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K-12 Field Investigations
Bringing hands-on science and environmental education to your local park.
We provide opportunities for grades K-12 and organized groups to experience age-appropriate, hands-on adventures in learing about natural communities in an urban setting.
Programs align with WA State Essential Academic Learing Requirements for core content areas and support Science kits.
Download: brochure | poster
K-12 Field Investigations
Watershed Education K-12
Explore the saltwater beaches of Puget Sound during low tide. Learn to find, touch, and handle, gently and safely, the unusual life forms that make their home between the tides. Discover the challenges of life in the tide zone and the adaptations these animals develop to survive. This field program allows students to experience a unique habitat in a hands-on manner that inspires curiosity, stewardship, and learning. This complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms, Ecosystems, and Microworlds science kits.
Explore the varied aquatic habitats of Seattle parks. Using dip nets and field magnifiers catch and identify aquatic wildlife. Get a first-hand look at water dwelling organisms without backbones and their habitat! This field program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms, Ecosystems, and Microworlds science kits.
Rocks are the foundation, literally and figuratively, of our entire civilization and of all life on earth. Connecting rocks to the real world is what this interactive program is all about. Through movement activities, discussion, and hands-on learning, participants review the different types of rocks, how they are formed, how they change over time and how those changes shape our world. Exploring the cliffs and beaches of Puget Sound at Discovery Park aids in connecting rocks and how they recycle to our own personal landscape. This field program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Rocks, Minerals, and Soils science kit.
Salmon in the Watershed
What better way to learn about salmon and watersheds than to immerse your students in the Piper’s Creek or Longfellow’s Creek watersheds at Carkeek Park and Camp Long! Each fall, Chum or Chinook salmon return to complete their anadromous journey and spawn. Students can experience this process first-hand while learning about the life cycle of salmon. Students use their observation skills to survey the creek to see what makes healthy salmon habitat. In addition, they learn tangible ways that humans can have a positive impact on salmon. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Land and Water science kit, or activities based on raising salmon in the classroom.
Urban Forestry Education K-12
Birds have many unique characteristics and adaptations that allow them to live in specific habitats. Hike through a park listening and looking for birds. Observe bird behavior and learn which birds use which habitats and investigate why. This program allows participants to use their observation skills and experience nature in a thoughtful manner. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms science kit.
The Pacific Northwest is famous for its evergreen forests. Explore these forests and the animals that make their homes in them, right here in Seattle parks. This field program is an exciting, hands-on way to teach participants about forest stewardship, interdependence, the cycles of nature, and native plants. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms, Soils, Plant growth and Ecosystems science kits.
Investigate different habitats in Seattle parks for all the fascinating insects that make their homes there. Discuss the physical characteristics of insects, their life cycles, and their role in the ecosystem. Participants experience nature and insects in a hands-on manner that inspires curiosity, stewardship, and learning. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms, Microworlds, and Ecosystems science kits.
Delve into the mysterious world of owls. Discover the different species of owls that dwell in Seattle and how they make their living. Learn about the unique physical characteristics of these awesome birds of prey. Take a short hike to view owl habitat. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Ecosystems science kit.
Spiders are a fascinating group of animals that have a bad reputation. Investigate the characteristics of spiders and how their adaptations actually help humans to survive. Search the park for different types of spiders using various hands-on techniques. Observe how spiders catch their food and their important role in the ecosystem. Participants explore nature and the lives of spiders in an experiential manner that inspires respect, stewardship, and curiosity. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Organisms science kit.
Search for the hard and the soft, the quick and the slow, and all the colors of the intertidal community. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Animals 2x2 science kit.
Seattle has lots of forest habitat to explore. Venture through the trees looking for clues to animal habits, hiding places, and seasonal happenings. The Forest Friends program empowers participants to feel comfortable in the outdoors. This program complements the Seattle Public Schools Animals 2x2 science kit curricula.
Explore the creepy, crawly world of insects. We’ll roam fields and forests in search of our six-legged friends. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Animals 2x2 science kit.
Experience the freshwater habitats of a city park. Waddling ducks, wriggling tadpoles, and dancing dragonflies are some of the creatures we may see as we explore what makes these places so special. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Animals 2x2 science kit.
Weaving webs, waiting, stalking, and pouncing: delve into a micro-world as we search for and observe spiders. Discover beautiful and fascinating spiders as we explore fields and forests. Learn web construction and spider anatomy. The Spiders are Special program allows participants to explore in nature in a hands-on manner, safely, that inspires stewardship and appreciation. This program complements the Seattle Public School District’s Animals 2x2 science kit.
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August 1, 2014