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School Programs
In-class Programs
Homeschool Programs
Youth Groups Programs (BSA, GS, Campfire USA)
Field Trips
Summer Camps
   

Environmental and nature education programs are available to schools, private organizations and home school groups. These programs are designed for different grade levels, and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your group. Based on the grade level some topics may cover simple biological and environmental terms for lower levels, and more advanced topics for the higher grades. Some of this topics include understanding the living and non-living, the importance of the food web, biodiversity and ecosystems. More advanced presentations geared to high school students include biology of reptiles, amphibians and birds as well as ecosystems and ecology.

Our staff will ensure you and your group will receive the best nature education experience. We also design educational materials that are made available to schools including worksheets, activities and presentations.

Live animal presentations are available upon request. These presentations involve the use of educational animals such as snakes, turtles, amphibiansand birds. Some schools integrate these presentations with their biology or environmental curriculum as a way to enhance the learning and comprehension of terminology and processes studied in the class.

All these programs are available to Public Schools free of charge and for a nominal charge to private institutions. Donations are welcome to cover the cost of operations and materials.

Some schools that have use our school programs include: George Jenkins HS, Bartow Elementary, Union Academy, St. Paul Lutheran, Sculptor Charter School, and many more.

Current Programs for 2015
Click on the subject tab for more information on the program.
 
Amphibians

Amphibians This course introduces the student to the fascinating world of amphibians, a distinctive group of vertebrates that includes salamanders, frogs, toads and sirens among others. Students will learn about their life cycle and biology as well as their economic and ecological value. Often misunderstood, frogs are among the best indicators of the health of freshwater ecosystems; their absence from a previously known range is troublesome sign. Today’s pharmaceutical companies are looking into amphibians for solutions to many human illnesses, but we are witnessing a simultaneously rapid decline in amphibian populations.

Topics:
Characteristics of amphibians
Dual life (metamorphosis)
Types of amphibians
Habitats and lifestyle
Reproduction
Amphibians as indicator species
Importance of amphibians

 
Biodiversity

This program studies the diversity of life on earth from microorganisms to the mega fauna of the great plains. The student learns the importance of biodiversity for our ecosystems and how it promotes sustainability. It’s believed that more than 30 million species inhabit planet earth, yet we only know about 1.5 million of those species. This program discusses which are the most diverse areas of the planet and what are the dangers faced by biodiversity today including pollution, fragmentation and human pressure. Participants engage in activities that demonstrate how human activities including farming, community developments and recreation may affect biological biodiversity.

Topics
What is biodiversity?
Why is biodiversity important for the environment?
For humans? What affects biodiversity?
Preserving biodiversity.


 
Bird Study (Indoor Session)

Bird Study (Classroom Session) This program includes bird anatomy, adaptations, migration and the environmental importance of birds. The student will also learn to recognize some of the most important families and how they are adapted to their habitats and feeding methods. Samples of bird feathers, eggs, and bones will be available for the participants to experience the many adaptations birds have that allow them to survive. Occasionally live birds are used during the program.

Topics
Characteristics of birds
Bird Anatomy – beaks, feet, body & wing shapes.
Bird biology - foraging, reproduction & migration.
Where can we find them?
Importance of birds birds as indicators of environmental health.

Check under Field Trips for the outdoor module to this class.

 
Ecology

Ecology This course covers the importance of individual species in their ecosystems. Explore the many interactions and relationships between organisms that lead to healthy environments and their importance for the success and productivity of a living system. The student will learn to distinguish between biotic and abiotic factors as well as the processes that take place in wetland, forest, marine and desert ecosystems. This program provides a good understanding of the importance of indicator and keystone species in determining the health of the ecosystems.

Topics

Biotic & abiotic factors
Species Producers
Consumers & Decomposers
Habitat
Natural communities
Niche
Food & Energy Levels
Symbiotic relationships

     
Ecosystems

Florida contains more than 69 distinct ecosystems that range from coastal dunes to spring fed rivers, lakes, and scrub uplands. The student explores some of the most important and productive ecosystems and the plants and animals that thrive in them. Florida is blessed with many unique natural systems not found anywhere else and hosting some of the rarest plants and animals in the world. The Lake Wales Ridge with its scrub habitats and the river of grass in the Everglades are two of these unique ecosystems. This program helps the student understand the process of adaptation that many species undergo to survive in these ecosystems.

Topics
How are the parts of an ecosystem related?
How is energy transferred among members of an ecosystem?
Living requirements.
Organisms.
F ood web/energy web.
Types of Ecosystems.

     
Insects

Insects make the largest group of animals known so far. They inhabit pretty much every biome and key to the survival of all other life forms. Plants, animals and microbes depend on insects for food, pollination and much more. Explore the enormous variety of insects and their importance through live exhibit, displays, and activities.

Topics
What is an insect?
What are they made of?
Life cycle of various insects (dragonfly, grasshopper & butterfly)

Insect defenses
Importance of insects

     
Reptiles (Live Animals Presentation)

Reptiles are an interesting group of vertebrates that includes lizards, snakes, turtles, skinks and crocodilians. Learn the different characteristics that separate each one of these large groups and the adaptations they have to survive in various types of ecosystems. Live animals are used to show the different characteristics of reptiles.

Topics

Characteristics of Reptiles (snakes,lizards, turtles & crocodilians)
Where do they live?
Cold blooded (Ectotherms)
Life cycle (reproduction)
What do they eat?
Hunting techniques
Venomous
Florida snakes, turtles & lizards
The importance of reptiles for humans and the ecosystems.

     
Water is Life

Water is Life Water is needed by all living organisms. This program teaches the student where water comes from, where it goes and how to conserve it. The program exposes the students to the world of microorganisms living in water to the largest mammals swimming in the oceans and the importance of water quality to the survival of all living things.

Topics
Where do water comes from?
The water cycle
Importance of water for living things.
Water ecosystems. (freshwater, brackish, saltwater)
Human impact on water resources.
How is water used and recycled.
Climate change and water availability.
How to conserve water.

Programs for Educators

Educator programs are designed to assist the teacher with the implementation of environmental classes and activities in the classroom as well as outdoors. These program show you how to create activities around the school, that students can relate to the environment.

For more information contact us at :

education@lakeregionaudubon.org



 

Students interacting with live animals during a presentation at the Polk Nature Discovery.

Hands on experience is an essential learning tool in understanding our ecosystems and the creatures that live in them.

115 Lameraux Road ∙ Winter Haven, Florida 33884 (863) 259-8497