Nature-based middle school programs are designed to connect students with nature in ways relevant to school studies, while also encouraging exploration and reflection.
Ecosystem Cycles and Connections
The Bernheim ecosystem includes many different plants, animals, and places. Students will explore three habitats – forest, pond, and prairie – and consider the organisms unique to each one. Key concepts include organism function, relationships between organisms and their habitats, and organism survival and adaptation.
Sustainable Thinking and Design
Based at Bernheim’s award winning LEED Platinum Visitor, this program introduces the concept of sustainability and demonstrates how nature can inspire good design. Students will also make connections between the key concepts of sustainability and energy transformations, the water cycle, and human-nature interactions.
Weaving Art and Science through Nature
Explore Snake Hollow, the large scale willow sculpture by Patrick Dougherty! Students will navigate through the maze-like sculpture, consider ecological connections between the work and its site, and then work with a variety of natural materials to build their own interpretation of the Bernheim landscape.
Wilson Creek Ecology and Restoration
The Wilson Creek stream restoration site provides students the unique opportunity for hands-on study of stream ecology. In the past, humans straightened the creek to allow for farming; but in 2003, the channel was restored to its natural condition, creating a prime location for research, education, and natural management opportunities.
In addition to exploring the history and ecology of Wilson Creek (catching crawfish included!), students will also determine which factors contribute to stream health and investigate the ecological results of the initial restoration project.
Due to the remote location of Wilson Creek and the unique nature of this program, the following requirements must be considered:
- Time: Two hours
- Cost: $10 per student
- Group maximum: 30
- Other considerations: Following your arrival at the Visitor Center, additional transportation is required; school buses must be able to stay with school groups.
Time and Fee Considerations
- School programs last one hour and can be scheduled year-round (exceptions noted in program descriptions).
- School program fees run $7 per student, with a group minimum of $75 (exceptions noted in program descriptions).
- There is no charge for teachers or chaperones, but a minimum of one adult is required for every 10 students in attendance.
- Groups concerned about program fees should contact Whitney Wurzel, Manager of Nature-based Education, at email@example.com or (502) 955-8512.
Field Trip Planning
To learn more about planning a Bernheim field trip, including how to schedule a visit, please see the Teacher Resources section of our website.