Nature Explorations for Schools and Learning Centers

Follow the Child offers schools and learning centers 4 to 5 hour educational programs that explore the ultimate classroom--Nature. 

Because you drive and provide docents,  we keep our costs low.

Pricing: 

$8 per student (21-50 students)

$200 for between 1 and 20 students)

 

FTC offers experiential learning for tactile children who need to touch sea anemones, examine elephant seal wallows, and stand agog as they imagine the height and heft of towering redwood trees.

Let us design a program for your school or learning center that combines our unique hands-on approach to outdoor education with your need for children to explore, grow socially, and most importantly, maximize their learning potential.

Our Design Process

Our courses are a combination of knowing the best places in the Bay Area to explore, and having true research scientists and outdoor specialists design and run our comprehensive and interesting courses. 

 We love working with schools to discuss how we can create better synergy with your program. Conversations with teachers and students are invaluable to our course creation.

 

Preparation

We have prepared outdoor academic adventures for students that include the following topics: 

  • streams and forest systems
  • marsh ecosystems
  • tide-pools
  • earthquakes
  • physical science & geology 
  • botany
  • genetic engineering
  • zoology
  • building projects

Meeting staff and students beforehand allows us to enhance our lessons to work in tandem with your curriculum.

Our science guides created Educational Backpacks complete with descriptive cards, activities, and valuable and easily accessible information to make each trail we trek lightly upon an environmental classroom. 

Our trail walks come alive as children become ever more observant of where they are and of what they are seeing. 

Exploring nature requires young explorers to use their senses as they were intended. Their eyes are active as they search through the water for sea anemones, multi-colored starfish, carefully examine the slick rocks of the pools for camouflaged fish. Feeling the cool Pacific water against their legs, children encounter the shifting energy of the water and wonder about the world they are experiencing.  

Curiosity piques during these times, and the minds of our scientists in training are flooded with questions. Sometimes our guides give the explanations, and other times we say, “That’s a great question. I will show you where the answers can be found. Let me know what you find out.” Many of our scholars spend time beyond the day reading about what they have found. Each child gets something different from the day of discovery.

 

A Typical Day

Our Outdoor Educator arrives at  the educational site early to prepare and go over last minute  details. 

Discovering shells, and their nifty safety mechanisms, is educational gold.

Discovering shells, and their nifty safety mechanisms, is educational gold.

Many of the places we go are within a 45 minute to 1 hours drive from your campus. School and Learning Center groups usually arrive by between 9:30 and 10 am. 

As we explore the environments, and we see children’s interest rise, we gather children for conversations and activities about the environment. For example, if they are looking at a sea star, it’s a perfect time to tell the story of a fisherman who wanted to eradicate the pest. 

He instructed his divers to collect all the sea stars and cut them into little pieces. These, in spite, he dumped over-board. A few years later, the cove was filled with an innumerable amount of sea stars. Why is that? 

A tide-pool search includes cataloging all the life that lives within this changeable environment.

Estuary walks provide children information about interlocking systems as we see, with the shifting of tides, how water from the estuary flows into the Pacific. 

Building driftwood forts upon the beach provide children a chance to try out different designs and learn about the strengths and weaknesses found in geometric shapes. 

Our exploration takes between 4 and 5 hours to complete. Your students begin to board their bus or transportation between 2 and 3 pm.  

As children return to class, they  have time to reflect upon their adventures in the ultimate classroom--Nature.

 

Explorers Create Scientific Surveys

Below, our marine biologists search for a variety of life in the deep pools of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve along the San Mateo coastline. Sharpening their ability to both observe and identify sea life is an important scientific skill. By learning about similarities and differences, scientists learn to identify the characteristics of  different species. 

 

Children Observe a Tide-pool by looking closer and seeing more.

Children Observe a Tide-pool by looking closer and seeing more.

  • 1. Create a transect in each zone: Your transect should be a relatively straight line, and should be nearly parallel to the shore.
  • 2. Survey your transects: Slowly and carefully walk along each side of the transect. Record the presence of any and all species located within one meter (within reach of your measuring stick).

  • 3. Rotate to the next zone: After approximately 10 minutes it’s time to move to the next transect (in the next intertidal zone).
  • Record and compile your data: As you survey each sample plot, your team should be recording data on the presence or absence of species in that area. When you have finished surveying the transects, compile your data and share it with the group. 
  • Identify 10 to 20 tide pool organisms (invertebrates and algae)
  • Compare and contrast the collections of each student, and categorize species.
  • Which zone is more species rich?
  • Collect salt water for use in salinity experiments. *Note: This is a control sample (at least a gallon or more)

 

  • $8 per student (21 to 50 students) 
  • $200 (Up to 20 students)
  • Choose any field trip throughout the academic year. You program the dates. 
  • Call Jay Levin for pricing at: 415-577-6119 or email at: jay@ftccamps.com