New!–A Worms Work PreK –up
This is a lesson on worms and vermicomposting plus outdoor composting and in season a visit to the children’s garden. Excite students about the important work that earthworms perform. Students become aware that earthworms are beneficial to our gardens, the farms our food comes from and to forests. Students learn that earth worms are living things/invertebrates as find ‘scientific evidence’ about their behavior and reproduction. Soil particle size sieving and a portable worm farm aka indoor compost unit are part of this program. 1 hr. (can be combined with other programs)
New!–Skulls & Teeth 4th gr. –up
This program taps into a large collection of different mammal skulls, teeth, and scat. Students will learn which native species are carnivores, omnivores, herbivores and insectivores. Students will learn the parts and function of mammal skulls and teeth, how it affects their food sources; the difference in skulls and teeth in mammals who are carnivores, omnivores, herbivores and insectivores; about the food web and the definition of predator and prey; and how to identify animal signs and scat in different habitats such as forests, fields and wetlands. 1 -2 hours if combined with Habitat Quest.
Intro to Botany 2nd gr. –up
Learn about the different families of plants that grow around us. Learn and examine plant parts (with magnification) and the many parts of the plants we eat! Learn unique botanical vocabulary. Try identifying some flowers or trees using a dichotomous key. Most importantly learn why flowers are so important to the world and why insects are important to plants. 2 hours
Discover the Seasons and Cycles PreK-up
A sensory class & walk with emphasis on nature’s cycles and developing awareness of the interconnections in nature. Children will observe with sight, smell, touch, and sound, the changes around them that are signaling nature’s adaptations and transitions from fall to winter. 1-1.5 hours
Discover Spring: Birds, Bees & Buds features the budding of trees and flowers, insect activity and their role in pollination, tree and leaf shapes and the high activity in the world of birds.
Discover Fall: Leaves, Seeds and changes highlights the process of plants and animals preparing for winter. Leaves change colors and drop. Seeds and nuts prepare for next year’s cycles. Animals prepare winter homes or migrate.
Discover Winter highlights the various survival techniques employed by plants and animals in the snowy woods and ice covered ponds. The forests are busy and alive in winter.
Animals in Winter with Puppet Show PreK-2nd gr.
This program animates the concepts of hibernation, adaptation and migration with a puppet theater that includes 10 different wildlife species. All strategies for winter survival are covered. Students untangle riddles about wildlife and become an animal themselves then choosing a strategy. This can be combined with Discover the Seasons class (2 class minimum for puppet programs). A hike is included 1-2 hours
Animals in Winter: Adaptation Stations 3rd gr.-up
Students brainstorm winter survival techniques employed by native wildlife. They rotate through several inquiry ‘lab’ stations on insulation, hibernation, alternative food sources and special wildlife adaptations. Examine furs, feathers under a microscope, and food items that NE wildlife eat. Two hour class performs an animal ‘Antifreeze’ experiment or tracks animal signs outside. 1-2 hours
Maple Sugaring: History, Science, Chemistry, Biology Prek-up
This fascinating class encompasses photosynthesis, the historic process of Native Americans who discovered how to cook sugar from trees, tree identification and measuring, and the use and evolution of tools in the gathering and processing of sap. Students will use measuring tapes, hand drill, spiles, and buckets to set a tap. They will collect sap and add to wood-fired evaporator pan. They can even try an antique shoulder yoke. Evaporation, condensation, combustion—it’s all in this program! They will taste real syrup and ‘Log Cabin’ to see if they can tell the difference. Learn how syrup is graded by color and what “Maple Math” is all about. Evaporation, condensation, combustion—it’s all in this program! Available late February to early April. 1-2 hours
Beavers and their Wetlands Friends All ages
Beavers are incredibly well adapted creatures. While observing a beaver mount, skull, and various other items, students will learn about the beaver’s amazing adaptations. Students will visit a nearby beaver lodge and dam, learn how these mammals alter their environments to suit their own needs, and see how these changes benefit other types of wildlife. Learn about the important functions and diversity of freshwater wetlands. Play the Shrinking Wetland and Wetland metaphors. 1-3 hours
Learning to read Maps and use a compass: Orienteering 6th and up
Learning map reading is very empowering and a valuable life-long skill. In this class, participants will learn how to read maps, use compasses and navigate on trails in search of orienteering markers on our property. The challenges increase the longer you stay! This can be combined with teambuilding activities or natural science challenges to accomplish along the trail. After intro lesson, students will travel on the trails in small groups with chaperones. You always see and learn about new things along the trail. 2-4 hours
Bats and Owls Gr. 2 & up
Bat myths are busted in this class! And owls are neatly examined. This is a great class to experience near Halloween when bats and owls are often showcased inaccurately. We’ll turn students into aficionados on these often misunderstood flying creatures. Take a hike to look for owl habitat and roosting trees. Owl pellet dissection is an optional activity too. 1-2 hours
Aquatic Wonders K-6th
Explore the pond ecosystem! Aquatic food chains, life cycles, and water quality will be highlighted. Students will visit an active pond habitat and using nets and hand lenses, identify the life within. Longer classes can assess water quality by making measurements, identifying indicator species for “clean” and “unhealthy” water systems. A watershed model is available for assessing human impact on water resources. Pond & Stream Safari: A STEM class for 4th-10th grade. Investigate water quality indicators by systematically identifying and categorizing species. Learn adaptations and eating orders in a small river or pond. 1-2 hours
Fine Feathered Friends K-up, 1-2 hours
What makes a bird a bird? Learn about principles of flight and the special adaptations that are unique to birds. We will practice some bird songs, look for nests and evidence of bird activity. Students will visit our Bird Museum and weather permitting our winter bird observation blind to observe local species.
