School Programming

Our offerings have changed in light of COVID-19.

Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the public and the staff. In response to the ongoing development of COVID-19, Story County Conservation programs will adhere to social distancing, smaller group size, increased sanitation and face coverings mandatory when social distancing is not possible or while indoors. 

Virtual Classroom Programs (Educators will be the Host for these programs)

  • K - Birds of a Feather (Patterns K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1) Discover what makes birds unique and how they use their special adaptations. Bird Bingo
  • 1st & 2nd Grade - Who Goes There? (Cause and effect, Patterns) Be an animal detective! Learn to read the many signs left behind by animals to solve the mystery of "Who Goes There?"
  • 3rd & 4th Grade - Rock It (Patterns, Scientific knowledge assumes an order and consistency in natural systems 4-ESS1-1) Explore and compare the three processes that form rocks. Geology Activity
  • 4th & 5th Grade - Circulation Spectacular! (Systems and system models 4-LS1-1) Explore the circulatory systems of various animals. Circulation Worksheet

Q&AWe also offer Online Learning Resources. Programs with this symbol will have a virtual Q&A for classrooms or learning groups only. Virtual options will be hosted by the educator. There are many options here that can be done without having to schedule a naturalist.

Outdoor Experiences

Outdoor Experience Info

  • All Grades - Discovery Hike (1-2 hours; year-round) - Spontaneous interpretation. Nature only knows what we will find.
  • Pre-K - I Spy(45 minutes; October - November & late April - May) - Explore nature using letters, colors, and numbers.
  • 1st & 3rd Grade - Insectology (1.5 hours; September - October & May) - Learn the characteristics of insects and their survival strategies. Collect insects to observe and identify.
  • 2nd Grade - Plant Parts and Pollination (1.5 hours; late April - May) - Learn about plant parts and life cycles, pollination, and how animals interact with a forest plant community.
  • 2nd Grade - Pond Study (2.5 hours; May) - A lake is an amazing habitat full of critters. Students will learn about the food chain and use nets to explore and discover pond life. 
  • 2nd Grade - Tree-rific! (2 hours; October) - Students learn about the inner workings of trees, their benefit to wildlife, and tree identification. 
  • 4th Grade and Up - GPS and Geocaching (2.5 hours; October - May) - Understand how to use a GPS to find a location based on latitude and longitude, find a location using new coordinates, and learn the sport of geocaching.
  • 4th Grade and Up - Snowshoeing (1.5 hours; December - February) - Snowshoeing is a great way to spend a winter day. After learning about equipment, techniques, and safety, students will venture through McFarland Park. 
  • 5th Grade and Up - Ice Fishing (2 hours; December - February) - Ice fishing is a great way to spend a winter day. After learning about equipment, techniques, and safety, students will venture onto the ice to try catching fish. 


Fees are assessed to school attendance centers scheduling environmental education programs sponsored by Story County Conservation. Two options are offered, to be decided in advance by each school attendance center:

  • $1.25 per student enrolled in the school attendance center for multiple programs; or
  • $1.25 per student per program (minimum charge of $20).

Environmental Education Fee Form (PDF)

  1. Jerry Keys

    Jerry Keys

    Environmental Education Coordinator

Not seeing what you need?

How can we help you? We are happy to connect with your students and focus on other topics relevant to what they are learning. Schedule a class virtual meeting with a naturalist or request special supplemental resources.