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Park ranger stands on a beach while recording herself with a smartphone

Photo by Ashley L. Conti, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Ranger-Led Distance Learning Programs

Grades K-2: Adaptation Olympics

Join a park ranger to learn about the amazing adaptations of the animals in Acadia. Students have the option to move along with the ranger; they’ll only need a small space to jump, wave their arms around, and try the ant plank! (30-45 minutes)

Grades K-3: What do you Notice Videos?

On Your Own or With a Ranger!
Sometimes called “I Notice, I Wonder Videos!” Complete with 1-page Fast Fact reference pages!Share these ~1-minute non-narrated video clips of Acadia’s resources with students who can then generate “I Notice, I Wonder, & I’m Reminded of” statements. These observations, questions, and connections can be shared with their class, and teachers can utilize fast fact reference sheets to expand on their ideas. Or teachers can schedule a 15-30 minute “I Notice” Share Chat with a Ranger; these informal talks give students the opportunity to also share their thoughts with a ranger.

Grades K-3: Wonderful Birds

From feathers to beaks and feet, birds vary quite a bit! In this lesson, we will explore and appreciate the great diversity of our feathered friends. (30 minutes)

Grades 2-4: Shoreline Discovery

Learn about the wildlife that live along Acadia's rocky shoreline during this interactive program. An introductory skit showcases challenges encountered here, and shells, replicas, and images of different animals will be used to highlight various adaptations. (45 minutes)

Grades 3-4: What Do Rangers Do?

Investigate various jobs that rangers do in National Parks. Learn about the variety of jobs it takes to keep Acadia running! What Do Rangers Do? is the prerequisite for completing the Junior Ranger Program and earning a Jr Ranger badge. Request your copy of our Jr. Ranger Book ahead of time, so you can choose the pages you want your students to work on. (30 minutes)

Grades 3-4: Junior Ranger Awards Ceremony

After participating in the What Do Rangers Do? Program and completing five pages in the Jr Ranger Book, Third Grade students can attend a Jr Ranger Ceremony, interview a ranger, and earn their Acadia Jr. Ranger Badge. Older students will need to complete additional pages; see inside cover. This program works best if you schedule early so we can mail you badges ahead of time. (30 minutes)

Grades 4-5: Sedimentary Sleuths

Wind, waves, and ice! Become a sediment detective and investigate how weathering and erosion have shaped the landscape of Acadia National Park over time. (1 hour)

Grades 4-6: The World of Birds

From feathers to beaks and feet, birds vary quite a bit! In this lesson, we will explore and appreciate the great diversity of our feathered friends. (45 minutes)

Grades 3-6: Amazing Animal Adaptations

Explore the diversity of animals in Acadia and learn about the remarkable adaptations that help them survive! From talons to tongues, we will take a close look and learn wild facts about some local Maine creatures. (45 minutes)

Grades 3-12: Overview of Acadia Slideshow

What makes Acadia… Acadia? Invite a ranger to your virtual space to present a slideshow showcasing the resources protected here. This overview acts as a great introduction to the Park! (30 minutes)

Grades 4-6: Habitats of Acadia

Venture from forest, to ocean, to fresh water as we explore the three distinct habitats of Acadia and learn about the animals who call these places home. (45 minutes)

Grades 4-8: Mystery Parks, Geography Sleuths

Short video clues to start your day or start your week with! Students watch a 2-5 minute video/narrated PowerPoint of clues from a National Park somewhere in the U. S. Then, they research the clues to see if they can figure out the park. Once they think they have an answer, they watch a 2-minute video revealing the park’s name and discovering why it was preserved. Program clips highlight different ranger jobs, U.S. history, workforce diversity, biomes, and geography. With ~5-10 minutes of video presentation/park site, you can decide how you want to meter it out during the autumn. An optional conclusion program can be scheduled with a live ranger to discuss NPS Mission, park diversity, and students’ favorite parks.

Grades 4-8: Carroll Homestead

Learn about the daily life of Mount Desert Island settlers in the mid-1800’s. Join a ranger for a tour of the Carroll Homestead, examine historic tools and toys, and learn about the chores children were responsible for. (50 minutes)

Grades 5-6: Pond Ecology/Citizen Scientists at Work

Learn how scientists track the health of Acadia by looking at who is living in a pond! Discover how you can help inventory the plants and animals that live near you! (45 minutes)

Park ranger in a uniform holding props for a distance learning program
Bring a park ranger to your screen in one of our distance learning programs.

NPS Photo/Lisa Girardin

Grades 6-8: Geology: A Story Written in the Landscape

The story of Acadia's formation involves colliding continents, ancient oceans, intruding magma chambers, and bulldozing glaciers. We will investigate the rocks and the landscape to learn about Acadia's dynamic story of past and ongoing change. (45 minutes)

Grades 6-8: Tracking Acadia’s Seasons – Climate Change & Phenology

Students will learn about phenology and why it’s important in helping us understand interrelationships of organisms. We will explore seasonal/cyclic changes of plants and animals and the impacts related to climate change while gaining exposure to the concept of citizen science. (45 minutes)

Grades 6-8: Weather Wonders

Tune in for an interactive program of learning and fun, exploring the weather in Acadia National Park and your local area. Prepare to be blown away by learning how weather works, changes and influences our environment! (45 minutes)

Grades 6-8: Between the Tides

What happens to marine animals when the tide goes out? Learn about the challenges that these animals face at low tide and how their adaptations help them to survive. (1 hour)

Grades 6-8: Marine Chemistry

Sea water is more than just H2O (water) and NaCl (salt). It is also made up of minerals, nutrients, and dissolved gasses that marine plants and animals need to survive. This can harm marine organisms and the fisheries they support. Learn about the chemistry of the ocean and why it is so important to marine and human life. (1 hour)

Grades 7-8: Physics in Nature! Light, Water, & Sound Waves in Action

Examine how light, sound, and mechanical waves affect habitat patterns. Discover animal adaptations that use waves to hunt or protect themselves! (Part I: 45 minutes, Park II: 45 minutes)

Grade 8: Floating Classroom

Explore the concept of monitoring watershed health. Investigate water quality at various depths of a Maine lake, learning about dissolved oxygen, thermocline zones, turbidity, and healthy lake biota. (45 minutes with supporting extensions). Available October 5, 2020.

Contact Information for Requests

To request a program, please e-mail us and provide the following information in the "Your Message" box:

  • School Name
  • Grade(s) the program is requested for
  • Number of students attending

Last updated: October 5, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609


(207) 288-3338

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