School Programs & Field Trips
Schools, Homeschool Groups, and Learning Pods
Enrich your curriculum and give you students the opportunity to learn outside in nature. Book a field trip today!
We are excited to offer programs specifically designed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards. Every field trip includes forest or wetland explorations, hands on activities, and inquiry based learning. Our programs present real world examples and build awareness and understanding of local environments.
Specific programs can be brought to your school and taught in your classroom or outside on your school grounds.
For Policies and Pricing click here.
For Preschool Programs click here.
For more information or to book a program, contact Sarah Breznen, Director of Education at 203-762-7280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*No bookings available during our Summer Camp season; June, July & August*
Where do certain plants and animals live? Why do they live there? What do they need to survive? Animals and plants live and grow in different habitats that meet their needs. Students will explore and compare a forest and wetland habitat. They will meet animals and observe plants to learn what they need to survive and why they live where they live. They will identify patterns, recognize relationships between plants and animals, and examine ways that plants, animals, and humans can change their environment.
Key Concepts: Survival, habitat, environment, ecosystem, sunlight, food, water, shelter, patterns, systems, cause and effect, natural resources, human impact.
NGSS: K-LS1-1, KESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3
The temperature is dropping and the animals are getting ready for the big freeze. How will they meet their basic needs of survival in the winter? Some will grow thick warm coats, some will gain fat, some will go south, some will stay and stock up, while some will just sleep. Gain an understanding of hibernation and why the animals do what they do to survive.
Key Concepts: Survival, habitat, sunlight, food, water, shelter, hibernation, migration, dormancy, adaptation, endothermic (warm blooded), exothermic (cold blooded), insulation, weather and climate.
NGSS: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
Animal Adaptations and Plant Parts
Every part of a plant or animal has a function to help it survive. By examining furs, skulls, plants, and seeds on our trails, as well as encounters with live animals, students will identify external parts and consider how these parts are used to meet basic needs. Students will also look at similarities and differences between offspring and parents, and how animal behavior can help offspring survive. Students will consider how we might copy these parts or behavior to design a solution to a human problem.
Key concepts: Survival, adaptation, structure and function, advantage, growth and development, behavior, inheritance, traits, patterns, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, photosynthesis, habitats, biomimicry.
NGSS: 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1, K-2-ETS1-1
Plants & Seeds
In the struggle to continue life, the plant kingdom has developed some incredible technologies to gain an advantage in the spread of their seeds. Some seeds explode, some fly, some use animals, but all have the same goal, to propagate life. Students will learn what all plants need to grow. They will visit a forest and wetland to see the different survival strategies employed by plants and trees and participate in a seed dispersal game.
Key Concepts: Photosynthesis, pollination, seed dispersal, sunlight, water, nutrients, soil, adaptation, competition, interactions, seasons, habitat, ecosystems, independent relationships.
NGSS: 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-2
Come explore the diversity of life in the forest! Students will look at the different layers of the forest and the microhabitats within. Some organisms spend most of their time up in the tree canopy, some never leave the ground. Students will examine the relationships between plants and animals and explore a decomposition station to learn what organisms lurk within fallen logs and rotting trees. While identifying tree species by their bark and leaves, students will learn that each species has a role in the forest and has a role for us, whether it is for medicine, building, or producing food. They will also investigate invasive plant species and consider their impact on the diversity of life within a habitat.
Key Concepts: Biodiversity, habitat, microhabitat, ecosystem, interdependent relationships, adaptations, invasive & native, deciduous, coniferous, photosynthesis, producer, consumer, decomposer, forest canopy, understory, ground cover, nutrient cycle.
NGSS: 2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1
Life Cycles and Survival
What are the similarities and differences between the life cycles of different organisms? How do the characteristics and traits of species and individuals help them to survive? Students will meet live animals and compare the life cycles of insects, amphibians, and reptiles, while making observations about what happens to organisms when their environment changes.
Spring Trips: Students will meet live resident animals, and scoop in the swamp in search of organisms at different stages of their life cycle.
Fall Trips: Students will meet live resident animals, look for creatures under logs, and play a game to understand the advantages of traits and survival.
Key Concepts: Life cycles, survival, traits, behavior, structure and function, adaptation, natural selection, resilience, habitat, ecosystem, biodiversity, change, human impact.
NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4
Life Cycles in Vernal Pools *March-April-May only*
Explore a unique habitat that only comes to life in the Spring, Vernal Pools! Students will meet different species that rely on these temporary habitats for survival and observe their adaptations at different stages of their life cycle. They will examine how weather conditions affect the depth, temperature, and water quality of the pool, which ultimately affects the survival of the organisms in it. Students will learn how scientists collect data in the field and use this information to assess our vernal pools. They will also look at the importance of this habitat and how it is connected to the surrounding forest and food web.
Key Concepts: Life cycles, survival, structure and function, adaptation, resilience, habitat, ecosystem, weather patterns, water quality, cause and effect, biodiversity.
NGSS: 3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 3-ESS2-1
Nature solved it first! People have copied nature in a variety of ways to solve human problems. Using live plant specimens and taxidermy mounts, students will observe external plant and animal structures and determine their function. Can we copy these structures in a way to help us with engineering or design solutions? How do we as humans process information? After a demonstration of how light enters the eye, students will have to use their other senses to navigate a course while blindfolded. Are there differences between how humans and animals process information? At the end of the program students are presented with a problem and must drawing their own solution design using plants and animals as inspiration!
Key concepts: Biomimicry, structure & function, light, refraction, waves, information processing, senses, adaptations, engineering.
NGSS: 4-PS4-2, 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-2
Stone Wall Stories
Why do we have so many stone walls in New England? This program focuses on Connecticut’s geological history. Come take a hike around our stone walls and learn their stories. Story 1: How did glaciers form the landscape? (The Ice Age 20,000 years ago). Story 2: Who built the stone walls? (European Settlers 200-300 years ago). Story 3: Who is using the stone walls today? Students will perform a hands-on simulation as they learn the ancient story of our glacial geological past and the historic story of the farmers who persevered to build the walls. They will learn how to date stonewalls in their own neighborhood by measuring the lichen that grows on them, and meet a live animal as they learn today’s story and the importance of these walls to many of our local species.
Key concepts: geology, glaciers, movement, erosion, rock formation, effect of ice on rock upheaval, CT geological history, stone wall ecology
NGSS: 4-PS3-1, 4-PS3-3, 4-ESS1-1, 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS2-2
Energy and Food Webs
How do animals have the energy to move around? Each organism in an ecosystem has a particular role in transferring energy. We’ll discuss how energy flows from producers to consumers and decomposers and why biodiversity is important for environmental quality. Students will also gain an understanding of where we fall in the food web and how we can help to sustain or collapse it. Students will study skulls, play games, hike and explore several food webs, and meet animals important to each.
Key concepts: Energy flow, food web, producer, consumer, decomposer, secondary, tertiary, omnivore, herbivore, carnivore, abiotic and biotic factors, adaptation, predator, prey, camouflage, ambush, venom, chemical defense, mimicry
NGSS: 5-PS1-1, 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1,
Did you know insects taste with their feet and smell with the antennae? Learn what makes insects different, meet some live insects as well as live animals that depend on insects for food. Many insects lay their eggs in the water. Scoop in our swamp to see what some look like before they emerge as adults.
What is a reptile? Students will meet turtles, snakes, and a lizard and learn about their characteristics and adaptations. They will take a short walk to visit the pond, the forest, and a wetland and learn about where local reptiles live and how they survive the different seasons.
Interested in a topic that you don't see here? Reach out to Sarah Breznen, Director of Education: email@example.com