School Programs 2024

Inspiring environmental stewardship through education for 30 years!

Yampatika supports educators in NW Colorado with an array of affordable and free, science-based, environmental education resources. Contact 970-871-9151 or email us for more information and scheduling.

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River Watch

This program is a partnership between River Science and Colorado Parks and Wildlife devoted to volunteer water-quality monitoring. Yampatika is trained and ready to facilitate reviving a previously monitored site in your area, identifying a new site for monthly monitoring, or connecting you with a currently monitored site and volunteer group. This program has existed for over 30 years and has historic data from statewide sites. Interdisciplinary opportunities to study biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of streams. Real People. Real Science. Real Purpose. 

Environmental and Water Education Programs

 Yampatika is the only non-profit organization in Northwest Colorado committed solely to inspiring environmental stewardship through education. We offer free science and standards-based programming in multiple subjects. Our programs can take place indoors or outdoors at school or local public open spaces, on field trips to various locations, and at Legacy Ranch. 

Any grade level may request outdoor nature explorations, nature journaling, Leave No Trace Ethics, guided walks with a school topic focus, snowshoeing, and more. 

Field trips can be requested at any time of the year. Please specify your theme or goals for the field trip when requesting so we can provide the best options that will accomplish your objectives for the program. 

Field Trip Sites include:

  • Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch
  • State Parks & Wildlife Areas
  • Medicine Bow – Routt and White River National Forests
  • City Parks and Open Spaces
  • The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch
  • Cedar Mountain in Moffat County
  • Private Ranches
  • More sites are being identified all the time
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Yampatika is committed to providing the most applicable hands-on experiential learning opportunities available. If you have an idea for a program that would benefit your unit objectives but don’t see it in our offerings, please call to discuss!

Online Teacher Request Form

Please use the expansion buttons on the right to explore programs for specific grade levels.

PreK: 30-45 minutes each session

ELP: Nature Explorers (SC.P.3.1, SC.P.3.2, and SS.P.2.1) 

  • Three-part hands-on inquiry program to explore and understand the natural world. 

We Are Water (SC.P.2.1 and SC.P.2.2) 

  • An exploration into the water that is contained in every living thing, including us! Students will learn through song, games, and hands-on inquiry. 

States of Matter (SC.P.1.1) 

  • Hands-on activities introducing the solids, liquids, and gases that make up the world around us with a focus on water. 

Amazing Animals and Plants! (SC.P.2.1 and SC.P.2.2) 

  • Every living thing has needs. Food, water, shelter, space. Multiple lessons are available on topics including plants, specific animals, habitats, life cycles, worms, and more. 

Coming Soon! Properties of Water (SC.P.1.1) 

  • Why is water unique? Experiments to explore the properties that make water so important. 
Kindergarten: 30-45 minutes each session

ELP: Predicting and Preparing for Weather Changes (SC.K.3.1 and SC.K.3.2) 

  • A three-part program including field exploration. How do animals prepare for changing seasons? 

We Are Water (SC.K.2.1) 

  • An exploration into the water that is contained in every living thing, including us! Students will learn through song, games, and hands-on inquiry. 

Heat It Up! (SC.K.1.2) 

  • Experiment on a variety of common materials to determine how the sun affects the earth. Outdoors only! 

Animal Needs (in-person and virtual available) (SC.K.2.1) 

  • Explore bird beak functions with different tools in a hands-on program with games and experiments. 

Plant Needs (in-person and virtual available) (SC.K.2.1) 

  • What do plants need to grow? 

Beavers! (SC.K.2.1 and SC.K.3.1) 

  • Beavers are nature’s engineers. How do they change their environment to meet their needs? 

Coming Soon! Places We Live (SS.K.2.1 and SS.K.2.2) 

  • Explore where we live and why. What do we need to survive here? How do we learn from animals? 
First Grade: 45-60 minutes each session

ELP: Bird Adaptations: Beaks, Feet, and Wings (SC.1.2.1) 

  • How do birds live? What are their habitats and adaptations? 

The Incredible Journey (RW.1.1.1 and RW.1.1.2) 

  • Explore the water cycle by traveling as a water droplet and embark on a storytelling journey. 

Where is this Water From? (SS.1.2.2) 

  • Field exploration of how and where water travels in our local area. 

Sound On (SC.1.1.1) 

  • Sensory explorations using animal sounds. 

Animal Adaptations (SC.1.2.1) 

  • What features help animals survive? Look at different types of adaptations and differentiate through beaver dress-up and games. Additional animal themes are available. 

Coming Soon! Young Animal Observations (SC.1.2.2) 

  • Comparing young animals to their adult animal counterparts. 

Coming Soon! Map Your Natural Community (SS.1.2.1 and SS.1.2.2) 

Second Grade: 45-60 minutes each session

ELP: Shape of the Land (SC.2.3.1 and SC.2.3.2)

  • This three-part program investigates weathering and erosion and how it shapes our land. 

Weathering and Erosion (SC.2.3.2) 

  • How do weathering, erosion, and deposition change our land? This is an introductory lesson. 

The Incredible Journey (SC.2.3.2, RW.2.1.1, and RW.2.1.2) 

  • Explore the water cycle by traveling as a water droplet and embark on a storytelling journey. 

