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Family Science Backpacks

There are five Family Science Backpacks with different themes, they’re packed with supplies, activities, and tools for you to explore the world in your backyard, a local park, the forest, the seashore, and even inside your house. Learn how to be a citizen scientist as you identify birds and mammal tracks, and experience how easy it is to get your children interested in science and nature!

Birding

Binoculars, bird call, bird call identification CD, clipboard case, magnifying glass

Related items to borrow

Citizen science opportunities:

Celebrate Urban Birds, NestWatch, YardMap, Great Backyard Bird Count

Web resources:

Maine Audubon

Bugs & Butterflies

Butterfly net, binoculars, magnifying glass, two way bug viewer, insect habitat, clipboard case

Related items to borrow

Citizen science opportunities:

Monarch MapMaine Forest ServiceMaine Invasive Species Network

Hiking (trees, wildflowers & invasive species identification)

Compass, magnifying glass, binoculars, plant press, head lamp, maps (Peaks Island & Maine’s Southern Coast), clipboard case

Related items to borrow

Citizen science opportunities:

Vital Signs Maine

Web resources:

Maine invasive species fact sheets, Maine Invasive Species Network, Portland Trails

Rock Hounding

Sand shovel, gold panning bowl and tweezers, flashlight, goggles, safety glasses & case, children’s rock hammer, archaeology trowel, zip lock baggies (to collect specimens), Golden Guide: Rocks, Gems, Minerals, specimen box, scale of hardness, magnifying glass, clipboard case

Related items to borrow

Web resources:

Maine Geology

Star Gazing

Binoculars, red beam flashlight, folding star chart, moon map, space blanket, magnifying glass, clipboard case

Related items to borrow

Citizen science opportunities:

Help map moon craters

Globe at night (light pollution tracking) 

Solar storm watch

Web resources:

Night sky map

Online Planetarium

 

Water Wonder

Aquascope, magnifying glass, pail & shovel, zip lock baggies (to collect specimens), aquatic dip net, binoculars, clipboard case

Related items to borrow

Citizen science opportunities:

Citizen stewards water quality monitoring program, Southern Maine Volunteer Beach Monitors

Web resources:

Tide Chart, Maine Department of Marine Resources