The Children’s Science Center at Fair Oaks Mall.
The Children’s Science Center is celebrating birds this year in conjunction with the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The MBTA protects migratory birds by making it illegal to harm them and their habitat. The center has partnered with several organizations to create free, fun and informative bird-related activities this summer. Located at Fair Oaks Mall, the Children’s Science Center also organizes activities outside the mall for children and their families to learn more about birds this summer. We want to “show children, especially at a young age how fun and engaging science is and can be,” said Director of Communications Dorothy Ready.
The Children’s Science Center’s annual Citizen Scientist Program this year is the “Celebrate Urban Birds” initiative. It is a partnership with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and Cornell University. Participants are asked to go outdoors to the same area to observe birds for 10 minutes for at least three days and send their findings online at celebrateurbandbirds.org. Their discoveries will be added to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s worldwide database about birds. To learn more about becoming a Citizen Scientist, the Children’s Science Center has postcards with instructions or go to its website at childsci.org/citizen.
Aspiring photographers are invited to the Children’s Science Center on July 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Nature photographer Keith Freeburn will share tips and techniques on the best way to take pictures of birds. His photographs of native birds are displayed around the Children’s Science Center until the end of the summer.
The Children’s Science Center first bird walk, and tour of the Loudoun Water facility is on Sunday, July 22. Three 45-minute morning sessions are offered. Experts from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will guide families through paved and gravel paths on the restored wetlands behind the Loudoun Water Campus in Ashburn. This is a chance to learn about native and non-native birds in the area. There are also two morning sessions of the Loudoun Water facility for those who want to learn more about the wetlands, water conservation, and water treatment in Loudoun County. Though the event is free, registration is required at childsci.org/community-programs/.
On Saturday, Aug. 4, there will be a Summer of Science Celebration at the Grand Court of the Fair Oaks Mall. Aside from hands-on activities and a science show, the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia will bring raptors, such as owls and hawks, to the mall.
The Children’s Science Center is located at Fair Oaks Mall between Sears and Lord and Taylor. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is a non-profit organization that recently celebrated its third anniversary. To learn more about their programs and activities, visit childsci.org.