A living classroom

The forest offers nearly unlimited opportunities for learning. Over 100,000 youth and adults each year take part in environmental education programs through Fontenelle.

In the Forest

Field trips to the forest consistently top students’ lists of favorites. Our experienced educators will provide an engaging, hands-on program for your group during your visit to Fontenelle. Each trip includes an indoor educational portion that complements the outdoor program. To register, please contact our Education Department at (402) 731-3140.

Nature On-The-Go

Traveling programs that come to you, Nature On-The-Go brings hands-on, natural science education to your students without having to make a field trip. Each program is 45-60 minutes in length, covers a variety of topics, and meets Nebraska State Science Standards. To schedule, please contact our Education Department at (402) 731-3140.

Request to Book a Program Online

Programs

Owl about Population Dynamics

Students learn about owls, dissect owl pellets, and then make statistical inferences about rodent populations based on analysis of the owl pellets.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 8th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC8.1.1.d, SC8.1.1.e, SC8.1.1.g, SC8.1.1.j, SC8.3.3.e
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Critters on the Move

Have an up-close meet-and-greet with a few of our educational animals. Learn what different animal groups have in common and what makes them each unique as you observe their features and behaviors. This program provides an opportunity to introduce students to nature by providing “eye to eye” contact with multiple educational animals. Students will learn about each animal’s habits and habitats as they interact with live animals in their classroom.

  • Fontenelle Forest Nature On-The-Go LEVEL All
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.1.1.d, SC2.3.2.b Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Predator-Prey On the Go

Meet live predator and prey animals and learn about the constant tug-of-war between the consumers and the consumed. Students will learn what makes these animals especially suited to their roles in nature, and how you can tell a predator from prey just by looking at the animal. Through skins, bones and other artifacts, as well as live native Nebraska animals, the relationships that keep nature in balance will be discovered.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 3-6
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC 5.3.1, 5.3.2.a, 5.3.3.b,c, and d, 5.3.4, 8.3.1.e, 8.3.3.b,d, and e, 8.3.4.a, 8.3.4.c
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Fall Inquiry

Children will experience the fall season through movement, music, and dance. They will become falling leaves, blow seeds in the wind, and role play scurrying squirrels.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL Kindergarten and 1st
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1, SC2.1.1.a, SC2.1.1.b, SC2.1.1.d, SC2.4.3

Raptor-ology®

Meet live, non-releasable raptors while learning about their hunting skills, habitats, and other facts. Touch artifacts and hear the actual calls of these amazing birds.

  • Nature On-The-Go LEVEL All
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.3.4.a, SC8.1.1.e

It’s a Plant’s Life

What is it like to be a plant? During this one-hour program, our educators will help your students understand the composition of a plant by discussing its basic parts and functions. Using props and costumes, our naturalists will transform students into plants to understand photosynthesis, life cycles, and adaptations. This hands-on, engaging program is sure to give students a deeper understanding of what makes a plant’s life.

  • Nature On-The-Go LEVEL 1st through 3rd
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.3.1.c, SC5.1.1.b
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Birds of a Feather

Students investigate the world of birds as they discover what makes a bird a bird. Activities include looking for birds in the wild using binoculars and learning to use a field guide.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 7th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.3.4.a, SC8.1.1.e, SC8.1.1.g, SC8.3.4.a
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Thorns and Teeth and Feathers, Oh My!

Why do animals have fur? How do honey locusts protect themselves? These adaptations and many more will be discussed in this program. Our educators will use interactive activities and observations to introduce students to physical and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals living in our area. Students will discover how all of these adaptations help plants and animals survive and will gain a new appreciation for the diversity of life surrounding them.

  • Nature On-The-Go LEVEL 4th through 8th
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.1.1.d, SC5.3.4.a

Habitats: From Alligators to Zebra Mussels

Why do animals and plants live where they do? In this period-long program, our educators will help your students explore the differences in habitats. We will also examine which animals and plants belong to which habitats. Producers, consumers, keystone species, limiting factors, energy flow… it all comes to life in this program.

  • Nature On-The-Go LEVEL 9th through 12th
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS

Naturally Sense-Sational!

Students explore the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of nature during this program. Puppets are used to review the five senses and then the students are taken on a guided walk to experience the sense-sational world of nature.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.1.1.d, SC2.3.4.a
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Wild about Winter

During this program, students learn about the adaptations and behaviors animals employ to survive their winter environments. They are then taken on a guided walk to search for evidence of wintertime animal activities.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL Pre-K – 1st
  • LENGTH 1 hour
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.1.1.d, SC2.4.3.c, SC5.3.3.d
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Is it Alive?

Students observe the differences between living and non-living things.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL Kindergarten and 1st
  • LENGTH 1.5 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.1.1.d, SC2.3.1.a, SC2.3.2.b, SC5.3.1.a
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

 The Secret Life of Plants

Students learn about the many uses of plants, their importance, their component parts, and how they make their own food.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 1st through 4th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.3.1.c, SC5.3.1.b, SC5.3.2b

Habitat, Habitat

Students learn the four components of a habitat and what makes a habitat a home for both plants and animals.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 1st and 2nd
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.1.1.a, SC2.3.1.b, SC2.3.1.d
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Renew or Not?

Students learn about renewable, inexhaustible, and non-renewable resources and how the forest is continuously renewed.

  • Fontenelle Forest Nature On-The-Go LEVEL 2nd through 4th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC2.4.2.b, SC5.4.2.c, SC8.4.2.h
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Webology

Students learn about food chains, the web of life, the source of all energy in ecosystems, as well as producers, consumers, and decomposers.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 3rd and 4th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.3.3.a, SC5.3.3.b, SC8.3.3.a, SC8.3.3.b
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Who Goes There?

Students search for signs of wildlife, including tracks, homes, and even scat. Students meet one of FF’s resident raptors and dissect owl pellets to discover what raptors eat.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 3rd and 4th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.1.1.a, SC5.1.1.d
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

My, What Sharp Claws You Have!

Students study remarkable animal and plant adaptations, both physical and behavioral, in this activity-filled program. Whether it is hawks with talons, owls with night vision, or snakes with expandable jaws, adaptations are the key to survival for all living organisms.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 4th and 5th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.1.1.d, SC5.3.4.a
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

 Agents of Change

Students learn about landforms and the forces that create, affect, and destroy them. Hiking past loess cliffs and seeing glacial erratics give students experiences to draw upon in the classroom.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 5th and 6th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.4.2.b, SC5.4.4.a, SC8.4.2.e, SC12.4.4.a
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Green’s the Thing

Students study the differences between forests and prairies. Through observations and research students learn how plants are adapted to survive in these distinctly different habitats.

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 5th and 6th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.1.1.d, SC5.3.1.b
  • Enhance your class experience with pre- and post-class activities.
  • Download PDF

Teaching with Talons

This program introduces students to the world of hawks and owls – nature’s airborne predators. Demonstrations with live raptors help the students gain a deeper understanding of the adaptations of raptors and their roles as predators. (Please note this program was formerly named “Rappin’ with Raptors”).

  • Fontenelle Forest LEVEL 6th and 7th
  • LENGTH 2 hours
  • NE STATE SCIENCE STANDARDS SC5.3.4.a, SC8.1.1.e

Book an Education Program

Want to learn about how your school, organization, or club can invite Fontenelle Forest educators to visit? Our trained staff are experienced in tailoring presentations to a wide variety of audiences and group sizes. To find out more information about educational programs, please fill out the form below or call 402-731-3140.

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