Elementary School Programs

 Program  Months Offered  Program Description
Animal Tracking  December-March This class is an introduction to the animals that are active in winter.  Differences in the shape and measurements of tracks left in the snow provide the focus for this fascinating winter adventure.
 Animal Signs  Year Round Students will learn about the basic classes of animals that can be observed at the Nature Center including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Evidence of animal presence in the form of homes, browse, tracks, scat, feathers, and runways are found by hiking and exploring the trails
 Decomposers  May-June Discover nature’s recyclers as we explore earthworms, pillbugs and sowbugs.  Participants will collect invertebrates along the nature center trails and bring them back to the classroom for further exploration.  All live isopods will be released at the conclusion of the program.
 Dinosaur Dig  April-November This class is an introduction to paleontology. Students will have the opportunity to learn what scientists have discovered about dinosaurs and the process of fossilization. The program includes a model dinosaur skeleton dig and assembly.
 Exploration Hike  Year Round This program provides the opportunity to explore the prairies, wetlands, and woodlands using the Nature Center’s field packs.  Students and staff work together as detectives of nature and search for any, and all, wonders of the natural world for observation and discussion.
 Insects  July-September This introductory class on common insects features a hike in the fields and prairie for specimen collection and order identification.  Nets and bug boxes are provided.  Monarch butterflies may be tagged as part of the Monarch Watch Program. All animals will be released at the conclusion of the program.
 Maple Syruping  March Tree biology, Native American culture, and maple syruping technology are special features of this unique program. Outside, students will observe a tree tapping demonstration, collect sap (if possible), learn about the process of turning sap into syrup, and sample the final product. Wear gear appropriate for snowy or muddy trails.
 Owl Pellets  Year Round Students will explore the unique physiology and natural history of owls native to Wisconsin. Through the dissection of sterilized owl pellets, participants will experience hands-on learning by comparing the bone structures of owls and their prey to humans.
 Pond Exploration  April-September The water cycle, the importance of water, and the many types of wetland habitats found in Wisconsin are introduced in this class. Collection, observation, identification, and study of aquatic plants and animals is integral. Supplies provided.
 Reptiles and Amphibians  May-September Learn the unique characteristics that separate the classes of animals collectively referred to as herptiles. Discover similarities and differences in reptiles and amphibians while getting an up close look at live animals. Visitors will view reptiles and amphibians in the classroom and search for frogs, turtles, and snakes in their natural habitats when seasonally appropriate.
 Seeds and Soils  September-October In this class, students will get the “scoop” on soils. Students will learn soil components and take samples of Nature Center soils. As we hike the trails, we will look for wild seeds and discuss different methods of dispersal and requirements for germination.
 Sense and Nonsense  Year Round Children use their five senses to discover and explore the natural world. Observing, touching, listening, smelling and, when possible, tasting skills are practiced with naturalist staff guidance.
 Signs of Spring  April-May A sensory exploration of the woodlands, pond, and prairie offers participants an opportunity to discover flowers, birds, leaves, soil, and more. Emphasis is on seasonal changes, plants, and pollination.
 Snowshoe Adaptations  December-February
This unique class introduces participants to plant and animal adaptations necessary for winter survival.  After a discussion on the history and types of snowshoes, the class will venture out on a snowhshoe hike to observe the evidence of winter-active animals.
 Spiders and Webs  May-October
Often mistaken as insects, spiders have unique characteristics that separte them into a class of their own.  Participants will discuss what a spider is, the important role they play in the web of life, and will then hike through varied habitats looking for amazing arachnids and their many different kinds of webs.
 Trees  May-October This program offers an introduction to trees, giving students the opportunity to learn about structure, leaf shapes, and basic life requirements. A hike emphasizing the uses, differences, and beauty of common native trees concludes the program.
 Wilderness Survival  Year Round This activity-packed program focuses on plant, animal, and human wilderness survival. Activities include shelter and fire building techniques that provide practical experience and illustrate ecological concepts.