LOWER ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS

Fur and Feathers - Learn more about the warm-blooded vertebrates living in your neighborhood during this 1 hour program. Have you ever touched the fur of a grey fox, river otter or a beaver? Have you ever seen a beak of Blue Heron up close? This is your chance. Find out where they live, what they eat and what adaptations they have to help them survive better in their environment. Uncover the mystery behind these fascinating fuzzy & feathered critters. (Time: 1 hour) This is an indoor program and can be done off site or at Fern Hollow. 
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All About Bugs – Learn about where these animals fit into the local food chain. Examine the differences between insects and spiders. Venture out into various habitats (field, forest, meadow) to sample for terrestrial bugs. Students will spend time using sweep nets to uncover camouflaged critters hiding in our meadow. Visit the Fern Hollow bee colony to learn how honey is made. Try on our beekeepers outfit to see how it feels to work with bees. (Time: 90 minutes or 2 hours) This program is best done in the fall. 
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Spring Surprises - Students act as detectives looking for clues that spring is here. The focus is on how all organisms survive winter and on the emerging new life. This program emphasizes the use of all the senses as students smell flowers, feel moss and listen to local spring bird songs. Program concludes with students conducting an interactive nest building activity based on local bird species. (Time: 90 minutes or 2 hours) This program is best done in April or May.
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Maple Sugaring - This is an integrated science and history program where children will discover how Native Americans and pioneers made, transported and used maple syrup and sugar. Participants will act out the various parts of a tree during the hands-on “tree factory” exercise. Students will taste sap flowing from a real maple tree and learn how to crank an antique drill to tap a tree. This program blends American history, botany, chemistry and even physics into a fun, hands-on experience. (Time: 90 minutes or 2 hours) This program is best done in late February or Early March – will be weather dependent.  
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Fishing at Fern Hollow Lake – Join Fern Hollow staff at this private local lake full of bass, bluegill and carp. Students will learn how to safely hold a rod, bait a hook, cast and remove fish from their lines. Fern Hollow provides all equipment including the rod, reel and plenty of bait. (Time: 2 hours) This program is offered early May through mid-October.
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Seeds on the Go – This program is a great introduction to native botany. Participants will gather and examine the seeds of the plants, bushes, vines and trees in the local ecosystem. Students talk about what seeds are and how they develop through the process of pollination, then discuss what conditions seeds need to germinate. Students will look for and act out various modes seed dispersal (helicopter, hitchhiker, animal express, explosion from a seed pod). Students talk about the many benefits of seeds for humans, animals, birds, and insects as well as for plants. (Time: 90 minutes or 2 hours) This program is best done in late September or Early October.
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Habitats: Squirrels and Chipmunks – Students learn all about the important components of a habitat while comparing and contrasting some of our most common rodents. Activities include Life of a Rodent game to collect food and avoid predators, Squirrel or Chipmunk Game Show where we discover how other animals are similar to squirrels and chipmunks and Make A Habitat where kids collect natural items during a guided walk on nature center grounds then later use to build a habitat model back in class. These activities not only teach the importance of every animal in an ecosystem, but also encourage creative interpretation of science concepts through art.
 
 

1901 Glen Mitchell Rd, PO Box 8, Sewickley, PA 15143 Office – 412.741.6136 Education Staff – 412.741.7536