Little Sewickley Creek Nature Guides

Multimedia Presentations

title slide for the 1st grade spring presentation

Founded in 1976 by Mary Louise Johnson, the Little Sewickley Creek Nature Guides is an organization of volunteer nature guides who work with the elementary school children in the Sewickley (PA) area. Each fall and spring, a program lasting approximately six weeks is held. Children are shown an educational presentation in class and a few days later taken into the field to study topics such as seasonal changes, birds, and creek habitat.

Early in 2005, the Little Sewickley Creek Nature Guides contacted me about revamping their in-class presentations. They were facing two problems, slide projector presentations that seemed impossibly lame to technology-immersed 21st century children, and the physical deterioration of the slides themselves, many of which were getting on for 30 years old. I was hired to generally modernize their program and create multimedia presentations that would be slick enough to hold the attention of today's tech-savvy shoolchildren, yet easy enough for comprehension by the grade level for which they are intended, and easy for the Nature Guides to deliver themselves without special training. My work has consisted of the following:

• Scan and restore any of the original slides that are of sufficient quality and are in good enough condition.

• Shoot new digital photos of the old subjects and new ones taken during the guided nature walks themselves.

• Record the natural sounds of the environments in which these walks take place.

• And finally, to complete the graphic design and sound design of all these elements into an easy to use and fun (yet educational) computer-based presentation.

Since this program covers grades 1 through 5 and involves a separate spring and fall presentation for each, this isn't going to happen quickly but at the time of this writing I have completed one presentation and am putting finishing touches on the second. Fortunately, once the formatting and layout was standardized while designing the first one, the rest should come much faster, but they're still a lot of work! I've collected a small gallery of some of my favorite shots taken for this project so far. I'll continue to add to and revise this page as it continues. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of the photos below!

Click on any thumbnail image below to see a larger version

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Copyright © Mark Roberts