter blues with plenty of paddling time in the pool. A short discussion about equipment and technique will take place before hitting the water. Locker rooms are available for changing into clothes that can get wet.

Critter Club

Feb 9, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Come visit Jester Park Nature Center’s resident turtles, snakes, and salamanders to learn about these misunderstood animals. You may even get to touch a turtle or snake. This is an open house program, come anytime between 1-2:30 pm.

Best Puppet Show Ever

Feb 11, 10:00 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Join us for an exciting and energetic puppet show. Participants will be laughing, singing, and learning about nature as we entertain them with a scripted show starring a cast of animated puppets and props. All ages welcome.

Mindfulness & Movement Class

Feb 11, 6:30 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public, ages 12+
Cost:
$15
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Controlling our breath and moving our bodies in focused ways can bring back a connection with the natural world. This class will offer ways to connect with breath, body and the earth, regardless of experience with yoga. Beverage and snack served following the program.

Owl You Need is Love

Feb 15, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Join us to celebrate Iowa’s true winter romantics…the owls! By Valentine’s Day owls are often sitting on a nest of eggs. Learn why owls court in winter, which owls call Iowa home, make an owl craft, and head outside to see if we can find other winter birds. Ages 5 and up.

Animal Guides Meditation

Feb 20, 6:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public, ages 14+
Cost:
$15
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Join Kara Simons for a guided meditation and discussion honoring our energetic and physical connections with animals as teachers and guides. Reframe your perception and explore the rich symbolism of animal characteristics and attributes, from birds to mammals to reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Snowshoeing and Shinrin Yoku

Feb 21, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public, ages 14+
Cost:
$30
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, Integrative Medicine Physician and author of “The Outdoor Adventure’s Guide to Forest Bathing” will be leading this interactive class. If there is no snow, we will go on a winter woodland hike followed by Forest Bathing/Shinrin Yoku.

Find Your Future in Food and Nutrition Through Science Visit Day

Mar 13, 9:00 am
Location:
ISU Campus
Event For:
9-12 grade
Audience Location:
open to all
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition
Contact:
Erica Beirman
Email:
ebeirman@iastate.edu
Phone:
(515) 294-4361
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) at Iowa State University is pleased to invite your students and their families to the upcoming Find Your Future in Food and Nutrition Through Science Visit Day on March 13. (NOTE: This is not a Des Moines Public Schools activity. The district shares this information as a courtesy to create awareness of community opportunities available to our students and their families.)

Polk County Conservation Youth Corps – Spring Crew

Mar 24 (all day)
Location:
Polk County, Iowa
Event For:
15-18
Audience Location:
All High School, especially Hoover
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
JANNA COULTER
Email:
Janna.Coulter@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 242-2566
Work outside in parks this spring or summer. We provide transportation, equipment, tools, and training for teenagers who want to make a difference in the outdoors. Polk County Conservation Youth Corps aims to engage and inspire youth through hands-on environmental stewardship & outdoor recreation.

Lifeguard Certification Courses

Apr 1 (all day)
Location:
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Event For:
High School
Cost:
$200.00
Organization:
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Contact:
Ann Peterson
Email:
ann.peterson@dmymca.org
Phone:
(515) 471-8509
Lifeguard certification course to prepare students for employment at a pool. Classes 5 New Certification classes and 4 Review classes January-March 2020.

Build My Future

Apr 15, 8:00 am
Location:
Iowa State Fairgrounds Varied Industry Building
Event For:
13-18
Audience Location:
All schools welcome
Cost:
FREE
Organization:
Iowa Skilled Trades
Contact:
Brandon Patterson
Email:
brandon@dsmhba.com
Phone:
(515) 270-8500
Build My Future is an immersive hands on event that allows participants to see multiple career paths available in Iowa. Participants will be able to get their hands on many careers in urgent need of a skilled workforce. Find more information at www.iowaskilledtrades.com .

Blank Park Zoo School Programming

May 29 (all day)
Location:
Your classroom
Event For:
K-12 Programming
Cost:
$55 per classroom visit
Organization:
Blank Park Zoo
Contact:
Amy Kopatich
Email:
amkopatich@blankparkzoo.net
Phone:
(515) 974-2558
Information on bringing live animals to your classroom, taking a field trip to the zoo, or adding our programming into your after school program.