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Elementary Classroom Programs

Grade K
Students will learn about the unique characteristics of birds. They will practice observing sound, color, shape, and movement to distinguish between different types of birds in their schoolyard.
Science Essential Standards Correlations: K.P.1.1, K.P.1.2, K.L.1.1, K.L.1.2

Goods from the Woods
Grades K-1

Students will learn about the many environmental resources that come from our forests by working together to sort a variety of products.
Science Essential Standards Correlations: K.P.2.2, K.G.2.2, 1.G.2.2

Soil Buddies
Grade 1
Students will explore how different soils enhance the growth of certain plants. They will learn the basic needs required for life, including air, water, nutrients, and light. Students will make their own “soil buddy,” with grass seed planted on the head to grow into “hair.” 
Science Essential Standards Correlations: 1.E.2.1, 1.E.2.2, 1.L.1.1, 1.L.1.3, 1.L.2.1
  
NC Treasures
Grade 1
Students will explore the rich variety of plants and animals North Carolina’s environment supports, from mountains to the coast. They will learn ways they can help plants and animals stay healthy in their own backyard.
Science Essential Standards Correlations: 1.L.1.1, 1.L.1.2, 1.L.1.3
 
Life of a Pollinator
Grade 2
Students will look at the importance of local pollinators in producing food in Gaston County, including butterflies, birds, and bees. They will discuss what a healthy pollinator needs from its environment at various stages of its life cycle.    
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  2.L.1.1, 2.L.1.2, 2.G.2.1, 2.G.2.2
 
Frog Tales
Grade 2
Students will learn about Gaston County native frogs, including where they live throughout their life cycle. They will practice distinguishing frogs by appearance and sound, and discuss what frogs can tell us about our environment. 
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  2.L.1.1, 2.L.1.2, 2.L.2.2
 
A Drop in the Bucket
Grade 3
Students will explore where water is found on earth, including its distribution among oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers, and groundwater. They will think about their own water needs and why it is important to conserve water in their own home.
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  3.E.2.1, 3.G.1.3, 3.C&G.2.2

Dig Into Soil
Grade 3
Students will dig into the importance of soil, including the characteristics that allow it to support plant growth. Using a soil auger, they will work together to dig a soil profile on their school grounds, and observe how soil texture (sand, silt, and clay) changes throughout the profile. They will consider soil as a natural resource, and learn about basic soil conservation. 
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  3.L.2.4, 3.G.1.3, 3.C&G.2.2

Earth’s Largest Plant
Grade 3
Students will investigate the growth and structure of Earth’s largest plant, a tree!  They will have the opportunity to study tree cookies, and think about how the distance between the annual rings indicate the environmental conditions at that point in the tree’s life.
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  3.L.2.1, 3.L.2.2, 3.L.2.3, 3.G.1.3, 3.C&G.2.2
                 

*NEW* Goods from the Woods
Grade 4
An adaptation of “Goods from the Woods” for 4th grade, this program highlights the history and importance of forest products in North Carolina history. From forest management and use by Native American tribes to the naval stores industry to the beginning of forest science at the Biltmore Estate, forestry has been an important natural resource in North Carolina across different time periods and cultures (American Indian, African American, European American).
Science Essential Standards: 4.G.1.2, 4.G.1.3

The Story of Spencer Mountain
Grade 4
This field trip takes place at the foot of Spencer Mountain in George Poston Park.  Students will hike a 1 mile loop and collect artifacts to help them piece together the “Story of Spencer Mountain,” through formation, weathering, and erosion over thousands of years of change.
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  4.P.2.3, 4.E.2, 4.H.1.3, 4.G.1.2

Macroinvertebrate Mayhem
Grade 4
Students will be introduced to aquatic macroinvertebrates, insects scientists study to understand water quality. Students will learn about the many physical and behavioral adaptations these insects have to survive, and learn how their populations may be affected by changes to their environment. Finally, they will think about how humans impact aquatic environments and what we can do to conserve these systems. 
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  4.L.1, 4.G.1.2

*NEW* Cherokee Stories
Grade 5
Students will consider the story of the Cherokee, particularly the diverse ways Cherokee people interacted with natural ecosystems pre- and post-European expansion. They will be exposed to several traditional Cherokee legends related to the human relationship to the environment, and think critically about the lessons they may contain for us all. 
Science Essential Standards: 5.C.1.1, 5.C.1.4

The Incredible Journey
Grade 5
Students will experience a kinesthetic simulation of the water cycle, including how the sun’s energy drives evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, and runoff. They will understand how humans and life in general depend on this cycle, and how we may engage responsibly with it especially in regards to water use and runoff.
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  5.P.2.1

Owl Pellets
Grade 5
Students will explore the interconnected relationships of organisms within an ecosystem, including food chains and food webs. They will investigate predator-prey relationships through the dissection of owl pellets, and discuss about how food chains may be different for different species of owls found in different NC ecosystems. 
Science Essential Standards Correlations:  5.L.2.2, 5.L.2.3