K-12 AND YOUTH GROUPS
Education Program Descriptions for the 2016-2017 School Year
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! Our team of trained naturalists are excited to provide FREE engaging experiences that allow your students to explore the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park through our conservation programs. All programs are:
- Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS);
- Developmentally appropriate for the specified age group;
- Inquiry based, hands-on, STEM based learning experiences; and
- FREE to any school group in the 9 Bay Area counties.
Special thanks to the Seed Fund for supporting our EcoCenter programs for the 2016-2017 school year.
Programs by Grade Level
Lower Elementary Programs
Length of Program: 1 hour
Eco Heroes (K-2nd grade): What does it take to be an Eco Hero? Discover ways everyone can help protect the environment and care for our animal neighbors.
Solar Solutions (K-2nd grade): Every day, we impact the balance of natural cycles on earth. Join us as we conduct experiments to find out how we impact these cycles. Then explore the ways innovations like solar power help us return balance to the environment.
Turning the Tide (1st–3rd grade): Water, the basis of life as we know it, is an incredibly dynamic and important substance. Explore the phases of water, sea level rise, and how we can help maintain water’s balance on planet Earth.
Upper Elementary Programs
Length of Program: 1.5 hours
Native Plant Explorers (3rd–5th grade): Get up close and personal with California native plants at the EcoCenter and Heron’s Head Park. Discover the importance of native plants to local wildlife and Bay Area people while exploring native plants in the field.
Restoring Diversity: The Wetlands of Heron’s Head Park (3rd–5th grade): Wetlands are hotspots for life, providing habitat, food, and water for a wide diversity of living things. Learn more about these extraordinary ecosystems by exploring the restored wetland in Heron’s Head Park and the constructed wetland in the EcoCenter itself.
Middle School Programs
Length of Program: 1.5 hours
Protecting Our Plankton (6th–8th grade): As the base of the ocean’s food web, healthy plankton populations ensure there’s always enough food to go around. Investigate the role these intriguing organisms play in the food web, measure and observe the changing chemistry of the ocean, and look for potential solutions to slow the effects of ocean acidification on these mighty marine organisms.
Oysters: Heroes on the Half Shell (6th–8th grade): The humble oyster is one of the unsung heroes of San Francisco Bay, providing habitat and food for countless other animals, including people. Explore the world of this endangered keystone species and what local people are doing to bring them back.
Wetlands: At Your Service (6th–8th grade): Wetlands provide many ecosystem services—from flood control to food production—that help support human wellbeing. Delve into the story of California’s wetlands while exploring the wetlands at the EcoCenter and in Heron’s Head Park.
High School Programs
Length of Program: 2 hours
Climate Stewards (9th–12th grade): What’s happening with our climate and how can we take care of it? Explore climate change basics, how animals and ecosystems are being affected, and what we can all do to make a positive difference in our communities.
Water Wise: How Sustainable Building Design Conserves California’s Vital Resource (9th–12th grade): Explore the EcoCenter’s sustainable systems using hands-on experiments that illustrate ways we can all help to protect and conserve water in our day-to-day lives.
EcoCenter Education Program Reservations
Program Length: 1 to 2 hours depending on program
Days Offered: Thursdays and Fridays
Times Offered: Our programs can begin as early as 10 a.m. and must finish by 3:30 p.m.
Number of Participants: Limit of 25 students per program; limit of 50 students per day.