Distance Learning Programs

Spotting scope looks through a window at Mount Rainier.
Mount Rainier holds adventure no matter where you are!

NPS/Caroline Meleedy Photo

Would you like your students or group to visit an active volcano, an old growth forest, or the fifth National Park, but live far away? Bring Mount Rainier to your group by signing up for a distance learning program today!

If your class, school, or group has internet and a computer with a webcam, your class has the ability to experience a live virtual visit with a park ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. These free hands-on programs are designed with curriculum-based national teaching standards (Common Core, Next Generation Science, and State of Washington Social Studies) to connect schools across the world to Mount Rainier.

To learn more about Mount Rainier's virtual field trip and distance learning programs or to schedule a program for January and February 2018, please contact the Education Center at 360-569-6590, or visit Mount Rainier's site on the Microsoft Education Portal.


Distance Learning Programs

A child on a trail through a meadow with view of Mount Rainier.
Mount Rainier's grandeur encompasses 236,381 acres of protected land.

NPS/Steve Redman Photo

Activity: Habitat Explorer: Discovering Life at Mount Rainier
School Subjects: Life Science
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Time Requirements: 25-40 minutes

From the high cold rocky slopes to the lush primeval forest, life can be found in all shapes and sizes. Using distance learning technology, teachers and students can connect with Mount Rainier's park rangers and learn about the dynamic life projected in pictures, sounds, and evidence based learning. This program will cover the different parts of a habitat, and the three life zones contained within Mount Rainier National Park. In each life zone, the students will be presented with clues and asked to decipher the habitat for plants and animals with photo, audio, and animal props.

Habitat Explorer Resources

A fox with a thick coat standing facing right.
Despite their name, Cascade Red Foxes typically appear in a gray-colored phase, not a red color.

David P Stiles Photo

Activity: Would You Survive as a Cascade Red Fox?
School Subjects: Ecosystems, Habitat, Endangered
Grade Level: 3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Time Requirements: 25-40 minutes

You open your eyes in a primeval forest. Far in the distance you hear a mouse squeak a football field's length away. Using your strong upper body, you bring back food for your family. Life is good but not easy at Mount Rainier National Park. While some animals migrate or hibernate, there are a few species that are daring enough to stay around. The Cascade red fox is not only important to researchers, but also serves to demonstrate how animals fulfill their life needs in such an extreme environment.

Cascade Red Fox Resources

Mount Rainier in the distance rises above houses on a hill.
Mount Rainier is an active volcano and considered a decade volcano.

NPS/Steve Redman Photo

Activity: Geohazard Sleuth
School Subjects: Earth Systems, Geology Hazards
Grade Level: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Time Requirements: 25-40 minutes

For many people in the Northwestern area of the State of Washington, a good day is when "the mountain is out". Mount Rainier's prominence is easily seen, from its depiction on the state quarter to the many groups who use the image on their advertisements and merchandise. This proximity to the cities and people also makes Mount Rainier a "decade volcano", or one that is potentially deadly. Not only does Mount Rainier affect the local population, but also affects and is affected by the earth's systems. Through Geohazard Sleuth, students can connect with a park ranger to explore Mount Rainier's geology and potential danger this interactive program.

Geohazard Sleuth Resources

Black and white historic photo of two rows of park rangers in uniform.
Before there was a National Park Service, Mount Rainier's legacy began in 1899 as the 5th national park.

NPS Photo

Activity: Ask a Ranger
School Subjects: Life Science, Culture, National Park Service
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12th Grade
Time Requirements: 25-40 minutes

A snowy mountain peak comes to mind when picturing Mount Rainier National Park. A closer look would reveal lots of varied topics: from ecology to geology, history to culture. The people who work at this park and places like it are a special kind. They have a wealth of knowledge, stories, and insights about the National Park System, the park they work at, life as a ranger, and much more. Through the "Ask a Ranger" distance learning program, students are given an opportunity to ask a park ranger any question pertaining to Mount Rainier National Park. This program can be adapted to fit any curriculum objectives, and is versatile enough for any age.

Ask a Ranger Resources

Last updated: November 13, 2017

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Mailing Address:

55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304


(360) 569-2211

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