We believe the best place to learn about science is in a living laboratory: the outdoors! All Day Classes are 3.5 hours in length and are taught by our dedicated and qualified teaching staff.
Our curriculum follows the Next Generation Science Standards and it is specifically designed for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.
Once you make a reservation, you will work with our Program Coordinators to customize a schedule that works for your school's needs. You will be able to choose from the day classes below or see our Field Trip pages for more daytime options. On the Night Classes page you will find descriptions of the evening activities you can choose from.
Beginning with the rock cycle, students will learn about the structure of the Earth and how it was formed. We will then use activities and discussion to look beyond our own planet to the nature of stars, planets, moons, and other celestial bodies, as well as the structure of the solar system, galaxies, and the universe. A visit to the Star Lab planetarium introduces students to the constellations, and the movement patterns of the night sky. Students will learn the basics of navigating the sky and will hear the mythology behind these celestial patterns. The evening "Star Watch" activity is recommended for those groups taking this class.
The forest around our campus offers an ideal classroom for investigating forest health and forest management techniques. Through plot surveys and species identification, students will use the scientific method to take a closer look at the composition of our forest, the life on the forest floor, and the important roles of decomposers and fire in this ecosystem.
The highlight of this class is a trip to our Raptor Center, which affords students the opportunity to study live birds of prey at close range. Through observation, games and discussion, participants will learn the unique adaptations of raptors and the importance of these top predators in a food chain. The class is concluded with a discussion of the impact of human activity on wildlife, and what the students can do in their lives to conserve these magnificent creatures. This class will expand upon topics formerly covered in “Raptor Study” and allow for more conservation activities.
Let's talk about trees! This class is offered either as a day or night class, it is a one hour introduction to the biology and importance of trees. Once they have formed a special connection with these photosynthesizing beauties, students will each be given a tree cookie necklace in which they get to create nature names. If students participate in this class, they will get a bead to add to their tree cookie necklaces for each class they take.
Students will get the opportunity to challenge themselves on our climbing walls.
This is a class where students have an opportunity to really gain an understanding of the forest ecology. Through hands-on exploration and observation students will discover the connections between the non-living and living parts of an ecosystem. All components of this ecosystem are put together into an ecology cycle and students find out how humans fit into it. One mile of this 2.5 mile hike will be done in silence to encourage close observation of and reflection on the natural world.
How can we tell if a Pond is healthy? Armed with tools for data collection, students will set out to discover for themselves the various life zones of a pond and what organisms live there. They will also collect data such as oxygen levels, turbidity, and pH to determine the health of the pond. In the microscope lab students will discover the microscopic world of euglena, amoebas, water bears and diatoms.
Encourage students to face their fears in our High Ropes course. Students get harnessed up, learn basic belay commands, and climb one of our challenges either the Burma Bridge or Catwalk to our Crow's Nest where our staff will then hook you into our Zip Line! Students learn to encourage each other, can practice knot tying, and learn how to step out of their comfort zone.
Students are put into smaller groups and given a series of challenges to conquer that will require critical and creative thinking, teamwork, and much more. Your students will learn how to be better teammates, diligent workers, and proud of their unique strengths they can bring to a team.
This class will provide participants with valuable skills to help them thrive in survival situations. Orienteering–- or finding one’s way with a map and compass-– will be taught and practiced in the forest. Simulating a wilderness survival situation, participants will learn to prioritize their survival needs and will work in small groups to construct shelters from forest materials. The information learned can be applied to both wilderness areas, developed areas, and even back at home!
Learn the cultural history of the people that inhabited the Sierras through time. Our site has a replica Me-wuk village built in the same manner as the first known inhabitants of the Sierras. Students get to walk through the village, explore artifacts hands-on in groups, and learn more about the Me-wuk ways of life through songs and games. Then learn how lives were transformed as people migrated to the Sierras because of the Gold Rush. Students get to explore a replica Mining Camp, learn how the miners lived, and even get to pan for gold.