Elementary Programs

Students measuring saguaro during program.
Students measuring a saguaro.

NPS Photo

Rincon Mountain District (RMD) – East District


Desert Diversity: The investigation and science of nature (3rd grade)
Discover how scientists work to explore and collect data on the plants and animals of the desert. During this 2.5 hour program, students move through 4, 30-minute stations that engage in discussion and hands-on activities that expose them to five ways scientists conduct research by observing, identifying, mapping, measuring and recording. They will map plants on a short hike, measure saguaros, learn about desert plant adaptations and identify animals by investigating skulls. Classes are encouraged to have lunch in the picnic area after the program. A classroom pre-visit, one week prior to the field trip, provides the students with the base knowledge to prepare them for the field trip and enhance their place-based experience.

Available; Thursdays from November through March, 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.
Group Size; 1 class

Hohokam Life: Life in the desert 1,000 years ago (4th grade)
This field trip explores how the Hohokam-the prehistoric people of the Sonoran desert-relied on their relationship and understanding of the plants and animals of the desert to not only survive, but thrive. During this 2 hour program, students move through 4, 30-minute stations that engage in discussion and hands-on activities in trade, communication, shelter, food and how we came to know about these ancient people. Classes are encouraged to have lunch in the picnic area after the program. A classroom pre-visit, one week prior to the field trip, provides the students with the base knowledge to prepare them for the field trip and enhance their place-based experience.

Available; Thursdays from November through March, 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.
Group Size: 1 class

Tucson Mountain District (TMD) – West District

Fields Studies: Observing and identifying desert plants and animals (3rd grade)

Discover how scientists work to explore and collect data on the plants and animals of the desert. During this 2.5 hour program, students move through 2, 45-minute stations that engage in disucsiion and hands-on activities that allow them to observe, measure record and identify desert plants and animals. Students will then go on a hike to observe the plants and signs of life in the area. The off-trail experience through rugged terrain will not only provide an opportunity for them to make a personal connection to nature, but will also expose them to Leave No Trace concepts. Classes are encouraged to have lunch in the picnic area after the program. A classroom per-visit, one week prior to the field trip provides the students with the base konwledge to prepare them for the field trip and enhance their place-based experience.

Available; October to April, 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.
Group Size: 2 classes

Hohokam Life: Life in the desert 1,000 years ago (4th grade)
The Hohokam Life field trip explores interrelationships of the desert plants and animals, and “those who came before”, also known as the prehistoric Hohokam people of the Sonoran Desert. Students will explore life in the desert as it might have been 1,000 years ago through discussion, short hikes, exploration, and hands-on activities. Students move through 4, 30-minute stations and explore Hohokam communications using petroglyphs, shelters they used, life as a hunter-gatherer-farmer, and the different implements they used to store their food and possessions. Classes are encouraged to have lunch in the picnic area after the program. A classroom pre-visit, one week prior to the field trip, provides the students with the base knowledge to prepare them for the field trip and enhance their place-based experience.

Available: October to April, 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.
Group Size: 2 classes

Biodiversity Survey: The scientific method, citizen science, and real life applications (5th grade)
Biodiversity is important to the health of our ecosystems on a local, regional and planetary scale. This program explores the current state of biodiversity in the park and the threats that affect it. Students will act as citizen scientists by hypothesizing, observing and collecting data in the field while interpreting the results to make conclusions about the ecosystem we live in. During this 2.5 hour program, students will break off into groups and investigate an area by creating a plot and using tools such as GPS units, mini weather stations, soil thermometers and tape measures to survey the plants and animal evidence. They will then compare the data from that plot to a different area and to other students' data to see how plants and animal signs change with location. Classes are encouraged to have lunch in the picnic area after the program. A classroom pre-visit, one week prior to the field trip, provides the students with the base knowledge to prepare them for the field trip and enhance their place-based experience.

Available: October to April, 9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.
Group Size: 1 class

Last updated: August 7, 2018

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730

Phone:

(520) 733-5153

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