What does Carpenter Nature Center (CNC) offer school groups?
At CNC, professional staff conduct quality environmental education programs for over 10,000 students and their teachers each year. Each program is designed to supplement classroom studies through hands-on learning in the “outdoor classroom.”
A small student to naturalist staff ratio (20:1) allows for greater individual learning and enhances the experience for students.
How can the programs at CNC help to meet academic standards?
All environmental education program curriculum at CNC is written to be age appropriate and to enhance science studies. Input from teachers and education specialists is a valuable tool in developing programs.
Every program is designed to help meet Minnesota and Wisconsin Academic Standards. Class outlines are available upon request for every program.
Secondary School Programs Currently Available
Adaptations: Fall, Winter, Spring. Through hands-on activities and live animals, students learn about plant and animal adaptations for survival. Key concepts include Behavioral & Physical adaptations, Camouflage, Predator/Prey Relationships.
Birds & Banding: Fall, Spring. This two part program includes a bird hike with binoculars and field guides as well as an introductions to the scientific process and study of bird banding. Key concepts include Adaptations, Biodiversity, Field Identification, Migration, and Population Monitoring.
Map & Compass: Fall, Winter, Spring. Take part in the sport of orienteering by learning how to use a compass, read a map, and combine the skills to compete on a timed course. Key concepts include Map Reading, Compass Skills, Orienteering, and Teamwork.
Maple Syruping: Spring (March). Help CNC make maple syrup by identifying, tapping and collecting sap from a maple tree. Observe the boiling process and taste pure maple syrup. Dress to get muddy. Key concepts include Tree Anatomy & Physiology, Seasonal Changes, Tree Identification, Plant Uses, and Native American Culture.
Plants & People: Fall, Spring. Explore human/plant interaction by visiting the restored prairie, apple orchard, and seeing plant products. Key concepts include Human Impact, Cultural Uses, Biodiversity, Aesthetic Value, and Habitats.
Snowshoeing: Winter (>6 inch snow depth). After a snowshoe demonstration, strap on a pair and go for a guided hike looking for winter ecology. Students must wear boots. CNC cannot provide snowshoes for students under 10 years of age. If snow conditions are not adequate, your group may choose to reschedule, choose a new topic, or choose a guided ecology hike on foot. Key concepts include Winter Ecology, Adaptations, Seasonal Changes, Recreation, and Native American Culture.
Water Erosion: Fall, Spring. Discover what erosion is, what causes it and ways to prevent it through hands-on experimentation and games. Key concepts include Erosion, Resource Management, Landscape Formation, and Experimentation.
Water Quality: Fall, Spring. Monitor water quality in CNC’s wetland or the St. Croix River by conducting abiotic and biotic tests. Compare results to determine overall conclusion. Wear shoes that can get wet. Key concepts include Biodiversity, Experimentation, Indicator Species, and Water Quality Monitoring.
Weather & Phenology: Fall, Winter, Spring. Use meteorology equipment to analyze current weather conditions and make a forecast. Look at phenology and discuss seasonal changes. Key concepts include Weather, Meteorology, Phenology, and Predictions/Forecasting.
Wetlands: Fall, Spring, Explore the diversity of life, human impact, and adaptations present in the wetland habitat. Dress to get wet & muddy. Key concepts include Wetland Habitat, Diversity, Indicator Species, Human Uses, Analogies, Human Impact and Adaptations.
Wilderness Survival: Fall, Winter, Spring. Discuss human survival needs and work in small teams to cooperate, make a signal, make a fire, and construct a shelter. Key concepts include Human Survival Needs, Hypothermia, Frostbite, Teamwork, and Positive Attitude.
Wild Edibles: Fall, Spring. Forage in the forest and grasslands for edible plants, work together to prepare them into a dish and enjoy a taste! Key concepts include Human Uses, Plant Identification, Collection Ethics, and Food Preparation.
Fees: $4.00 per student for 1st visit, $3.00 per student for 2nd visit
$5.00 per adult chaperone above 5:1 student/chaperone ratio
$40.00 per program minimum
Free for certified teachers and PCAs
Mobility Limitations: CNC welcomes all students regardless of abilities. Please inform CNC if there will be students with limited mobility when scheduling so that we may make appropriate accommodations.
Medical Emergencies: The staff at CNC is First Aid and CPR certified and is trained to respond to emergencies. However students must bring their own medications (i.e. bee sting kit) if necessary.
Discipline: CNC staff are prepared to deal with most discipline situations, but may ask for the teacher’s assistance if problems arise.
Accommodations for the Weather: The majority of programs take place outside. It is essential that teachers properly prepare students to dress for the weather and to get dirty. CNC staff are prepared to go out in any weather. It is the school’s responsibility to cancel or reschedule if students are not prepared.
Deposits & Cancellations: A $40 deposit (credited to the program cost) is required to reserve a program. If CNC does not receive it in a timely fashion, we reserve the right to schedule another group in the requested time slot. If groups fail to give a 2 week advance notice of cancellation the $40 deposit will not be refunded.
Scheduling: Reservations for each season will be taken after the following dates: School Year reservations can be made after Aug 1 Summer reservations can be made after Jan 1
For more information on the classes above or if you have ideas for an outdoor experience to enhance a lesson you are teaching please contact the Program Director or call the Nature Center at 651-437-4359.