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Erick Anderson

Erick Anderson

Plan A for Erick’s life was to become a high school science teacher. But after graduating from Waukesha’s Carroll University in 2006 with degrees in Chemistry and Secondary Education, he found himself stumbling upon a much more intriguing Plan B. Joining the national program Lutheran Volunteer Corps, he spent the next two years placed as a full-time Environmental Educator at the Riverside Park Branch and was given the opportunity to stay on for three more years. In 2011, he began Plan C as Community Program Coordinator at the Washington Park Branch, focusing particularly on the Young Scientists Club program. He looks forward to finding out what plans D through Z will have in store.

Monday, 15 January 2018 12:45

Making Memories at Winterfest

Many times, members have shared with me their fond memories of ice skating on the Washington Park Lagoon while growing up. Having accessible skating in their neighborhoods was a huge part of many people’s childhoods. It was an important part of my childhood, too! I walked to a local park to go ice skating. Providing that service to the Washington Park neighborhood is something that we take great pride in as an organization.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 16:38

A Fondness for Fishing

One of my very first memories, from when I was three or four years old, was of me fishing with my dad. He had taken me camping up in the Chequamegon-Nicolet national forest. I remember only bits and pieces of riding in the truck, sleeping in a tent, and sitting around a campfire. But being out on a lake in the boat, that I remember quite vividly.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:00

Winterfest Returns to Washington Park!

Winter took its time getting here this year, but it definitely showed up ready to go! In a matter of days, Washington Park became covered in beautiful snow, and things are lining up beautifully for our annual Winterfest!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Washington Park: a Hotspot for Winter Fun!

The season started off slowly, but it finally feels like winter in Washington Park. Between the solstice and the New Year we “enjoyed” above freezing temperatures and a complete lack of snow. But now that there’s a chill in the air and snow on the ground, Washington Park is a neighborhood hotspot for winter fun!

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 00:00

Simple Task, Big Challenge

It seems like a simple task: start a fire, and boil a cup of water. Turns out it’s not so easy when all you have is a paper cup and three matches. During last year’s Teen Survival Challenge, I watched twenty different teams accomplish this task twenty different ways, and each of those ways gave me unique insight into the different ways teams work together and think through problems.

It has been a huge year for the Young Scientists Club at Washington Park. Reflecting on it all, I can't even believe we've accomplished so much in such a short period of time! Longtime member Donald Harris did his best attempt to summarize exactly what we do in our club in a quote found later in this post. As I try to summarize it myself, I'm not even sure where to begin. What began as a way to engage drop-in kids at Washington Park has evolved into a dynamic, multi-faceted educational and recreational program that I'm proud to be a part of. I'll summarize for you a few of its many highlights over the past 12 months.

This past summer, we began a research partnership with the University of Minnesota's Driven to Discover program. The kids — with guidance from the staff — developed their own original bird research study and created a professional-quality research poster and paper. We then traveled to the University of Minnesota's insect fair, where we presented our research and won an Outstanding Project Award. Since then, our group of budding young scientists has also presented their work at our annual Community Science Research Summit, at the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative annual conference, and to a group of partnering teachers at our schools. As I write this, Donald is again presenting our work for the Hi-Mount Elementary science fair!

"Uh uh. We ain’t going. We wanna go to gym!” What a way to start a class. We thought they’d be happy to see us. After all we were about to take them away from school to play and learn in the snow (and even slip in a little sledding). Who wouldn’t want to do that? This class, apparently. In fact, when we showed up at their room and asked if they were going on a field trip, they tried to convince us we were in the wrong room! Things did not start well, but we were confident that we could corral these seventh grade stallions.

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