The LRAS is currently offering programs to homeschooled children. These are specialized programs that cover different science topics that are adjusted to participants’ learning level. Most homeschooled groups usually visit our center where they receive a presentation on the subject to be covered followed by a worksheet or a field outing in which the kids have the opportunity to learn firsthand what was covered in the presentation.
When studying plants, birds and insects kids have the opportunity to explore our 44 acres preserve accompanied by one of our naturalist who will help them identify what they find. Older kids are taught basic sampling methods and how to preserve biological samples for later study. The Street Audubon Center maintains a collection of preserved specimens, mounted birds, a shell collection and many more items for close observation.
When scheduling a session at the Street Audubon Nature Center please let us know what your kids are currently working on, and we’ll prepare accordingly to meet their learning needs. Either call us or email us a general outline of what they have covered so far and what needs to be covered by us. We’ll provide you with audio-visual materials and activities to go along with the session.
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.
Characteristics of amphibians
Dual life (metamorphosis)
Types of amphibians
Habitats and lifestyle
Amphibians as indicator species
Importance of amphibians
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.
What is biodiversity?
Why is biodiversity important for the environment?
For humans? What affects biodiversity?
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.
Characteristics of birds
Bird Adaptations – beaks, feet, body & wing shapes.
Bird biology – foraging, reproduction & migration.
Where can we find them?
Importance of birds birds as indicators of environmental health.
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.
Biotic & abiotic factors
Consumers & Decomposers
Food & Energy Levels
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.
How are the parts of an ecosystem related?
How is energy transferred among members of an ecosystem?
F ood web/energy web.
Types of Ecosystems.
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.
Characteristics of Reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles & crocodilians)
Where do they live?
Cold blooded (Ectotherms)
Life cycle (reproduction)
What do they eat?
Florida snakes, turtles & lizards
The importance of reptiles for humans and the ecosystems.
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.
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.
Basic naturalist program for kids wanting to learn more about their natural surroundings. This outdoor class includes basic sketching and how to gather basic information to go along your findings. The program encourages the young naturalist to seek answers to basic natural processes by means of observation and research of available information in books and other resources.