• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain


    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Denali Science School

ranger teaches students about sled dogs
Ranger teaches students about mushing at the Denali Dog Sled Kennels.
NPS photo
Denali Science School - An overnight field trip for fifth and sixth-grade classes
In autumn 2014 the Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) is offering a new program – Denali Science School – which brings 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 2014, Denali Science School will be free other than transportation to the park and on-site food costs. The three-day programs will be offered from September 1 through October 10, 2014. Registration forms will be accepted from teachers from March 1 through April 1, 2014.


  • 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: From September 1 through October 10, 2014 two sessions will be offered per week – Session I from Monday through Wednesday and Session II 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 behavioral conduct and overnight needs. Session itineraries vary depending on the group's arrival and departure times, but all sessions 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/parent guide.
  • Registration: Teachers may submit registration forms from March 1 through April 1 by email, fax or mail. In the form teachers specify their top three session dates, bearing in mind that the Alaska Railroad ends weekday passenger services on September 14, 2014. A lottery system will be used to select groups for the available dates. Registration will be confirmed by April 25, 2014.
  • Cost: The school pays for transportation to and from the park, either by bus or train, and on-site food services. All other costs (instruction, equipment, accommodations, in-park travel) are covered by the Murie Science and Learning Center in 2014. 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 2013 costs and might be slightly different in future years.
  • 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.

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