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Welcome to ON(line)SC

Hello Naturalists! Welcome to the Ozark Natural Science Center Online! Over the next five weeks, we will be sharing online lessons five days a week. Each morning, check our website to find interactive nature activities, videos, and more. We will have activities that can be done from the comfort of your couch, kitchen window, back yard, or local park!

Can't get outside? We will also be bringing springtime in the Ozarks to you through pictures and videos taken on ONSC's eight miles of hiking trails. Discover the wonder, history, and beauty of one of the most unique places on our planet.

Every week we will have a different theme, with activities for your inner scientist, artist, writer, and thinker!

• The first week, we will be focusing on the Earth's four spheres. How are rocks formed? Why does the wind blow? Where does water go after it rains? What plants and animals can we discover in the Ozark springtime? We will explore these questions and more as we delve into how the forces of our planet power life as we know it.

• The second week's focus will be on decomposition. When scientists talk about the FBI, what do we really mean? When we see a worm on the sidewalk after a storm, what job has that worm been doing for us? And what would happen if tomorrow, things stopped breaking down? Prepare to dig into the fascinating world of mushrooms, beetles, and more.

Week three takes us into the secretive world of nature at night. How do our senses change as it gets darker? What happens to plants and animals after we go to sleep? Take a look at the full moon and get ready to learn the salamander dance and listen to ancient stories of the stars as we light up the night.

• As we travel into mid-April, week four will focus on how all the life growing around us gets its energy. When plants grow, where is their mass coming from? When we fill our bird feeders, who else are we feeding? Why aren't our forests overrun with foxes? We'll be looking at how life “finds a way”-from the smallest seed through the majestic eagle- as we explore nature's grocery store!

• On week five, we'll bring everything into focus looking at ourselves and our role in the planet. What does it mean to “be a steward” for the environment? How can ordinary, every-day people get involved with science projects from their own homes or around the world? And why does ONSC have the word “Unless” all over the place? Get ready for some “food for thought” as we learn how we can all make a difference.

Throughout the week, we will be taking questions from student naturalists of all ages. On Find-Out Fridays, our teacher naturalists will host a live question and answer session where your questions are answered!

One of the most exciting things about nature is that when you step outside your front door, you never know who will be there to greet you! So be on the lookout for live updates as the season springs up around us! Watch multi-colored birds (and of course, our resident gray squirrels as well) visit our feeders. Pop in for a digital meet-and-greet with our snake ambassadors. Find out which animals are exploring our trails with our trail camera. Listen to the calls of our frog pond as each wave of frogs begins their spring calls. And check back on a regular basis to see our native plants as they grow from tiny seeds into glorious bursts of flowers!

On the other side of the creek, or the other side of the globe, we're excited to begin this journey with you.

Happy exploring! The ONSC Teacher Naturalists

*For those of you joining us for the first time, check out our “About” page to learn more about who we are and what we do.

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