Elementary School Field Trips

Nature Programs for Elementary School Students

Join us for half-day programs featuring guided nature walks, environmental games, and hands on investigations.  All programs are aligned with HCPSS science curriculum, Environmental Literacy Standards and Next Generation Science Standards and encourage children to become engaged, to explore, and to explain what they observe. The Nature Programs also serve as an extension of concepts presented in the classroom. Elementary school programs take place in the morning, with an optional extension for lunch on-site. Download the program brochure here. K-3 field trips are offered at our Mt. Pleasant location; the fourth grade program will be at our Belmont location. If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Naturalist, please see our training flier for scheduling and contact information.

Kindergarten Program (Fall or Spring)

Wild Exploration

Students take on the role of scientist to investigate local plants, animals and weather patterns. Meet our resident terrapin, discover ways that plants, animals and humans share resources, and discover how students can help protect the habitats of the animals they meet.

  • NGSS K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive.
  • K-ESS2-2. Learn how plants and animals can change the environment to meet their needs.
  • K-ESS3-3. Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the environment.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

First Grade Program (Fall)

Owl’s Observations

Students will meet our resident barred owl and learn about survival from egg to adult. Search our meadows, grasslands and forests for signs of animals and their homes and discover how the external features of an animal help it survive in the wild.

  • NGSS 1-LS1-2. Determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
  • 1-LS3-1. Observe and argue that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Second Grade Program (Fall)

Buggin’ Out

Students will investigate insect adaptations, defense mechanisms and habitats. Students search through forests and meadows and become familiar with common insect species found in Howard County.

  • NGSS 2-LS4-1. Make observations to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Second Grade Program (Spring)

The Science of Soil

Students get their hands dirty as they explore the changing landscape. Students will create soil ribbons to classify soil texture, discover the rocks beneath us, evaluate ways to prevent erosion, and gain a greater appreciation for the importance of soil in the lives of plants and animals.

  • NGSS 2-PS1-1. Describe and classify materials by observable properties.
  • 2-ESS1-1. Provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
  • 2-ESS2-1. Compare solutions designed to prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 2: Interactions of Earth’s Systems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 5: Humans and Natural Resources

Third Grade Program (Spring)

No Place Like Home

Students will become familiar with Howard County native plants and animals and the obstacles they face on their journey to maturity. Students will meet our resident animals and evaluate the traits that allow individuals in a species to thrive in different ecosystems.

  • NGSS 3-LS3-2. Explain how traits can be influenced by the environment.
  • 3-LS4-2. Explain how the variations in a species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, or reproducing.
  • 3-LS4-3. Argue from evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems

Fourth Grade Program (Fall or Spring)

Rock Hunters

Students will map the changes in our watershed over time by investigating the evidence left on the land. Solve the mystery of the Patapsco Valley by identifying rocks and searching for signs of water’s movement now and during Belmont Manor’s colonial period.

  • NGSS  4-ESS1-1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
  • 4-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 4-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 2: Interactions of Earth’s Systems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 7: Environment and Society

Fifth Grade Program (Fall; select dates only)

Belmont BioBlitz

Students work with scientists in the field using technology to document the species found in the meadows and forests of the park.  During the trip, students obtain, evaluate and communicate information about the interdependent relationships in ecosystems by investigating the plants and animals found in a given habitat.  The information gathered on iNaturalist may be used in the classroom to support investigations into citizen science, ecosystems and energy transfer.   This project is held in the Fall for 5th grade teams, and in the spring for 7th grade teams.

  • NGSS 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy. Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 3: Flow of Matter and Energy
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 4: Populations, Communities and Ecosystems
  • Environmental Literacy Standard 7: Environment and Society

Visit our Project on iNaturalist

Visit our Belmont BioBlitz page for more information, availability and to see the BioBlitz in the news

Cost

$6.00 per student for groups of 50 or more. No charge for teachers and chaperones. For an even better price, your school can book two or more field trips with the Conservancy for this school year and the price is reduced to $5.50/student. Smaller groups are welcome; please contact us for pricing.

Weather Policy

In the event of inclement weather, we will attempt to move portions of our program under cover. However, the hiking program is outdoors. We encourage children to get outside in a variety of weather conditions; please use your discretion should rain be forecast. In the event of heavy rain, thunder, or high winds programs will be rescheduled if possible.

Learn more about our Field Experiences

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