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Upcoming Virtual STEM Festival, March 13, to include snakes, frogs

Kylee Timbrook with Jim Freganaro, wildlife biologist

Kylee Timbrook, right, got the opportunity to touch a snake during one of Mineral County’s prior STEM Festivals. Jim Freganaro, wildlife biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, left, will be a presenter during this year’s Virtual STEM Festival, to be held Saturday, March 13. Participants will get to “hear” like a snake and will learn the differences between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. 

Ribbit, Ribbit, Hissssssss…Some people get a little nervous when they see a snake or worry about getting warts from a frog.  Wildlife biologists work with snakes and frogs all the time.  They are important contributors to our ecosystems keeping critters in check.

Join Jim Freganaro, wildlife biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and Sheldon Owen, Ph.D., WVU extension wildlife specialist, during the 2021 Virtual Mineral County STEM Festival on Saturday, March 13 for a fascinating look at some of West Virginia’s (W.Va.) non-game wildlife.

Life from a snake’s point of view will be presented by Wildlife Biologist Jim Freganaro.  You will learn that snakes are cool.  You will also participate in an activity to “hear” like a snake using a metal clothes hanger and some string.  Freganaro will have several snakes on hand to show you the differences between poisonous and non-poisonous.

Dr. Sheldon Owen will cover the differences between frogs and toads by teaching the unique calls to help identify what you are hearing in the wild.  You will then be able to move forward and become a Citizen Scientist. Use the calls to see what kind of frog or toad life is close to you and help other scientists by completing information as to where they are located.

Participation in this event is easy through Zoom. Simply register on-line at mineralstem.com. Once registered families will receive the zoom link, session times, topic descriptions, and a materials list. Most sessions will involve hands-on activities with simple materials easily available. Quality closed captioning will be provided.

The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) provided seed funding to help establish this collaboration that benefits area youths through compelling hands on STEM activities. CTF is committed to building stronger communities in Allegany, Garrett, and Mineral counties by providing administrative services and financial management to philanthropic funds.

For regular updates on the STEM Festival like our Facebook page. If you have questions call the WVU Mineral County Extension Office at 304-788-3621.