Spring Education Programs

Program Dates: Spring programs typically available April to June. Registration for spring programming opens February 1.

Discovery Detectives
Mount Rainier is home to a hidden world waiting to be uncovered, examined, and understood. Through guided observation and sensory exploration, students will collect clues while they identify and compare shapes, patterns, and sounds of the forest to heighten their awareness of the diversity of the natural world.

  • Subject/Keywords: Senses, Discovery, Observation, Shapes, Patterns, Sounds
  • Grade Level: K-3
  • Location: Kautz, Longmire
  • Standards: LS1-1, ESS2-3, PS1-1
Habitats of Mount Rainier: There's No Place Like Home
From the seedlings in the soil to birds on the branches, the forests of Mount Rainier support an abundance of life! Join a ranger and investigate an old growth forest habitat. Students will observe, describe, compare, and categorize both the living and the nonliving components of this special environment.
  • Subject/Keywords: Habitat, Forest, Interdependence, Food Chain, Trees, Animal/Plant Structures, Observations, Investigations, Life Zone, Biodiversity, Abiotic, Biotic
  • Grade Level: 3-5
  • Location: Longmire, Ohanapecosh
  • Standards: LS4, LS1, PS3-1
Locked in Rocks: Clues from the Past
Geologists from around the world study the rocks, glaciers, and streams around Mount Rainier to gain insight into its volcanic past. Unlock the clues of the explosive history of Mount Rainier while learning about the anatomy of a volcano, the powerful forces behind an eruption, and the movement and cooling of lava on a stratovolcano.
  • Subject/Keywords: Volcanos, Rocks, Earth Formation, Eruption, Erosion, Glaciers, Geology
  • Grade Level: 3-5
  • Location: Longmire
  • Standards: PS2-3, ESS1-1, PS1-3
Glistening Glaciers and Raging Rivers: Watersheds of Mount Rainier
At 14,410 feet Mount Rainier can make its own weather. Its powerful presence affects everything from the glaciers that crown its peak to the rivers that flow into the Puget Sound and on into the Pacific Ocean. Learn about these important watersheds from the summit to the sea and what can we do to protect them.
  • Subject/Keywords: Watersheds, Water Cycles, Weather, Climate, Glaciers, Rivers, Climate Change
  • Grade Level: 4-6
  • Location: Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: ESS2
Survival Sleuths: Animal Adaptions
Mount Rainier is a land of extremes from the frozen alpine summit to lush lowland forests. How do animals survive in this rugged environment? Students will learn about successful strategies, as well as the internal and external structures that allow animals to adapt and prosper in this environment.
  • Subject/Keywords: Adaptions, Life Zones, Internal/External Structures, Food Chain, Predator-Prey Relationships, Survival Strategies, Behavior
  • Grade Level: 4-6
  • Location: Longmire or Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: LS1-1, LS2
Frozen: Snow Science at Mount Rainier
For most of the year the slopes of Mount Rainier are blanketed in snow and blasted by wind, yet despite these arctic conditions life as found a way to only survive but depend on the snow for survival. Through guided investigations and hands on activities, students will explore the critical role of snow, for those living on and around the mountain.
  • Subject/Keywords: Winter Ecology, Watersheds, Water Cycles, Climate Change, Glaciers, Snow
  • Grade Level: 4-6
  • Location: Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: PS3, LS1
Warning - Signs of Hazards Ahead
Mount Rainier, part of the Ring of Fire, is an active volcano and still emits signs of the activity beneath the Earth's crust. Past eruptions have caused substantial change to the landscape below and future activity will have a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of people in the Puget Sound region. Join a ranger to discover signs of past geological events and disturbances that have occurred on the slopes of Mount Rainier. How can these signs help us prepare for the future?
  • Subject/Keywords: Volcanism, Hazards, Catastrophic Events, Erosion, Eruption, Construction/Destruction, Emergency Management
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Location: Longmire
  • Standards: PS3, ESS2
This Dynamic Volcano
Mount Rainier is a place of constant change, whether over the course of 500,000 years or over a single day. A clear, bright, sunny day can quickly become a dark, ominous, snow storm. As volcanic eruptions build the mountain up with new layers of lava, the eroding glaciers grind it down. No two days are the same in this landscape as wind, water, ice, and volcanic activity shape the land. Join a ranger to learn about this dynamic volcano.
  • Subject/Keywords: Volcanism, Plate Tectonics, Weather, Earth Systems, Glaciers, Erosion
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Location: Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: PS3, ESS2
Old vs New: Forest Ecosystem Investigation
The forests of Mount Rainier are as dynamic as the volcano itself. Both living an non-living parts of these ecosystems work together to support these complex communities. Join a ranger to explore the differences between old and new forests in the park.
  • Subject/Keywords: Forest, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Habitat, Interdependence, Food Chain, Trees, Plants, Wildlife
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Location: Kautz Creek
  • Standards: LS2
Survival on the Mountain
Do you have what it takes to climb the mountain? Join a ranger for a snowshoe hike with activities to explore some of the challenges to climbing Washington's tallest mountain. From crossing glaciers to finding shelter during a storm, the trek to the peak's summit is alwaus an adventure an requires preparation, communication, and teamwork.
  • Subject/Keywords: Survival, Risk, Adaption
  • Grade Level: 7-12
  • Location: Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: ESS3
A Disturbingly Wild Story of Succession: Mount Rainier Investigation
Mount Rainier's wild lands present unparalleled research opportunities to study the intricate relations between abiotic and biotic factors. In this science investigation students carry on the long-standing tradition of field research, unlock the mysteries of ecological disturbances, forecast the story of succession, and compare their results to current park research.
  • Subject/Keywords: Investigation, Scientific Method, Disturbance, Erosion, Catastrophic Events, Abiotic, Biotic, Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Grade Level: 9-12
  • Location: Kautz Creek
  • Standards: LS2
Changing Climate, Changing Parks
Melting glaciers, shrinking meadows, large-scale flooding and disappearing animal species are a few of the concerns scientists have as we move into a climate with warmer temperatures and more extreme weather events. Join a ranger to explore some of the research park scientists are conducting to learn more about what climate change holds for Mount Rainier in the future.
  • Subject/Keywords: Climate Change, Meadows, Glaciers, Water Cycles, Geology
  • Grade Level: 10-12
  • Location: Paradise (Snowshoe Program)
  • Standards: LS4, ESS2, ESS3

Last updated: November 14, 2019

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55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304


(360) 569-2211

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