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Story in Brief

To overcome COVID-19 restrictions, Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, and Wayne county 4-H programs created a three-part series, “Virtual Coastal Adventures,” to fulfill the need for science education from a distance. Virtual Coastal Adventures was designed to support the goal of teaching students about local environmental issues and marine life. Each two-hour session included a variety of delivery methods to ensure the program was accessible and allowed youth to participate in a variety of ways. Each session included asynchronous activity packets containing educational information and instructions for activities that would be completed during the virtual session, along with activities for youth to complete independently at home. Activity packets were mailed to participants prior to each session. Youth were given the opportunity to report on their accomplishments, engage in discussion, and ask questions during each virtual session. Three programs were offered, each with a unique focus on Georgia’s marine fauna: sea turtles, plankton, and marine mammals. Information on individual species, habitats, the challenges they face, and what youth can do to be environmental stewards was provided through direct instruction, videos, informational texts, and hands-on activities. Learning opportunities were a mix of at-home and live activities that included arts and crafts, cooking, puzzles, engineering, contests, experiments, virtual field trips, and observation of marine life through live feed cameras. Collectively, the Virtual Coastal Adventures series engaged 30 youth in live, interactive online programming. A total of 53 youth participants registered for the series and received the activity packets. Seven Georgia counties were represented. Nineteen more youth were reached through the Kings Bay Youth Center. One parent wrote, “We really appreciate the love you have for the kiddos and your love of sharing all of your knowledge to making the kids better people.”