Burly Bears

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Burly Bears

Students in U.S. high schools can get free digital access to The New York Times until Sept. 2021.

Each year, people vote for the heftiest brown bear at the Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska. The Fat Bear Week contest, which highlights the animals’ dramatic weight gain in advance of winter hibernation, runs through Oct. 6. and is a way to raise awareness about the wildlife in the park and preserve.

Have you heard of this unusual and lighthearted “contest?” What do you think of Katmai’s novel way to market its park? If you were on the committee to promote a local park or other public institution near you, how might you borrow this idea and tweak it for your area? What could you ask the public to vote on that would raise interest?

Tell us in the comments, then read the related article to learn more about this amusing competition.


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Students 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.