Science in Nature, our new flagship education program, provides K-12 students outdoor, hands-on, inquiry-based education experiences – one of the largest growing needs for public school students in Connecticut.
3rd through 8th Grade: Climate, Geology, Adaptations
Climate, Geology, Adaptations is a series of three, full-day programs designed for 3rd through 8th graders. The series, based on state and national science, math and literacy standards, is designed to provide students the unique opportunity to process classroom-taught concepts in a real-world ecosystem. Students are the scientists, applying the scientific method while studying weather and climate, geology, and adaptations – concepts that are often challenging for students to comprehend in traditional classroom settings. While the program is most effective as a series of programs within a school year, each can be taught as a stand-alone unit.
These new programs utilize the four habitat types that comprise our ecosystem mosaic: woodland, freshwater marsh, meadow and pond. Students will investigate each habitat type with a different “lens” during each visit. In the Weather and Climate program, students will study how these habitats are affected by weather, climate and earth’s behavior in the solar system. During the Geology program, students will investigate how the geologic history of Connecticut impacts these habitats of today, while an in-depth study of how plants and animals have adapted to live in these habitats is the focus of the Adaptations program.
Students will use cutting-edge scientific technology to collect data such as air and soil temperature, wind speed, and soil moisture. They will study soil types and basic geology, witness how erosion shapes landscapes, and inventory plant life. Students, many for the first time, will have the opportunity to be in nature to study the relationships between humans, ecosystems, and earth systems; from how plant growth relates to earth’s rotation and revolution to how wind speed and direction impact bird migration – Climate, Geology, Adaptations helps students make connections and think critically.
Starting in the fall of 2012, we’ll be introducing these programs at our Center at Fairfield and the adjacent 155-acre Larsen Sanctuary, with over a dozen classes in public and private schools from Bridgeport, Trumbull and Fairfield.
We will roll out the new programs at our other centers over the next several years, and will be designing new environmental science programs for high school students.
Pre-K through 2nd Grade: Live Animals
For younger children, we’ll continue our pre-K through 2nd-grade programs, which focus on an appreciation of nature through demonstrations with our own birds of prey, both at our centers and in local schools.
This program uses our birds of prey – Barn Owl, Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Red-Tailed Hawk, Broad-Winged Hawk – to build an appreciation for nature and to introduce children to the concepts of food webs and life cycles.
9th through 12th Grade
We are in the process of developing a new environmental sciences program for high school students.
For information about our programs, please contact:
Louise Crocco, Milford Point Coastal Center, 203-878-7440 x502 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kasha Breau, Center at Glastonbury, 860-633-8402 x204 email@example.com.
Sara Heminway, Center at Pomfret, 860-928-4948; firstname.lastname@example.org