Julie Travaglini

Education Program Director @ Allegheny Land Trust

Presentation Title: Animal Architects: Using Nature’s Builders to Teach STEAM Topics
Abstract: Have you ever wondered why a bee’s honeycomb is hexagonal in shape? Or how different species of birds create unique, weather-resistant nests? How are the tiny threads of a spider’s web able to catch insects while not trapping the spider? In this workshop we will explore animal architects, creatures that have perfected the art of engineering and design without the use of computers and technology! We’ll try our hand at recreating some feats of animal architecture: beaver dams, bird nests and spider webs to compare our engineering skills versus nature’s best builders. We’ll even explore technology and apps such as iNaturalist and Movie Maker that can help us to incorporate these topics into our early childhood classrooms or programming.

Biography: Julie Travaglini is the Education Program Director for Allegheny Land Trust and has worked in environmental education for more than 10 years in diverse settings such as nonprofits, zoos and arboretums. She is a Specialty Discipline Instructor for the state of Pennsylvania and provides state accredited professional development workshops for educators all over the state and at various local and state conferences. Julie serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Science Tots, a non profit that aims to provide families and educators with STEAM resources and activities. She is also a trained facilitator in the national curricula of Project WET and Getting Little Feet WET.