Bugs, Butterflies, Beetles & Bees K-5th
Using nets and bug boxes, learn about these beneficial but sometimes pesky animals that outnumber us a million to one! Learn about the anatomy, adaptations, sometimes odd habitats and always interesting life cycles of insects. Do field and forest insect collection and examination. Make a visit to the Beaver Brook bee hive to learn about these brilliant honey makers! 1-2 hours
Habitat Quest 4th and up
This questing activity employs maps, compasses and clues for students to seek out the habitat needs of several different mammals: an omnivore, a carnivore, an insectivore and an herbivore. As with letterboxing, they will find hidden boxes in the woods with teeth, skulls, and food items that they bring back and share with the group which synthesizes the animal’s habitat needs. 1 hour
Native Americans of the Woodlands All ages
Participate in a multi-station program focusing on Native American Woodland People. Students will hike on the trail to our ash wigwam and handle and discuss implements of Woodland Indian daily life. Students will learn to play children’s games that originated with Native American children. In our Native American Garden, identify the “Three Sisters,” some medicine plants and grind corn with a stone pestle. Learn how these people depended on the land, plants, and animals for their survival and the impact that winter had on their survival. 3 hour program includes games. Four Hour program includes learning about wild edibles and useful trees and plants. 1-4 hours
How the Forest Grew: Forest Ecology 4thand up
New England lands have changed dramatically over the last 400 years. Students will learn about land use changes and forest succession from the 1600s through the present. We will follow a trail from an old farm and its fields through the various stages of natural reforestation that occurs. Students will learn to age and identify species of trees. They will age a tree using a ‘tree cookie”. Along the way they will look for wildlife signs in each stage of a forest habitat and explore predator/prey relationships through games and activities. Option: Tree Geometry lesson for 6th graders and up. 1-4 hours
New England Wildlife: Tracks, Clues and Signs 2nd-up
A number of interesting clues have been found at Maple Hill Farm! Who left them? What do they tell us? Using their detective skills, students will examine animal mounts, skins, scat, skulls and nests and try to identify the creatures that left them behind. Once their observational skills are sharpened, students will receive special assignments and head out onto the trails to count, measure, collect, and observe signs left by the animals that make our area their home. 1.5-2 hours
Rocks & Minerals 1st-up
Students are naturally curious about materials from the earth. They want to know if rocks and minerals are the same, what is in rocks, and why some rocks have fossils. This program uses investigation, observation and testing to help students explore the properties of rocks and minerals. Students identify different properties such as luster, streak, transparency, magnetism, porosity and crystal color and shape. The class examines many items in our everyday world that are mined from the earth. Outside, students will take a hike to identify rocks of different origins classifying them into igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. They will sieve soils into different particle sizes and compare soils between locations. Combines well with A Worm’s Work.
~Snowschool & Winter Ecology ~Wildlife Tracking ~Challenge Course
Field Program Fees Min.
|1 hour class
|| $6 pp
|1.5 hour class
|| $7 pp
|2 hour class
|| $8 pp
|2.5 hour class
|| $9 pp
|3 hour class
|| $10 pp
|3.5 hour class
|| $11 pp
|4 hour class
|| $12 pp
We request 1 chaperone for every six students. No fee for chaperones.
Outreach programs start at $200. Outreach programs farther than 25 miles away from Beaver Brook will include additional charges for teacher travel time. Mileage for visiting teachers is $.575/mile. Many BBA programs are adapted for presentation in schools and other venues. Ask about our Scientist and Naturalist-in-Residence Program! We’ve constructed Nature Trails, Butterfly Gardens, sampled insects, inventoried wetlands and mapped habitats in schoolyards to name a few projects.