À la carte Programs
Air Aware: What's in Your Air? ***NEW***
Do you know what’s in your air? In this lesson students will solve a particle air pollution mystery by magnifying and identifying particles that could be in our air. Discover what air pollution is, where it comes from, and what students can do to help keep our air clean! This program was created in partnership with the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. Click here for post visit activity.
Pollinator Protectors ***NEW***
Subjects: Science, Physical Education
Pollinators are more than butterflies and bees. All sorts of desert creatures help flowering plants to produce fruit, vegetables, and seeds. Learn why pollinators are important to our environment and human food supply. Experience pollination by playing the bee's pollination relay race!
Recycling Rules! ***NEW***
Subjects: Science, Health, Sustainability
Recycling can be a simple way to contribute to the good of our environment and future resources. Students will recognize the impacts recycling and not recycling will have on the environment. The similarities and differences among common recyclables learned will help students play a sorting game to determine what cannot be recycled and why.
Students will be introduced to invasive species and discuss their impacts on the ecosystem by examining local examples. They will then learn explore how invasive species spread through an interactive game in which they become the "invaders."
Subjects: Art, Science, Social Studies
Students will be provided a historical and hands-on look at Native American rock art. This class will emphasize the protection, preservation and history of artifacts. In addition, students will be given the opportunity to create their own petroglyphs.
In this course students will play the role of microbiologists. Students will discover aquatic communities and animals, and learn the difference between lakes and ponds as they examine living specimens under a microscope. Post-visit Activity
Archaeology I & II
Subjects: Science, Social Studies
In Archaeology I students will be introduced to important archaeological concepts and terms such as chronology, context, inference, artifacts, and observation through participation in games of ancient times, and hands-on activities. Archaeology II is a sequel to Archaeology I and provides a hands-on excavation experience in a simulated Hohokam house site. Pre-visit Activity
Archery I & II
Subject: Physical Activity
Ready, Aim, Shoot - Bull's Eye! This fun, hands-on program exposes prospective archers to the sport of international style target archery. Archers follow the 11 Steps to Archery Success as they operate their bow and shoot an arrow. These steps safely guide archers through form, execution, and reflection of each shot. This program is for every student whether they are a beginner or on their way to becoming a professional. The maximum group size is 60 students.
Archery II takes students to the next level! Participants learn to improve accuracy and enjoy some friendly competition. There is a 20 student maximum for groups visiting half day and a 40 student maximum for groups visiting full day. Archery I is a prerequisite.
All Ranger Masters are certified through the National Archery in the Schools Program and equipment is provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Pre-visit Activity
Subjects: History, Science
This geology course familiarizes students with rocks and minerals. Students will be exposed to crystals, gems, aggregates, and fossils indigenous to the area. This class introduces the rock cycle, mineral formation, methods of identification, and how these materials are used for industrial purposes. Pre-visit Activity
This creative class will invite students into the dark realm of bats. Students will examine the uniqueness, physiology and adaptations of bats through presentation and simulated activities. This class is designed to dispel any misconceptions about these often misunderstood creatures.
Come explore the most astonishing animals on earth, insects! Students will see how insects differ from other animals. Students will learn terminology such as endoskeleton and exoskeleton. After a classroom presentation, students will explore natural areas to locate and identify these creatures. Pre-visit Activity / Post-visit Lesson Plan
Students will study various species of cactus, examine them closely, and learn how to use a taxonomic key. Students will use the process of gathering information, interpreting data and thinking deductively. This program may be modified into a ranger led hike. Please ask for more details.
This informative class will instruct children on basic fishing knowledge and skills, and will promote awareness, appreciation and support for Arizona's recreational fishing opportunities. Participants get a look at Arizona's native and non-native fish species. Students will learn hands-on casting and rod handling skills.
Desert Survival I & II
Subject: Science, Social Studies, Work Place Skills Development
In Desert Survival I (DS I), students will learn the basic skills of constructing a fire, building a shelter, and signaling for help. Desert Survival II (DS II) consists of group participation in a simulated exercise to apply skills learned in DS I. DS I and DS II are two separate classes.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a paleontologist and dig up a dinosaur? It's a lot of hard work but it is a cross between being a detective and finding buried treasure. Through the eyes of a paleontologist, students will learn how fossils form and then get their hands dirty as they make a "dino-mite" discovery of their own in the excavation pit.
