Skip to main content

STEM Field Investigations Grades 6-12

General Information and Fees (Scholarships Available)

Click here to download a scholarship application.

STEM programs are designed for students in grades 6-12. All programs include pre- and post-fieldwork to accomplish the learning objectives. Each program requires two four-hour visits to the Mohonk Preserve. A program fee of $390 includes two guided field investigations, STEM data sheets, pre- and post-fieldwork packet, student clipboards, and all equipment. Programs accommodate a maximum of 30 people, including chaperones and teachers.

To schedule a field investigation, contact Kim Tischler, Education Coordinator, at or (845) 255-0919 ext. 1234.

Program Descriptions

  • Shawangunk Trails: Impact Assessment
    Shawangunk Trails: Impact Assessment

    Students conduct physical and biological surveys while hiking one of our beautiful Shawangunk trails. An investigation of its design, history, and current uses along with an examination of both natural and human impacts over time helps students to locate and map trouble spots in need of mitigation. The program’s highly-engaging small group design actively involves all students in the identification, measurement and recording of data on a variety of parameters utilizing digital and manual tools. Students sketch, photo document and assess trail impacts which they later analyze, design solutions, build models and orally present back in school.

  • Fire Ecology: Prescribed Fire Assessment
    Fire Ecology: Prescribed Fire Assessment

    An introduction to Shawangunk fire ecology and management begins this intriguing program where students visit a hypothetical prescribed burn site and assess its readiness for “treatment.” Students document the site with digital photography, mapping and fuel surveys. Utilizing a variety of technologies to measure and analyze atmospheric conditions, students compare their data to actual prescription parameters. Post-fieldwork offers the application of their understanding of fire ecology and behavior to a realistic situation, the opportunity to design a solution and to develop a presentation of their work.

  • A Comparative Study: Field, Forest and Ridgeline
    A Comparative Study: Field, Forest and Ridgeline

    Students visit three distinctly different environments where they make records of their observations and measure and assess the physical and biological status of each. Collaborative small group work support students in the use of a variety of manual and digital tools to develop data sets for each habitat. Students observe and identify actual and potential threats to the long-term survival of each environment and conduct a comparative analysis. The project culminates with student design solutions to optimize the overall health of these systems and present their recommendations to an audience.

  • Orienteering: Creating Your Own Path
    Orienteering: Creating Your Own Path

    Students gain skills and confidence in the use of a compass to follow a bearing and arrive at a series of destinations. Mathematical operations are used to calculate students’ personal pace and determine distances to be traveled from one destination to the next. Collaborative groups work together to complete an orienteering trail, mark their arrival at each station with an orienteering punch and address a STEM inquiry question. Skills are then applied as groups develop an orienteering trail of their own design, to be tested and evaluated by their peers.

  • Resource Scarcity and Human Subsistence
    Resource Scarcity and Human Subsistence

    An investigation of a vanished 19th century mountain hamlet guides students to identify and record evidence of habitation, resource-based early industry and a subsistence lifestyle in a challenging landscape. Students hike to the extant Eli Van Leuven cabin and nearby burial ground and utilize artifacts and primary source documents to create a portrait of human resourcefulness during this period. Pre-fieldwork lays the groundwork for students to understand the effects of isolation and scarcity of resources on human survival. Post-fieldwork analysis identifies and ranks vital natural resources for a sustainable human-environment landscape and applies their findings through the design of an original work. An oral presentation provides audience input to guide student design revisions.

Banner Photo by Jay Diggs; Shawangunk Trails by Linda Moriarty; Fire Ecology by Gerald Berliner; Forest, Field and Ridgeline by Jay Diggs; Orienteering by Anna Harrod; Resource Scarcity and Human Subsistence by Renee Zernitsky