Date: 7/28/20 2:15 pm
From: Phil Kahler <philk...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Binoculars for Kids
Hi Tyler,

Thank you for reaching out! Younger students will likely need smaller
binoculars similar to Celestron Nature DX 8x32 which currently list for
$125.95 at https://www.celestron.com/products/nature-dx-8x32-binoculars.
K-12 Education at Cornell Lab of Ornithology sometimes offers mini-grants
to purchase these binoculars for classrooms. Subscribe to the K-12
Education newsletter or watch their Facebook page for announcements. They
also have some great curriculum resources available as free downloads in
addition to materials you can purchase at https://www.birds.cornell.edu/k12/.
Future mini-grants may also be available at
https://celebrateurbanbirds.org/community/minigrants/.

Don't be tempted to spend your money on less expensive optics as in the
long run you will be sadly disappointed. As a general rule, I have
discovered that binoculars rated as "waterproof" will stand up to rough
student use over time. During the past few years working with The Amazon
Binocular Project (https://morphoinstitute.org/amazon-binocular-project/)
we have discovered that Vortex Raptor 8.5x32 have worked well in the hands
of students. Currently listed at $129.99 at
https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-raptor-8-5x32-binocular.html. Before you
spend a dime though, be sure to reach out to the binocular manufacturer to
work out an educational or volume discount, especially if you are
purchasing a classroom set. Contacting the "right" person in sales can
save you some cash and stretch your classroom budget.

When I was starting out years ago I was fortunate to have a parent donate a
classroom set of Leupold Yosemite 8x32 binoculars:
https://www.leupold.com/binoculars/bx-1-yosemite-8x30mm (currently
$164.99). These have worked great for my Jr. High and High School students.
First off I took them all out of their cases and removed the lens caps so
they would not get lost. I lined a large plastic tool box with foam
padding to keep them safe. This tool box has wheels and a luggage style
telescoping handle to make transportation easy when bringing them on the
bus for field trips. Keeping the lenses clean is a pretty big job, but my
older students do an okay job of cleaning after they have been trained. By
the way, you will want to have your students practice using the binoculars
inside your classroom before ever taking them outside. We practice
focusing on small bird decoys and photos placed around the classroom.

Here are a couple of optics reviews you might find helpful:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/best-binoculars-the-cornell-lab-review-2013/

https://www.audubon.org/gear/binocular-guide

You may also find these YouTube videos from Cornell Lab of Ornithology
helpful.
https://youtu.be/eRMceoRQXQU
https://youtu.be/pkPzl-VPmo4

Please feel free to reach out if you have further questions.

Happy birding!

Phil Kahler
Tualatin Valley Academy
Science Department
7405 East Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Phone (503) 649-5518 x404
Fax (503) 642-7654
<philk...>

*Donate your new or used binoculars to the Amazon Binocular Project.*
https://morphoinstitute.org/amazon-binocular-project
<https://morphoinstitute.org/amazon-binocular-project/#>


On Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 8:47 AM Tyler Wilson <tyler.h.wilson...>
wrote:

> Hi, y’all,
>
> I’m a teacher in Corvallis and I'm looking to purchase binoculars for my
> 2nd and 3rd grade students for the fall. What recommendations do y’all
> have? Any parents/educators/bino-wizards out there who can help me out?
> There are so many different options; it’s a bit overwhelming!
>
> Thanks for your thoughts,
> Tyler
>
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