The Natural Inquirer is a free science journal that brings Forest Service research to middle school students. Through articles and activities that allow students to meet scientists, learn about research processes, and build vocabulary, the Natural Inquirer informs and inspires young minds. The Natural Inquirer also has a sister journal, the Investi-gator, that is written for upper elementary level students.
The Natural Inquirer's scientist cards introduce students to Forest Service researchers and a variety of scientific subjects. In addition to describing their work, the researchers reveal their most exciting discoveries and share their stories about becoming scientists. See cards featuring Eastern Threat Center researchers: Johnny Boggs, Erika Cohen, Michael Gavazzi, Qinfeng Guo, Bill Hargrove, Frank Koch, Steve McNulty, Jennifer Moore Myers, Kurt Riitters, and Ge Sun.
Download and print bee-inspired activity sheets targeting elementary-aged children. The activity sheets were developed by the Natural Inquirer team specifically for Bugfest, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Southern Research Station partners with the museum to expose the wonders of forest science with more than one million multicultural school-aged children.
Articles and More
The Natural Inquirer presents Forest Service research discoveries just as scientific journals do, but these articles are written just for kids! Middle school students can learn about Eastern Threat Center research from Natural Inquirer articles, and K-2 students can learn more about Center scientists and their research questions from the Natural Inquirer Reader Series.
Meet Dr. Sun! - Natural Inquirer Reader, Vol. 1, No. 2
Meet Dr. Guo! - Natural Inquirer Reader, Vol. 1, No. 3
Cradle of Forestry Exhibits
The Cradle of Forestry, a historic site in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, is so named because it marks the birthplace of forest conservation in America. In 2014, the Cradle celebrated a new first with the unveiling of exhibits offering interactive opportunities for visitors to learn about . Children and adults can explore of the climate change and wildland fire exhibits, which feature Eastern Threat Center scientists.
"Only YOU can prevent wildfires," reminds Smokey Bear. Kids can visit Smokey's website for games and activities and to learn how to be smart outdoors to protect forests.
Kids can write letters and send them directly to Smokey Bear via his own zip code! In 2014, the U.S Forest Service and U.S. Postal Service worked together to reinstate Smokey's 20252 zip code, which had been in use since 1964.
More fun and educational resources are available from the U.S. Forest Service Conservation Education program.