After learning about weather and collecting data on today’s weather patterns, students will create a forecast for the next day. We’ll explore differences between weather and climate, learn how Earth’s climate has and is changing, discuss factors that play into this change and consider the effects of our actions. Partners well with Crazy About Climate.
Students will hike the Nature Center grounds to learn about the ecological importance of snow cover and discover how ice thickness can affect ecological populations. We’ll also look for signs of the animals that are still around during the cold months and they survive Wisconsin winters. Partners well with Snowshoe Science.
Aldo Leopold wrote, “When we begin to see the land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect”. Students will investigate the dynamic interrelationships of wildlife populations and their habitats. Through investigative activities and explorations, we will learn about ecosystems, carrying capacities, natural selection and their effect on populations. We will also discuss the impact biodiversity has on the health of a community. Partners well with Changes Over Time or Snowshoe Science.
In this program, students will discover how to use a dichotomous key to identify some of Wisconsin’s most common tree species. Using a map and key, students will work in teams to test their newly acquired skills on our tree ID course. This program can be done in either spring/fall when leaves are present, or in winter by using a tree bud ID key.
What are the attributes of a good team and why are teams important? In this program, students will be given progressively more difficult “initiative games” to challenge their problem solving, creative thinking and communication skills. Our Naturalists will select the best initiatives to help your class build trust and cooperation, and work to achieve a common goal in a physically safe environment.
Offered January through mid-March; conditions permitting.
Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy winter and stay healthy! After introducing the history of snowshoeing and learning about various styles, each student will be given a pair of snowshoes and we’ll head out across the snow covered prairie to learn basic snowshoeing skills and techniques. Along our hike, we’ll observe seasonal highlights. Sit ski available for students with physical disabilities, giving them an opportunity to get outside and explore the snow packed trails alongside their classmates!
“Pest” rodents like mice, voles, moles and shrews are essential to the food chain. Students will look for signs in local habitats and explore adaptations by looking at small mammal skeletons up close and by dissecting an owl pellet. We may even see a small mammal through live trapping!
Anyone could find themselves in a situation where they need to use survival skills. Not only must we respect natural forces but also learn what nature provides to help us survive. We will learn how to dress for the weather, pack a survival kit and work cooperatively to develop a strategy when faced with a survival situation. Students will also work in teams to build a fire, boil water, and make a debris shelter. Partners well with Snowshoe Science.
Students will learn the parts of a compass, how to hold it and use it properly. Pacing will be demonstrated as a valuable skill for estimating distance. ALNC’s orienteering courses provide the opportunity to test students’ skills and learn the techniques necessary to build an orienteering course.
Aldo Leopold’s fame can be largely attributed to his skill as a nature writer. In Leopold fashion, students will become nature writers, using journaling and sketches to record their observations about the natural world. This program enhances writing and observational skills, encourages attention to detail, and teaches the Leopold legacy. Partners well with Leopold’s Life and Legacy and Changes Over Time.