Denali Science School - An overnight field trip for fifth and sixth-grade classes
In autumn 2015 the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) offered Denali Science School – which brought Alaskan fifth and sixth-grade classes to Denali National Park and Preserve for overnight field trips. During these three-day programs, students are immersed in Denali's natural wonders through hands-on activities, hikes, and journeys into the park. Denali Science School is instructed by skilled Park Service and Alaska Geographic educators who work with the teachers to enhance each school's curricula.
In 2015, Denali Science School was free other than transportation to, from and in the park and on-site food costs. The three-day programs were offered from September 9 through October 9, 2015. Registration for the 2016 programs will begin in the April-May of 2016.
Teachers are required to fill out a registration form
to apply for this opportunity.
- Who: All fifth and sixth-grade teachers in Alaska are invited to register for Denali Science School. A maximum of 30 students and 5 chaperones (teachers included) can be accommodated per session.
- When: Dates will be announced in the Spring of 2016. Two sessions will be offered per week – Session I is from Monday through Wednesday and Session II is from Wednesday through Friday.
- Instruction and Supervision: Denali park rangers and Alaska Geographic educators provide most instruction and logistical support while teachers and chaperones are largely responsible for student's behavioral conduct and overnight needs. Session itineraries include a visit to the park's dog sled kennels, a field trip into the park, and day and evening science and team-building activities. For more information concerning activities, menu, what to pack, and rules and guidelines please refer to the teacher information packet, teacher activity guide (includes pre and post activities), parent guide, and Chaperone expectations.
- Registration: Teachers may submit registration forms beginning in April of 2016 by email, fax or mail. In the form, teachers specify their top three session dates. A lottery system will be used to select groups for the available dates.
- Cost: The school pays for transportation to, from and in the park and on-site food services. All other costs (instruction, equipment, and accommodations) are covered by the Murie Science and Learning Center in 2015. Food is served in the Murie Dining Hall directly adjacent to the MSLC and includes hot dinners both evenings and breakfasts both mornings, and a bag lunch on days two and three. Meals cost $7.50/person for breakfast, $8/person for lunch, and $9.95/person for dinner. For a group of 35 this translates to $263 per breakfast, $280 per lunch and $348 per dinner, or a total of $1,782 for the whole trip. These numbers are based on 2014 costs and might be slightly different in future years.
- Financial aid to help cover meals or transportation may be available for schools in need. Please indicate in the comments section on your registration form if you would like to discuss this possibility.
- Housing: Groups bring sleeping bags and mats and sleep in the MSLC classrooms. Bathrooms and sinks are available in the building but no showers.
- Sponsorship: Denali Science School is made possible thanks to the partnership between Alaska Geographic and National Park Service through the Murie Science and Learning Center.