“The Salamander Room”- Year Round
Based on the book by the same name, this is an interactive program where students help transform a child’s bedroom into a suitable habitat for a salamander. As we progress through the book, students add elements to our “bedroom” to recreate the vision from the book. This program can be done as a field trip visit to the BCCD or as an in-school program, where we come to you. Field trips include a nature walk and a visit with our very own live salamander, “Tigger”. This program addresses Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (2.A.ECa, 2.B.ECa, 2.B.ECb, 2.D.ECa, 12.B.ECa, 12.B.ECb, 13.B.ECa).
Kindergarten programs are designed to fit your needs. They can be field trips to BCCD sites or in-school visits by a member of our staff. Field trips are typically 2 – 2.5 hours and in-school visits usually 45 minutes to an hour. The cost is $2 / student for Boone County schools and $4 per student for out-of-county schools.
Suggested topics include: Roly Poly Pill Bugs, The ABC’s of Nature, Recycling. Our preschool program, “The Salamander Room,” would also be appropriate for Kindergarten.
“Magic of Winter”- January through February
In this program, students become scientists and explorers as they learn what makes winter unique. The morning is spent learning about weather, measuring temperature and wind speed and doing some outdoor activities. Over the lunch period students have the opportunity to explore the Nature Center. In the afternoon, students learn what different animals do in the winter and the signs they leave, before venturing out to investigate. Each student receives a journal in which to record the day’s adventures.
“Springtime in Spencer” – April through May
Students become explorers for a day as they learn the differences between mammals and birds, reptiles and amphibians, and insects and arachnids. After becoming an “expert” in these animal groups, we head outside to find as many of them (or at least as much evidence) as we can while hiking and playing games through woods, wetlands and prairie. Students also make a craft representative of one of the described animal groups.
“Habitats are Homes” – April through May
For this program, students learn what components make up a habitat and how important each component is. Scavenger hunts and games help to focus students on each of our four habitats—woods, wetlands, prairie and dead logs, as well as how human activity impacts habitat quality. After lunch we make a habitat-related craft and do some more exploring.
“Living History” – October through November
Fur Traders (1700’s) Students learn about the Voyageurs, or French fur traders, the Native Americans and how the two groups interacted. Over the course of the day students will prepare their lunch, which is cooked over an open fire, tour a Potawatomi village, practice Voyageur skills, like throwing a tomahawk, running a bale-portaging relay, fur identification; and play a trading game and make a period craft.
Pioneers (1800’s) This is a living history program in which students travel back to the 1840’s. They will learn about the pioneers, why they came West and the pioneer lifestyle. During this program students will help prepare their lunch to be cooked on an open fire, explore an authentic 1840’s cabin and homestead, learn about pioneer recreation hands-on by throwing the tomahawk and playing with pioneer toys, do chores and make their very own pioneer craft.
Fifth & Sixth Grades
“Populations & Ecosystems” – October through November
Fifth and sixth graders become ecologists for the day and discover the ecosystems in Boone County. This program focuses on ecosystems, population change, food chains and food webs. They will get to explore prairie, forest and wetland ecosystems and participate in hands-on games and activities.
Junior High & High School
“Outdoor Recreation” – September through May
Junior high and high school students have the opportunity to come to the BCCD and participate in various low/minimum impact recreational opportunities. Program opportunities include (but are not limited to), canoeing classes (taught by ACA certified instructors), GPS, map and compass, Leave No Trace™, tent camping, fire building, backpacking, outdoor survival, cross country skiing/snowshoe, fishing, and letterboxing.