Our Traveling and Virtual Learning Labs

Photo by Linda Moriarty

Outreach Programs

Our unique traveling outreach programs engage learners through active, inquiry-driven lessons that build positive outdoor experiences which support healthful living and foster an appreciation of the natural world. All programs are led by professional educators and are aligned to Common Core, NYS Learning and Next Generation Science Standards and can be tailored to your needs.

Program Descriptions

Hands-On Archaeology
60-minute program

Would your students enjoy handling authentic native tools … seeing an array of arrowheads with new eyes … exploring how stone, clay, and bone were used to do everyday jobs thousands of years ago … and never again looking at the ground in the same way? Then bring the excitement of archaeological discovery into your school with this unique opportunity! This program brings artifacts from the Hudson Valley region into your classroom where students touch, investigate, and discover experientially.

Dynamic, small group activities enhance student learning through engagement with the materials of daily Iroquois and Algonquin life, including the chronology of projectile points, identification of tools and their function, reconstruction of artifacts, and an introduction to pestles, awls, hammerstones, spear points, pottery, and more.

Creatures Alive!
60-minute program

Through a hands-on investigation with local aquatic life, students interact with, identify, classify, and observe how these creatures live and interact in their underwater environment. Students investigate the concept of niche as they meet aquatic insects, mollusks, amphipods, annelids, zooplankton and their predators as they explore how clean water plays a vital role in our environment and in our health.

Pond Keepers
Two-week program

Bring the wonder of a pond into your classroom with the Pond Keepers program. Students will learn how a variety of creatures adapt to life in a pond during this in-depth study. A Preserve educator will set up an aquarium, stocked with local pond life, that will stay in your classroom for two weeks. The Preserve provides:

– Teacher training prior to the program;
– Two classroom visits from a Preserve educator to introduce and wrap up the program;
– A curriculum packed with activities;
– A digital camera to create projects that record what the students have learned and observed;
– A pond habitat poster, creature flash cards, and other resource materials.

This program can be offered as a remote program for students who are distance learning.

Hudson Valley Climate and Species Change
A two-week STEM program

Actively engage your students as they apply STEM skills to the study of climate and species changes on a local level. With a focus on observable, measurable data and with more than 100 years of weather data from the Mohonk Preserve’s Daniel Smiley Research Center, students graph and conduct a trend analysis of long- and short-term data, study a tree’s record of climate, and research indicator species. By comparing historic and current weather and species observation records, students develop an understanding of our changing local and global climate and what steps can be taken to reduce or reverse those impacts.

This program can be offered as a remote program for students who are distance learning. Students will be introduced to the weather data collection at the Daniel Smiley Research Center through videos. Then through interactive activities and instructional videos students will explore phenology, collect local weather data, analyze Mohonk Lake ice data, and conduct research on a local indicator species.

 

Remotely-Delivered Outreach Programs

Our unique remotely-delivered outreach programs engage learners through active, inquiry-driven lessons that build positive outdoor-inspired experiences which support healthful living and foster an appreciation of the natural world. All programs are led by professional educators and are aligned to Common Core, NYS Learning and Next Generation Science Standards and can be tailored to your needs.

Remotely-Delivered Pond Keepers
Students in grades K-5 can now experience our Pond Keepers program virtually through both synchronous and asynchronous learning! This remote program will features a live session to introduce students to the pond with a Mohonk Preserve Educator. Then, over the course of two weeks, students access videos and view a pond as it is created in the aquarium. They’ll meet pond creatures, and watch as they move, breathe, and defend themselves. Students will also have activities to work on to support their video learning. At the end of the two weeks, they again have a live, interactive session with the Preserve Educator to share what they have learned. This program will use Zoom (or your school’s synchronous platform), Padlet, and Edpuzzle to engage with students.

Creatures Alive! Underwater Learning Adventures
1 hour program

Meet some of our live creatures from the pond! Learn about vertebrates and invertebrates and their adaptations for aquatic life. Students will have the chance see creatures as large as a turtle and as small as a mayfly or damselfly. This online virtual program is suitable for students in grades K through 2.

Animal Classification: Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects and Amphibians
1-hour program

Our planet is home to amazing creatures! Spend an hour learning about some of the creatures that call New York home. Students will learn about the differences between mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. This interactive lesson will incorporate animal artifacts, video, and live animals. Program is suitable for students in grades K through 3.

The Hidden World of Seeds
1-hour program

Seeds come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose. Inside those packages are new plants waiting to grow! Learn what seeds need to grow, how the seed protects the plant inside, and how they travel and disperse. This interactive virtual lesson will incorporate video, examples of seeds, and a craft to be done after the program. Program is suitable for students in grades K through 3.

Hudson Valley Climate and Species Change
1-hour program

Climate change has been studied by scientists for decades and the data tells us that our global climate is shifting to one that is warmer with more severe storms. The impacts of climate change are felt right here in the Hudson Valley as scientists are observing shifts in migration patterns of birds, the blooming of flowers and the timing of other events in nature. In this hour-long program, students will learn the history of how weather data has been collected for over 120 years at Mohonk Preserve, and how the shifting climate is impacting flora and fauna of our region. Program is suitable for students in grades 5 through 8.

Introduction to Fire Ecology
1-hour program

Fire plays an important ecological role in our environment. While wildfires can be devastating, many species benefit from or even require periodic fires to survive. Learn how some plants are adapted to fire, how fire suppression has altered habitats, and how prescribed fires are used to manage for biodiversity and restore health to critical habitats. This interactive virtual program is a great addition to an ecology or environmental science course and is suitable for grades 7 through 12.

Fees:

Scholarships Available: Click here to download a scholarship application.

One Hour Programs:
Hands-on Archaeology and Creatures Alive!

  • $150 for first class
  • $80 for each additional class on the same day in the same school

Two-Week Extended Programs:
Pond Keepers and Hudson Valley Climate and Species Change

  • $225 per class
  • $245 per class for Pond Keepers

To request scholarship assistance, click here.

Please note: A $50 surcharge will be added for schools within our service area that are beyond a 20-mile radius from the Mohonk Preserve.

Accessibility & Student Accommodations

The Preserve’s award-winning NatureAccess® program provides universally designed lessons wherever possible. Our experienced education staff has expertise in pre-K – 18 education, special education and outdoor education and is adept at meeting a broad range of needs and learning styles. Programs are universally designed wherever possible.

Scheduling a Program

Outreach programs are offered on weekdays only. Scheduling operates on a first-come, first-served basis. To schedule an outreach program, contact Ashawna Abbott, Education Outreach Coordinator, 845-255-0919 ext. 1242 aabbott@mohonkpreserve.org.

Support Environmental Education on the Ridge!

  • Become a member today. Strengthen your commitment to nature in our community.
  • Attend a Public Program. Our diverse programs and events offer something for everyone.
  • Volunteer your time and energy as a volunteer educator, interpretive guide or trailhead ambassador.
  • Donate. With your help we can provide quality outdoor education for people of all ages and abilities.

Banner photo by Carol Rietsma