Nature-based programs for third, fourth, and fifth grade groups include:
Exploring the Bernheim Ecosystem
The Bernheim ecosystem includes many different plants and animals. Students will explore three habitats – forest, pond, and prairie – and consider the organisms unique to each. Key concepts include organism function, relationships between organisms and their habitats, and organism survival and adaptation.
Life and Land of Rock Run Creek
Rock Run Creek has flowed through Bernheim for centuries, creating a landscape filled with geologic and ecologic connections. Students will follow a trail along forested creek banks and explore the bed at dry locations. Key concepts include processes that shape the earth and interdependent relationships within ecosystems.
Weaving Art and Science through Nature
Experience Earth Measure, our massive sculpture that merges art and science! Students will explore sights and sounds of the piece, take a walk to compare the designs of other artwork, and use natural materials to construct their own sculpture. Key concepts include structure and properties of matter, and engineering design.
Edible Garden Discovery
In addition to growing plants and food, our Edible Garden cultivates curiosity and learning! Students will rotate between hands-on activity stations as they discover how the garden can teach us exciting lessons in math, science, art, writing, and more.
Wilson Creek Investigation
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 (crawfish catching included!), students will also determine which factors contribute to stream health and investigate the ecological results of the initial restoration project. This field trip is perfect for groups who want to explore the heart of Bernheim by wearing their muck shoes, getting in the water, and digging up fascinating creatures.
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: $15 per student
- Group maximum: 60 students
- Other considerations: Following your arrival at the Visitor Center, additional transportation is required; school buses must be able to stay with school groups.
New Program: Hike to the Giants
Bernheim has been visited by a family of giants! Students will visit all three and discover both sides to their story: the magical fairytale and the history of their creation. The 2 mile hike to the giants winds through many habitats, providing opportunities to see a variety of plants and wildlife. Key concepts include sustainability, design, recycling, art, and nature. 1.5-2 hours; $15/student.
Self-guided trips are an option, but still need to be scheduled. Interested parties should contact Dan Pascucci for more information.
Time and Fee Considerations
- Most programs last one hour and can be scheduled year-round (exceptions noted)
- Program fees are $10 per student for one-hour programs and $15 per student for programs that include Wilson Creek and Forest Giants and last 1.5 – 2 hours, with a group minimum of $100 (exceptions noted)
- There is no charge for teachers or chaperones, but a minimum of one adult is required for every 10 students in attendanceConcerned about fees? Contact Nature-based Educator Dan Pascucci for assistance
Field Trip Planning
To learn more about Bernheim field trips, including how to schedule a visit, please see the Teacher Resources section of our website.