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Three local nonprofits combine to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience for local youth

Sierra Nevada Journeys, the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to create “Hands-In The Truckee” a unique three-part program that teaches watershed science, weather dynamics and the water cycle to 5th grade students from Lincoln Park Elementary, Bennett Elementary and Kate Smith Elementary schools in Washoe County School District.

Reno, Nv | March 27, 2012

“The wealth of knowledge and willingness to partner to create this educational opportunity for the children in our region is exciting,” said Sarah Gobbs-Hill, programming coordinator at The Discovery. “Opportunities to combine classroom learning and hands-on activities are one of the main reasons The Discovery is such a valuable resource for northern Nevada.” 

Hands-In The Truckee has three components:

  • During 3 classroom visits, professional educators from Sierra Nevada Journeys will teach a hands-on, standards based unit on watershed science, weather dynamics and the water cycle.
  • As an extension of the classroom-based portion of the program, students will travel to The Discovery for a visit to the Truckee Connects exhibit, as well as a guided tour of the museum and a follow-up lesson taught by museum educators.
  • Finally, on the same day as the visit to The Discovery, students and teachers alike will visit the Truckee River at The Nature Conservancy's McCarran Ranch Preserve. While there, students will conduct water quality tests on river water, thereby cementing the classroom and museum lessons with a "hands-in" experience.  

“Are there sharks in this ocean?” asked a 6th grader from Reno, NV as he gazed on Lake Tahoe for the first time. This question prompted the creation of Sierra Nevada Journeys, whose mission is to inspire youth and communities to take care of the natural world through education, leadership development and service. Through a variety of programs that include classroom-based, field-based, residential and professional development, our focus is on experiential and inquiry-based learning through science, collaborative problem solving and building a sense of place within our community. ( 

The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) inspires curiosity, creativity and the joy of lifelong learning for all children and families of northern Nevada. The museum provides opportunities to discover science, art and local history through open-ended, interactive and fun exhibits and hands-on educational programs. Explore a cave, build a house, race across Nevada, and climb into the clouds – these are just some of the many adventures found at The Discovery. (

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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