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FIELD TRIPS TO THE TRUMBULL NATURE & ARTS CENTER

Students have fun while learning important environmental concepts!

•     High quality, affordable learning experiences aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.

•     Varied natural habitats conveniently located on Main Street (Route 25) in Trumbull, CT.

Contact us to book an educational program for your school.

Pre-Kindergarten - The World Around Us

Students will go on an adventure hike where they will use their observational skills to discuss the difference between living and non-living things. A hands on activity will engage these young scientists in sorting various objects into groups to help them reinforce the difference and characteristics of living vs. non-living. Note: We can customize our Pre-K program to align with science topics discussed in your classroom. Please contact us for details.

Kindergarten - Nature Exploration

- A short hike, in which we talk about using our senses to learn about the natural world

- An activity in which students sort living and non-living things

- A lesson on insect anatomy and habitats including a cricket home to bring back to the classroom.

Grade 1 - Plants and Insects

We offer three options for Grade 1, which could be held at your school on separate days, or all on one day at our site:

Option A: Beekeeping & Pollination

Option B: Insect Safari and Cricket Habitat

Option C: Plant Dissection and Flower Flow Experiment

A Framework for K -12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes.

Grade 2 - Exploring the Environment

TNAC has developed and implemented activities that correlate with the Next Generation Science Standards. Schools have a choice of 3 activities from the following options:

 

Activity #1 Seed Dispersal: Students perform hands-on model building to design a seed that must be transported to a new location based on 2 different environmental situations. The various mechanisms of seed dispersal, including wind, water, and animals are reviewed. Students work together in groups and present their designs to classmates.

NGSS.2-LS2: Develop a simple model that mics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants; NGSS.2-LS2.B: Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their sounds around.

 

Activity #2 Erosion Mountains: Students construct mountains out of natural materials including soil, rocks, twigs, and plants. Their mountains, which are based on their own design, are then subjected to a simulated rainstorm to visualize the effects that water has on the land. Topics covered include erosion and erosion prevention, stability, rivers, landslides and how the earth changes over time.

NGSS.2-ESS2-1: Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

 

Activity #3 Biodiversity Walk: Students collect aquatic organisms from the pond and/or stream using nets. We will also walk through a meadow and forest environment to compare the diversity of life in these different habitats. We will discuss the adaptations that help the various creatures survive in their environments.

NGSS.2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

 

Activity #4 Ecosystem Experiments: 

Students will learn different ways that water and soil interact in an ecosystem through their observations of two different water features – the stream and the pond. They will also examine and characterize different types of soil – topsoil and subsoil. The students will predict how the water and soils will interact under different conditions and then perform experiments to simulate these conditions. They will compare the results of the experiments against the predictions that they made and explain the results.

NGSS.2-ESS2-3: Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

NGSS.2-PS1-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

NGSS.2-PS1-2: Analyze data obtained from different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

 

Activity #5 Beaver Habitat Simulation: Students will learn how beavers live, including the way they manipulate habitats to suit their needs, and how their methods contrast with other mammals such as woodchucks. Students will use engineering skills to create a model beaver habitat using the similar materials and techniques to those that beavers use. Students will observe the effect of changing variables on the beaver habitat.

NGSS.2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

NGSS.2-LS1-B: Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

NGSS.2-LS1.A: All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air.

Grade 3 - Habitats - Pond, Meadow, Forest

Students will visit TNAC for a hands-on and interactive experience examining forest, meadow and wetland habitats. They will use critical thinking skills to explore plant and animal adaptations as they relate to these ecosystems. Students will be able to compare and contrast the similarities and differences of various environments. They will use their creativity and imagination to design an original creature that might live in one of these habitats.

NGSS LS4.C (3-LS4-3) Adaption. For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

NGSS LS4.D (3-LS4-4) Biodiversity and Humans. Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

CT Core Science Curriculum and Assessment Framework: 3.2.a, B3, B4

Grade 4 - Plants, Natural Hazards, and Energy Resources

Activity #1: Flower and seed dissection

- Students will dissect real flowers and beans to learn about plant structure, photosynthesis, growth, and reproduction through pollination.

- A wide variety of native and exotic plants will be on hand so that students can compare their similarities and differences, and how each are unique, but adapt to their environment. Examples on hand may include cacti, Venus Flytrap, and varieties of tree bark.

NGSS 4-LS1-1: How internal plant structures support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

 

Activity #2: Erosion Mountains and Mountainside Village

- Students will work in teams to construct mountains out of natural materials including soil, rocks, and sod. They will also be instructed to add a small village to their mountains. Their mountains, which are based on their own design, are then subjected to a simulated rainstorm to visualize the effects that water has on the land.

- Students will communicate why they chose a certain location for their villages. They will analyze their town their towns' performance during the rain, and discuss solutions such as tree planting, grade of slope, and water diversion.

NGSS4-ESS2-1: Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the affects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

NGSS ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems. Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.

 

Activity #3 Making Connections: Biogeology and Changes Over Time

- Students will be led on a hike to visit TNAC's stream, where they will observe the affects that water and trees have on this riparian habitat.

-To show how trees can indicate changes over time, students will learn how to read tree rings, and will work in teams to analyze tree slices to determine historical weather conditions.

NGSS ESS2.E: Biogeology. Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions.

 

Activity #4 Making Connections: Biogeology and Beaver Dams

- We'll explore how living things interconnect. What do plants and animals need and how do we change the environment in order to use these resources?

- Students will work as teams to construct beaver dams using sticks and mud in an enclosed environment in order to simulate a beaver habitat. Water will be introduced to each habitat to test the dams' viability.

NGSS ESS2.E. Biogeology: Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions.

 

Activity #5 Save Our Town From Rising Sea Levels!

After an introduction on the impact of natural hazards to humans, students will be tasked with building a town that can survive rising sea levels. Student teams will be supplied with soil, small plants, and materials to protect their town. They may decide to utilize a flood gate, stilts, floats, or other methods to best sustain their city. Once their cities are built, floods will be introduced into their environments, to test their survivability.

NGSS: ESS3.B Natural Hazards. A variety of hazards result from natural processes (e.g. earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions). Humans cannot eliminate the hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.

NGSS ETS1.B: Designing Solutions to Engineering Problems. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.

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