Be a Scientist | All Seasons
Students will collect data for any number of seasonal citizen science projects. The data will be used by professional scientists around the world. Mission Monarch, Project Budburst, Lichen Monitoring, Water Quality Testing, Pollinator Garden Phenology, and iNaturalist are some of the projects available.
Special note: iNaturalist requires a free app to be downloaded.
Bud Exploration | All Seasons
How do trees that lose their leaves survive the winter? Students will learn about the life cycle of a tree, observe buds up close and explore what protects them from winter weather. This may include winter tree identification.
Earthworm Investigations| Fall, Spring
Ever wonder how earthworms survive underground? Can a worm that is cut in two grow into two new worms? How do worms know which way is up or down? Students will use scientific skills and tools to investigate the answers to these questions. They will also learn about the life of a worm through song.
Special Note: This is primarily an INDOOR program. Best paired with Underground World or Forest Floor Exploration
Forest Floor Exploration| Fall, Spring
What lives down there under the leaves and why don’t leaves continue to pile up every year? These questions will be answered as we explore the forest floor like scientists. Many levels of the food web will be discovered, but our focus will be on decomposers and their important role in the forest.
Journaling Skills| Fall, Spring
Students will learn how to use a journal to record information during nature study. This includes drawing and writing and focuses on details instead of artistic ability. Activities will be chosen based on the time of year, study location, and grade level.
Special Notes: Schools will need to provide journals for students. Pair with Observation Skills.
Life in the Forest| Fall, Spring
Who lives in the forest and how do they interact with one another? Discover the answers to these questions and more through focused observations, role-playing games, activities and discussion. Topics may include energy flow, matter cycling, interdependence, and predator/prey relationships.
Mammal Tracks & Signs| Winter
Explore how wildlife moves through the winter landscape. Be a detective and use clues such as tracks and signs to uncover the story of the animals that are active this time of year in the forest and field.
Special Note: Up-close examination of skins and skulls may be included when available.
Maple Sugaring | Spring
Sullivan County is the #1 maple syrup producer in NH. Students will learn what makes New England a good place for Sugar Maples to grow as well as learn about the life cycle of a tree. They will learn about the process of turning sap into sugar and get to taste test some different grades of syrup.
Special Note: Our sugar house is only for collecting sap. Students will learn about the process, but not experience it.
Meet the Neighbors | All Seasons
Discover life in the forest, field, stream, pond, or garden. Students will use scientific practices and tools to explore an ecosystem and learn about the plants and animals that live there. Topics may include adaptations (structure & function), community roles, life cycles, or food web relationships.
Mission Monarch | Summer, early Fall
Learn about the life cycle of an insect as you search for monarch butterfly eggs, caterpillars and chrysalides among the milkweeds. Count how many of each life stage you find. This number will be recorded and reported to an International citizen science project. Information about the monarch breeding population helps organizations to make decisions that help to protect monarch habitat and their amazing migration.
Special Note: Only available late July, August, and early September.
Monarch Tagging | Fall
Learn about the life cycle of an insect and migration as you search for and attempt to catch adult monarch butterflies. Adults that are caught will be tagged with a small sticker on their outer wing in an effort to monitor the migratory population. The data will be reported to an International citizen science project called Monarch Watch and used to help make decisions about monarch conservation.
Special Note: Only available September and sometimes early October.
Nature Art| All Seasons
Inspired by the artistry of Andy Goldsworthy, students will use natural materials to express themselves in art. This can be individual or group work. Students tour the Nature Art or NART gallery and practice giving positive feedback to others.
Observation Skills | All Seasons
Create and practice routines and skills for learning in the outdoor classroom. Students will learn how to observe the world around them with all their senses, practice using a magnifying lens to see from another perspective, and practice a common language for nature observation.
Special Note: This is a great precursor to any other lesson.
Owl Adaptations | All Seasons
Learn how nocturnal animals are different from diurnal animals. Using owls as an example, students will test themselves to see how their senses compare to an owl’s senses. They will observe artifacts and explore topics such as sight, hearing, flight, identification and vocalizations.
Special Note: This can be an indoor or outdoor program.
Sense of Place | All Seasons
Students will explore a place using all their senses in focused activities. This may include sit spots, nature art, music, journaling and play acting. These various activities will help students understand the importance of using the senses they typically do not rely on, as well as, hone the ones they do.
Snow Science | Winter
Winter is a great time to get outside and explore, especially after a good snowfall. Students will dig a snow pit, measure depth and temperatures, and consider the impact of thermodynamics on wildlife movement. Snowflake size and structure may also be a focus if conditions are right.
Special Note: There needs to be snow for this class.
Soil Science | Fall, Spring
What is soil and why is it important? Use your senses and some tools to study the soil like a scientist. Tests include color, texture, composition, and water retention. The Soil Tunnel is a great addition to this program.
Special Note: It is best if we can dig in the soil, but soil can be brought in if need be.
Stories in the Stars | All Seasons
Study the stars, the moon, planets, and the Milky Way Galaxy as you connect to cultures around the globe and across history. Learn how to find the most obvious constellation in the sky at the time while learning science and cultural stories connected to it.
Special Note: This is an indoor program during the school day, but can be outdoors as a special program at your school. This could even be part of a Star Party in collaboration with the NH Astronomical Society.
Stream/Pond Studies | Fall, Spring
Discover life in an aquatic habitat by collecting and observing organisms that live on the bottoms and sides of the pond or stream. Learn how some of these special creatures act as biotic indicators, giving us information about the health of their habitat. Topics may include life cycles, food webs, adaptations, or water quality.
Special Note: Water quality test kits can be included upon request.
Surviving Winter | Winter
Discover how plants and animals survive long, cold, dark New England winters. Topics may include migration, hibernation, food cacheing, tracking, and tree characteristics.
Special Notes: Some activities require snow. This is best as a series of 3 lessons.
The Underground World | All Seasons
Soil is more than just dirt! It's a habitat. Students will learn about this underground world by crawling through a soil tunnel, investigating what soil is made of, and sorting critters by their roles in the community.
Special Note: This is an INDOOR program. Best paired with Earthworm Investigations or Forest Floor Exploration.