Pedaling Pedagogues




(photo courtesy of Bike49's Web site )

On May 16 , four stalwarts will roll out of Arcata on their bicycles, and they won't be back until 14 months and 49 states have passed beneath their wheels. One is a bird nut; another does frogs and toads; another, buildings; and another, farms. And they all love bikes, so this bike tour is their way to share their interests with as many schoolchildren as they can encounter along the way.

The four -- Aaron Viducich (wildlife biologist with a bird bent), Sara Dykman (amphibian biologist), Tommy Viducich (green-building aficionado) and Matt Schiff (soil science major who's into food and farming practices) -- call themselves " Bike49 ," and they'll be traveling town to town with satchels-ful of lesson plans.

What's in the lesson plans? Well, some bicycling know-how. And more:

Bike49 has designed a lesson plan that incorporates geography, environmental science, and health education into one interactive lesson plan," they write on their blog. "We will spend the first portion of the class discussing our route and goals, and then move on to centers that teachers choose before our arrival. These presentations are not just about teaching sustainability, but about inspiring students to dream big and create goals that test their strengths, challenge their bodies, and fill their lives with adventure and fun.

Before they even take off, they plan to "warm up" with some local schools, said Dykman in an e-mail this afternoon.

We will be speaking with three schools in Arcata, one in Eureka, and one in Big Lagoon. Our next scheduled stop is Mrytle Point, OR then Seaside, OR. ... We are all really excited about this tour. We have been talking about it, planning it, and dreaming about it for over two years now, and it is looking like all our hard work is going to pay off. We already have a dozen schools on board, many generous sponsors, and people across the country cheering us on.




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