Discover what electricity is, and the many ways it is produced in this comprehensive class. Students will explore different types of renewable energy including solar, wind, and hydro through demonstrations and hands-on experiments.
Students will learn what is meant by the term ecosystem. This class will introduce the concepts of food chain, food pyramid, and the interdependence of all organisms and their environment. Activities in this class will teach students predator-prey relationships, balance of nature, and extinction. This program may be modified into a ranger led hike. Please ask for more details.
Subjects: Science, Social Studies
While on a hike, students will be introduced to edible plants of the area. They will learn which plants should not be touched, how edible plants can be cooked, and how native people used these desert plants for medicinal purposes. This class is offered in early spring or fall. This program may be modified into a ranger led hike. Please ask for more details.
Students will explore the many adaptations that allow birds to thrive in almost any environment on the planet. A hands-on experiment will allow students to recognize the relationship between a bird's beak and its ability to find food and survive in a given habitat. The talons, wings, and feathers of many native Arizona birds will be available for students to examine up close, giving them a unique perspective on these 'masters of the air.
Subjects: Science, Social Studies
This class is designed as an interpretive and recreational hike. Students will learn geology, animal signs, plant names, history, and ecology along a designated trail. For grades K-2 this class will consist of a shorter hike that emphasizes the shapes, sounds, and colors of the desert.
In Cold Blood
This class offers a look into the world of reptiles and amphibians. After discussion on cold blooded animal adaptations and common desert species, students view creatures in a live reptile exhibit hall. Animal Curatorship presentations (in lieu of discussion) are available on MWF upon request. Pre-visit Activity
Mad Map Relay
Subject: Social Studies
In this class students will learn how to use a map and compass. Designed around a fun outdoor relay race, this hands-on exercise will help students communicate and work together. In addition, participants will use a map distance ledger, and apply basic orienteering skills. Pre-visit Activity / Post-visit Activity
Students will learn how mammals use their physical characteristics for survival, and how they differ from other creatures. Students will examine mammal pelts, skulls, and tracks. Activities will be incorporated to assist students in remembering Arizona mammals.
Subjects: Physical Education, Work Place Skills Development
In this class students will experience group dynamics and develop team-building skills such as communication, leadership, cooperation, and trust. Students will work together in fun group activities to overcome challenging obstacles.
Throughout the ages right into today’s creative endeavors, journals have been the working place of the world’s greatest thinkers, inventors, and artists. Students will create their own journals, and will be given the opportunity to write while observing nature.
Subject: Work Place Skills Development
Students will learn the basic principles of park management. Course activities encourage students to think about this career field. They will learn techniques that solve problems in a parks environment. At the end of this course students become "Jr. Park Rangers," and receive an honorary badge.
Stones, Hoops and Sticks
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Art
In this class students will actively participate in games developed by Native Americans. Students will learn how modern team sports such as basketball, soccer and baseball evolved from games of early America.
The Great Impact Monster
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Work Place Schools Development
As an introduction to the principles of “minimum impact” and “leave no trace,” students will interact in a fun, role-playing skit known as Impact Monster. This exercise will allow students to discuss the positive and negative effects they have on their environment. Post-visit Activity
Students will use their senses to learn the science of animal tracking. The first part of this class will be an indoor discussion of animal signs and track identification. The second part will be held in the natural setting, and involve a simulated tracking hunt that will allow students to practice their newly learned tracking skills. This program may be modified into a ranger led hike. Please ask for more details.
Scorpions, centipedes, Gila monsters, and more. Learn about these mysterious sometimes frightening but beautiful desert friends, and what to do when encountered. Students explore how and when these creatures use their venom and differences between poison, venom, bite, and sting.
Weather Or Not
Students act as a meteorological data gathering team! They gather current weather data using hand tools to record the air temperature, air pressure, wind direction, wind speed, UV index and humidity. This is an outdoor walking activity.
Wind Blade Challenge
In teams students compete to design and build wind turbine blades! A multi-meter tool is used to measure how well their blades can capture the wind and generate electricity. The team with the highest energy output wins the competition. This fun inquiry-based class introduces the principles of wind energy while encouraging an excitement in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).