Field Trip Program

Parks As Classrooms Ranger Programs

Ranger teaching children

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Description

Yosemite National Park offers a dynamic array of Parks As Classrooms programs. Program topics include black bears, geology, American Indian culture, park management and much more. See below for a complete list and descriptions. These programs, delivered in the park by an education ranger, last for one to two hours. Designed to help teachers meet state or environmental education teaching standards, programs provide students with an engaging learning experience. Students have the opportunity to experience nature as the ultimate classroom. Rangers deliver all programs with age-appropriate teaching techniques and goals in mind. Rangers will also communicate with teachers prior to the visit in order to assess teaching needs and goals.

  • Programs are offered on selected weekdays throughout the academic year as well as summer. Some programs may only be available seasonally--please call for availability.
  • Programs must be booked at least three weeks in advance.
  • To provide a quality experience for each student, there is a material fee of $50 per 25 students.
  • Class/group sizes of 50 or less are easier to accommodate due to staffing availability.
  • Please call 209/375-9503 or send an e-mail to request a program.
  • As a participant in Parks as Classrooms, your group will qualify for an educational fee waiver for entrance fees (which you must apply for separately at least two weeks prior to your trip).

Bears
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Rangers take students into the world of Yosemite's black bears. Students explore bear habitat learning about black bear adaptations, physiology, and history within the park. Groups also learn about the unique story of black bears and people in the park. A black bear skin and skull are almost always available for a group to touch and experience. Groups will generally be with a park ranger for one hour.

Climate Change
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

What will happen to Yosemite Falls if the climate continues changing? Will the glaciers in the park still be here? On this program, groups not only learn about the concept of climate change, but its direct impacts on the homes of Yosemite wildlife. Students explore a place of diverse habitats learning about what unique life depends on this land, and gaining an understanding of how choices at home can impact Yosemite National Park. This program is appropriate for any grade level, but especially applies to California 9th through 12th grade science standards.

Flora and Fauna
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Join rangers for a big-picture snapshot of the life that depends on Yosemite. From bears and giant sequoias, to newts and lichen, Yosemite provides homes for a wide range of plants and animals. Each species lives a different story, dependent on Yosemite's land and climate. Introduce students to flora and fauna in a hands-on environment, while walking and exploring Yosemite habitats.

Geology

Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Was there another half of Half Dome? Was there really a volcano in Yosemite? This program delves into the physical processes behind the mountains, cliffs, and waterfalls students see first-hand in Yosemite. Students can learn about the shaping forces of plate tectonics, water erosion, and rock fall. Groups see the final product of these forces in the shape of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and other major Yosemite landmarks. The program is appropriate for any grade level, but especially applies to California 6th and 7th-grade Earth Science standards.

Giant Sequoias
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
120 minutes

Surround your students with some of the largest living things on the planet. Take an exciting hike through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, ending at the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the grove. Along the way, students can learn about a wide variety of concepts including fire ecology, tree physiology, and plant communities. This walk is available seasonally whenever the Mariposa Grove Road is open, generally late April through late November.

Indian Cultural Program

Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Discover native culture and traditions from the land that pre-date the idea of a national park, as well as the Euro-American pioneers. Join a park ranger for a brief glimpse into the history, present, and future of California native peoples, more specifically of the Yosemite area. This program requires special scheduling arrangements. More than three weeks advance notice is strongly preferred.

Park Management
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Yosemite National Park is about the size of Rhode Island, with almost four million visitors exploring its land each year. What does it take to manage such a large place, balancing the needs and wants of visitors, along with visitor safety, wildlife protection, watershed protection, changing landscapes, and so much more? Students spend time with a ranger exploring a Yosemite landscape while discussing the many demands on park managers, and how staff along with park partners work together to care for the park as a whole.

Pioneer History
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Walk through the wild days of Yosemite pioneers! Meet the hoteliers, the artists, the workers, and the families who made Yosemite their new home, and began shaping the past and present of the park. This walk is most appropriate in the Pioneer Yosemite History Center located in Wawona. However, it can be adapted to Yosemite Valley. Though adapted for all ages, the program is particularly relevant to the fourth grade history theme of California, a changing state.


Watersheds
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

This program puts the beginning of California's watersheds on display for students up close and personal. While students explore the Yosemite watershed, they learn about the water cycle, how the water cycle impacts their lives directly, and the Sierra Nevada's role in California water supplies. Depending on where the program takes place, students may be able to see waterfalls, rivers, and mountains. Upon request, a watershed model can also be used in the presentation. This program is appropriate for any grade level, but especially applies to California 5th-grade Earth Science standards.

Wildlife
Grades K-12, adaptable to college students and adults
60 minutes

Bears, bobcats, and pikas, oh my! Students explore Yosemite habitats first hand, touching and experiencing wildlife related objects like skins and skulls. See up close and personal how Yosemite animals are adapted to live in these mountains. Learn how wildlife interact with each other and their habitats.

Contact

Yosemite Education Team

email us

209/375-9503

Details

Grade Levels:
Pre-Kindergarten-Adult Education (general)
Subject:
American Indian History and Culture, Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Climate, Climate Change, Conservation, Earth Science, Ecology, Environment, Geography, History, Landscapes, Pioneer America, Recreation / Leisure / Tourism, Regional Studies, Science and Technology, Westward Expansion
Keywords:
parks as classrooms, field trips, teachers
type:
Field Trip Program