K-12 School Programs

K-12 programs photoWe can create a custom program that meets the needs of your students and your educational goals, or you can choose from one of our standardized programs below. Curriculum for the new 2020 Academic Standards will be available here in August 2019.

Programs are generally around 90 minutes long. Teachers can request a program on-line by clicking here.

Icky, Sticky and Small (Kindergarten)

We’re turning your kindergarteners into young entomologists! After learning about and practicing the basics of classification, students will use simple scientific tools to collect, observe, and describe arthropods. They will then use their new knowledge to determine which critters are insects and which are not!

Targets: Kindergarten Science Standard 2.1.a. – Sort a group of items based on observable characteristics.

For the Love of Trees (Kindergarten)

Get ready for some tree hugging! Using our senses, we’ll explore the wonderful world of trees. After selecting two different types of trees, students will identify similarities and differences in the way they feel, smell, and look. We’ll then do some more investigating to determine the importance of trees in the environment.

Targets: Kindergarten Science Standard 2.1.b. – Communicate and justify an evidence-based scientific rationale for sorting organisms into categories.

The Nitty Gritty of Soils (1st grade)

Roll up your sleeves and get your shovels out! After identifying three soil investigation test plots, your young scientists will use a variety of tools, including their senses, to analyze the similarities and differences among soil types. They will then use their observations to predict the answers to questions such as which soil type makes the best habitat or which one holds the most moisture.

Targets: 1st Grade Science Standard 3.1.b. – Sort, group and classify Earth’s materials based on observations and explorations.
                 1st Grade Science Standard 3.1.d. – Communicate ideas about the differences between soils from different places.

Wildlife Detectives (1st grade)

Our resident wildlife detective – Mr./Ms. S. Martypants – needs help determining what lives at the ELC. After an introduction to the four ecosystems of the ELC, your detectives-in-training will set up transects to determine what kinds of critters call the ELC home.

Targets: 1st Grade Science Standard 2.2.b. – Analyze and interpret data about the needs of plants and animals.

Adaptastic (2nd grade)

After exploring the flora and fauna that call the ELC home, students will examine specific species to determine what behavioral and physical characteristics these creatures have that allow them to thrive here. They will then be tasked with creating their own super ELC critter – now that is adaptastic!

Targets: 2nd Grade Science Standard 2.2.b. – Analyze and interpret data about structures or behaviors of a population that help that population survive.

Habitat Detectives (2nd grade)

Upon their arrival, your students will be instantaneously transformed into plant and animal species that call the ELC home! Equipped with their detective skills and various measurement devises, they will then embark on a journey to find suitable habitat that includes the necessary living and non-living components for their survival.

Targets: 2nd Grade Science Standard 2.1.d. – Use instruments to make observations about habitat components.

The Cycle of Life (3rd grade)

In this lesson, students will answer the question “Which has a longer life cycle, a tree or an insect?” by finding evidence and using that evidence to support their ideas. We will hunt around the ELC for evidence of each stage of the life cycle of each organism, making observations along the way about the needs of the organism at each stage. This hands-on lesson asks students to go beyond the obvious to think critically about what is going on in the natural world.

Targets: 3rd Grade Science Standard 2.1.a. – Use evidence to develop a scientific explanation regarding the stages of how organisms develop and change over time.

The Rock (and Roll) Cycle (3rd grade)

Students will work towards mastering the steps of the rock cycle and learning the three main types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. As we hike around the ELC, students will work to classify the rocks we find into the three main types. To wrap up the day, students will choose a rock and write a story about how it came to be there, incorporating the processes and vocabulary from the rock cycle. Should be a rockin’ good time!

Targets: 3rd Grade Science Standard 3.1.a. – Investigate and identify two or more ways that Earth’s materials can be broken down  and/or combined in different ways such as minerals into rocks, rock cycle, formation of soil, and sand.

Macroinvertebrate Mania (4th grade)

In this lesson students will be exposed to the wonderful world of macroinvertebrates! They will collect macroinvertebrates from the Poudre River, then observe the similarities and differences between the species that they catch. Without any sort of ID guide, the students will be asked to classify the macros based on the characteristics they observe. Students will be asked to write descriptions of each category they create and create a guide that someone could use to place organisms into these categories.

Targets: 4th Grade Science Standard 2.1.b. – Use evidence to develop a scientific explanation for similarities and/or differences among different organisms.

Our Changing Earth (5th grade)

In this lesson, students will define and identify various fluvial processes that shape riparian areas. After a brief introduction to related scientific terms, students will be split into groups to explore the Cache la Poudre River as it flows through the ELC. Students will be given an aerial map of the ELC property and a digital camera. They will be tasked with finding examples of fluvial occurrences, taking pictures of the occurrences, and mapping where they were found. Follow-up discussions will focus on how these processes affect plant life, wildlife, and humans.

Targets: 5th Grade Science Standard 3.2.b. – Develop and communicate an evidence-based scientific explanation around one or more factors that change Earth’s surface.



Price change effective August 1, 2019:

$5 per student for a <120 minute program
$7 per student for a >120 minute program
No fee for teachers or adult chaperones
The ELC is committed to being a resource for kids and families of all backgrounds. We offer a 50% discount for any students who receive Free and Reduced Lunch, please indicate on your request if you would like to use this discount. We also have limited funding available to help schools off-set the cost of field trip and/or bus, please contact us to discuss this option.

Teachers can request a program on-line by clicking here. You can also contact the ELC by phone or email for additional information, to discuss specific topics and academic objectives, or to schedule.