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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: Learn Long And Prosper

Jordan Kirtley

With the excellent weather we’re having, aside from whatever that was on Sunday, there’s no doubt that the Sedgwick County Zoo would be packed if these were normal times. But since they aren’t, the zoo has taken to posting live videos on their Facebook page twice every weekday. I last visited the zoo in person in October, when there was a new litter of capybara pups. I was happy to see them again, even if only virtually. I also watched a red panda eat grapes and caught up with Paul the red river hog. There are lots of videos, both endearing and educational, up now, and more to look forward to every day.

Victory gardens are a big deal right now. I’ve started one myself, and rejoiced the other morning over the tiniest lettuce sprouts. K-State Research and Extension has a series of free, virtual classes every Tuesday night through May to help our gardens thrive. The live classes are already full, but you can still register and receive the recorded videos at tinyurl.com/vgarden101.


Exploration Place has always made learning fun, and their new virtual efforts are no different. Watch the professionals conduct experiments with liquid nitrogen and fire, and then follow along with some slightly less extreme projects at home. Just look for Exploration Place on Facebook or YouTube.


These ideas can add some fun to your homeschooling lessons, but they’re also entertaining for the life-long learners in all of us.




"Sweet Spot" by Scanglobe courtesy of the Free Music Archive, CC BY NC

Jordan Kirtley is KMUW's Marketing Manager and the host of Next Up, a local events commentary. More casually she is known as KMUW’s “in-house artist,” having designed the many facets of KMUW’s visual identity.