McKeever Update

Dec 9, 2012   //   by McKeever Center   //   Blog, Events, McKeever Center News, School Programs  //  1 Comment
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Research on the SunshipTM Earth Program

Nancy Bires, a 26-year veteran teacher in the Hermitage School District and doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is conducting a study on the long-term influence of the Earth Education program, SunshipTM Earth on environmental attitudes and actions. The topic for her dissertation is of great interest to her since she did her student teaching at McKeever in 1981, the first year the center offered the Sunship Earth program. Sixth grade students from the Delahunty Middle School in Hermitage began participating in the program in 1981. She has been bringing sixth graders from Delahunty since she began teaching in Hermitage in 1986.

Dr. Bruce Johnson and Costas Manoli from the Earth Education Research and Evaluation Team at the University of Arizona conducted a four-year study on Sunship Earth and EarthkeepersTM from 2004-2006. The McKeever Center participated in the study along with centers in Arizona and Louisiana. Results of the study indicate that both programs resulted in a higher pro-environmental perception after participation in the earth education programs. Johnson and Manoli suggest that longitudinal research is needed to determine if these changes in attitude continue into adult life and relate to environmental attitudes and actions on environmental issues. The study by Bires will investigate the influence of Sunship Earth six to 31 years after participating in the program.


10th Annual Nature Art Show

Our 10th Annual Nature Art Show was a resounding success! As usual, Julie Harris did an excellent job performing on Friday night. The weather was outstanding and the artists did very well. Besides the ‘lookers’ who come to the show, there were lots of ‘buyers.’ We saw quite a few people walking around with framed paintings. The artists were very happy with the event and were pleased on their sales.


Summer Camps

Our series of summer camps continue to grow. All of our camps this past summer were well attended, including the Outdoor Adventure Camp for 12-14 year olds. The campers loved it and can’t wait to come back. The main features of this camp were hiking, canoeing and bicycling, which included day trips to Clear Creek State Forest and Goddard State Park.



Our new bookstore is a hit! Our schools and rental groups are impressed with how it turned out. If you recall, our bookstore was the size of a closet. Instead of re-installing a drop ceiling, we raised the ceiling to expose one of the wood laminate beams and added a tongue-and-groove wood ceiling and a hardwood floor. The bookstore is open to the public, not only our visiting schools and groups.

Just a reminder – if you are looking for a nature gift for someone for Christmas, stop in before the holidays and do some Christmas shopping. You can also order things online at New items include hoodies, grocery bags and string bags.


Summer 2013

Be sure to visit McKeever’s website for information and dates about summer camps and programs. It’s not too early to begin thinking about coming to one of our summer camps.

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1 Comment

  • Keep up the good work, Nancy. As I finish my 31st and final year of teaching, I can’t keep count of the times I have referred back to the Sunship experience when needed. I’d be interested in reading more about the results, perhaps in a future Update!

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