Earth Monitoring Program at INFINITY Science Center
INFINITY’s Earth Monitoring Program is designed to help students, teachers, researchers, and citizen scientists gather data to better understand the area around INFINITY.
The Earth Monitoring Program is an umbrella framework for ground-truth activities encompassing 4 “tracts”: GLOBE Program environmental monitoring, Electric Tram Tours down the Possum Walk Trail, butterfly gardens, and a greenhouse. A team of education specialists oversee, coordinate and integrate these tracts into INFINITY's educational activities allowing students and visitors to engage in citizen science.
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Announced by the U.S. Government on Earth Day in 1994, GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995. Its vision is a worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists, and citizens working together to better understand, sustain, and improve Earth's environment at local, regional, and global scales. Its mission is to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery. GLOBE provides grade level-appropriate, interdisciplinary activities and investigations about the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and soil/pedosphere, which have been developed by the scientific community and validated by teachers. GLOBE connects students, teachers, scientists, and citizens from different parts of the world to conduct real, hands-on science about their local environment and put in a global perspective (www.globe.gov). INFINITY is a certified GLOBE partner institution.
Electric Tram Tours
The 45-minute 6-mile excursion onboard an eco-friendly electric tram educates our guests on the history of the area including the former communities that dotted the region prior to the advent of the space program. Learn about native plants and animals, invasive species and the role that INFINITY plays in Environmental Monitoring and STEM education. Interpretive signs along the trail point out some of the plants and animals native to this part of Hancock County. Please note, tram tours are seasonal and run February - October.
INFINITY happens to be along one of the Eastern migration paths to and from Central Mexico for the Monarch butterfly. The Earth Monitoring Program’s Butterfly Tract will establish several gardens to encourage Monarchs, and other butterflies, to stop during their bi-annual migration. INFINITY’s staff will establish and maintain these sites. Once established, these sites will be registered and used to count monarch butterflies during their migration with data reported to Monarch Watch and Journey North.