Virtual Nature-based Field Trips

Connect your classroom to Hitchcock Center field trips with nature-based educators, Helen Ann Sephton and Aemelia Thompson. These live-stream virtual field trips use school-approved Google Meets to offer interactive, inquiry-based learning opportunities for school classrooms grades K-6. Upon registration, a field-based “pre-trip” video along with suggested activities and resources will be provided to help engage students in the learning process prior to participating in the live session. Each field trip has been designed to address grade-level STEM standards as identified below.

*If there are more than 22 students in your class please communicate that in the special request area of the registration form.

Mountains and Valleys

Available starting May 18
with Helen Ann Sephton
Grades 4 & 6
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Discover the stories in the stones around us! The Holyoke Range can tell us much about how the Earth’s crust is shaped. It is a geologically unique area, where we can find evidence of shifting tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, and erosion, all in one place! In this virtual field trip, students will learn how the everyday landscape provides intriguing clues to the past. Together, we will explore local geology through video, hands on experimentation and an online meeting.

Standards

Grade 4: Earth and Space Sciences

ESS1. Earth’s Place in the Universe 

4-ESS1-1. Use evidence from a given landscape that includes simple landforms and rock layers to support a claim about the role of erosion or deposition in the formation of the landscape over long periods of time.

ESS2. Earth’s Systems 

4-ESS2-1. Make observations and collect data to provide evidence that rocks, soils, and sediments are broken into smaller pieces through mechanical weathering and moved around through erosion.

Grade 6: Earth and Space Sciences

ESS1. Earth’s Place in the Universe

6.MS-ESS1-4. Analyze and interpret rock layers and index fossils to determine the relative ages of rock formations that result from processes occurring over long periods of time.

Insect Investigations

Available starting May 18
with Aemelia Thompson
Grades K-4

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What makes an animal an insect? What role do insects play in our world and how are they important to people?  In our remotely accessible video students will become entomologists with a Hitchcock educator to adventure into the woods and search for insects. Learn how to identify an insect, where to find them, and the tools you’ll need to collect them. Plus, learn a ton of cool insect facts along the way! We will also come together as a class in a live interactive stream to share our experiences with insects, observe live teaching insects close up, learn about their complex life cycles, and participate in identification games and quizzes.

Standards

Kindergarten: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

K-LS1-1. Observe and communicate that animals (including humans) and plants need food, water, and air to survive. Animals get food from plants or other animals. Plants make their own food and need light to live and grow.

Grade 1: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

1-LS1-1. Use evidence to explain that (a) different animals use their body parts and senses in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect  themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water, and air, and (b) plants have roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits that are used to take in water, air, and other nutrients, and produce food for the plant.

Grade 2: Life Science

LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics  2-LS2-3(MA). Develop and use models to compare how plants and animals depend on their surroundings  and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live.

Grade 3: Life Science 

LS1.From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

3-LS1-1. Use simple graphical representations to show that different types of organisms have unique and diverse life cycles. Describe that all organisms have birth, growth, reproduction, and death in common but there are a variety of ways in which these happen.

Grade 4: Life Science 

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes  4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that animals and plants have internal and external structures that  support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Life in a Pond

Life in a PondAvailable starting May 26
with Helen Ann Sephton
Grades K-5

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A pond is much more than frogs and fish! It demonstrates a beautiful web of life from algae and microscopic organisms to insect larvae and amphibians. In this virtual field trip, we will learn how to make a simple pond net, read about what makes a pond a pond, and go on a virtual pond tour. Students will be given a list of simple equipment to use to successfully collect pond animals, and will be shown how to safely collect and release these animals. In a live meeting, we will share our experiences, get a close up look at pond invertebrates (animals without backbones), do a scientific drawing, and experiment with the surface tension of water.

Standards

Kindergarten: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

PreK-LS1-1(MA). Compare, using descriptions and drawings, the external body parts of animals (including humans) and plants and explain functions of some of the observable body parts.

PreK-LS1-3(MA). Use their five senses in their exploration and play to gather information.

LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

PreK-LS2-2(MA). Using evidence from the local environment, explain how familiar plants and animals meet their needs where they live.

LS3. Variation of Traits

PreK-LS3-1(MA). Use observations to explain that young plants and animals are like but not exactly like their parents.K-LS1-1. Observe and communicate that animals (including humans) and plants need food, water, and air to survive. Animals get food from plants or other animals. Plants make their own food and need light to live and grow.

K-LS1-2(MA). Recognize that all plants and animals grow and change over time.

Grade 1: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

1-LS1-1. Use evidence to explain that (a) different animals use their body parts and senses in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water, and air, and (b) plants have roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits that are used to take in water, air, and other nutrients, and produce food for the plant.

LS3. Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

1-LS3-1. Use information from observations (first-hand and from media) to identify similarities and differences among individual plants or animals of the same kind.

Grade 2: Life Science

LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

2-LS2-3(MA). Develop and use models to compare how plants and animals depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live.

LS4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

2-LS4-1. Use texts, media, or local environments to observe and compare (a) different kinds of living things in an area, and (b) differences in the kinds of living things living in different types of areas.

Grade 3: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

3-LS1-1. Use simple graphical representations to show that different types of organisms have unique and diverse life cycles. Describe that all organisms have birth, growth, reproduction, and death in common but there are a variety of ways in which these happen.

LS4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity 

3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular environment some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive.

Grade 4: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that animals and plants have internal and external structures that support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Grade 5: Life Science

LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among producers, consumers, decomposers, and the air, water, and soil in the environment to (a) show that plants produce sugars and plant materials, (b) show that animals can eat plants and/or other animals for food, and (c) show that some organisms, including fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms and recycle some materials back to the air and soil.

Amazing Animal Adaptations

What Do Skulls Tell Us About Animals?Available starting May 26
with Aemelia Thompson
Grades K-4

REGISTER

How do animals survive in the wild? In this virtual field trip we focus on the amazing diversity of life on the planet and in our area. In our remotely accessible video, students will be introduced to live teaching animals by tuning into the talk show “Good Morning Animals”. Viewers will learn about how biology and behavior helps animals survive in habitat in unique ways. We will also come together as a class in a live interactive stream to share our experiences with local animal adaptations in addition to observation of our teaching animals and stuffed mounts. Students will also explore the concept of biomimicry and human adaptations through conversation and games.

Standards

Kindergarten: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

K-LS1-1. Observe and communicate that animals (including humans) and plants need food, water, and air to survive. Animals get food from plants or other animals. Plants make their own food and need light to live and grow.

Grade 1: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

1-LS1-1. Use evidence to explain that (a) different animals use their body parts and senses in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water, and air, and (b) plants have roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits that are used to take in water, air, and other nutrients, and produce food for the plant.

Grade 2: Life Science

LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
2-LS2-3(MA). Develop and use models to compare how plants and animals depend on their surroundings and other living things to meet their needs in the places they live.

Grade 3: Life Science

LS4. Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular environment some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive.

Grade 4: Life Science

LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
L4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that animals and plants have internal and external structures that support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

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