Properties of Water (SC.2.1.1) 

  • Experiment on a variety of common materials to determine how the sun affects the earth. 

Macros! (SC.2.2.2) 

  • A first exploration into aquatic macroinvertebrates in the field. Water locations on field trips only. 

Awesome Aspens (SC.2.2.1) 

  • What’s so special about how aspens grow, live, and thrive? 

The Subnivean Zone (SC.2.2.2) 

  • Who lives under the snow? How is that even possible? 

Colorado Habitats (SC.2.2.2) 

  • There are so many different habitats in Colorado. Let’s explore some. 

Bee a Pollinator (SC.2.2.1) 

  • Bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. Learn more about their importance. 

Life Cycle of a Tree (SC.2.2.1) 

  • What is the life cycle of a tree? What do they need to survive? 
Third Grade: 50-60 minutes each session

ELP: The Lives of Animals (SC.3.2.1, SC.3.2.3, and SC.3.2.5) 

  • A three-part program. How do animals adapt and survive? 

Weather and Natural Hazards: Avalanche! (SC3.3.2) 

  • Learn why avalanches occur and how to test for snow stability. 

Weather and Natural Hazards: Drought! (SC3.3.2) 

  • What is drought? How do we work together to solve drought problems? 

Macros! 

  • A first exploration into aquatic macroinvertebrates in the field. Water locations only. 

Let’s Survive Together (SC.3.2.2) 

  • Animals survive better by working together and staying in groups. Explore some specific animals and how they do this. 

Where Are We? (SC.3.1.2 and SS.3.2.1) 

  • How do compasses work and how do we navigate with them? 

Animal Adaptations (SC.3.2.4 and SC.3.2.5) 

  • Hands-on explorations into the adaptations that help animals survive from generation to generation. 

Fossils and Sedimentary Rocks (SC.3.2.4) 

Coming Soon: Weather Trackers (SC.3.3.1) 

Coming Soon: Evolving Animals 

Fourth Grade: 55-60 minutes each session

ELP: Changing Earth (SC.4.3.1, SC.4.3.2, and SC.4.3.3) 

  • A three-part program exploring the changes that occur in earth’s spheres. 

Yampa-White-Green Basin, What’s Your Watershed? (SC.4.2.1, SC.4.3.3, and SC.4.4.1) 

  • What is a watershed and where do we live within one? 

Water Conservation (SC.4.3.2 and SC.4.3.5) 

  • Why should we use less water? 

Hydropower (SC.4.1.1, SC.4.1.2, SC.4.1.4, and SC.4.3.4.) 

  • Experiment with different types of energy and tour a working hydro plant (virtual or in-person at Stagecoach). 

Natural Hazards – Avalanches (SC.4.3.5) 

  • Avalanches can be understood if we study them and understand the conditions that make them happen. 

Natural Hazards – Erosion Control (SC.4.3.5) 

  • Design a way to control erosion in your local community. 

Owl Adaptations (SC.4.2.1) 

  • Explore great-horned owl adaptations and dissect owl pellets to see what they eat. 

Bats! (SC.4.1.5 and SC.4.2.1) 

Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources (SC.4.3.4) 

Watersheds and The Continental Divide (SS.4.2.1 and SS.4.2.2) 

Fifth Grade: 55-60 minutes each session

ELP: Water (SC.5.3.3 and SC.5.3.4) Both Indoor and Outdoor Components, spring or fall for outdoor best

  • A three-part program exploring the importance of water. Why does it mean so much?

Yampa-White-Green Basin, What’s Your Watershed? (SS.5.2.1, SC.5.3.3, and SC.5.3.5) Indoor, Outdoor, or Virtual, spring or fall for outdoors

  • Explore where our watershed is in the bigger picture.

The Water Cycle (SC.5.3.3, and SC.5.3.4.) Indoor or Outdoor, No Virtual

  • Modeling the water cycle.

Water Treatment (SC.5.1.2, and SC.5.3.4.) Indoor, Outdoor, or Virtual, spring or fall for outdoors best

  • How do we make water safe to drink? Inquire about touring a water treatment facility in your area to add to this lesson.

Food Webs (SC.5.2.2) Indoor, No Virtual

  • Ecosystems are complex. Build a local food web to identify the flow of energy in the system and how everything is interconnected.

Water Conservation (4.3.2 and SC.4.3.5) Indoor, Outdoor, or Virtual, any season

  • How much water do we really use?

Natural Hazards – Avalanches (SC.5.3.3) Outdoors in Winter Only (part of program can be done indoors)

  • How do avalanches occur? What can we do to understand them better?

Coming Soon: Decomposers (SC.5.2.2)

Coming Soon: Earth Modeling (SC.5.3.3)

Coming Soon: Plant Study (SC.5.2.1)

Coming Soon: Topographic Maps (SC.5.2.1)

Coming Soon: Filter Build

Middle School: 50 or 90 minute sessions

The Carbon Cycle (SC.MS.2.6) 

Modeling the carbon cycle through a hands-on exploration. 

Carbon Sequestration – How Much Carbon is Stored in a Tree? (SC.MS.2.6) 

Measure and analyze trees to determine the carbon they contain. 

Water Cycle Modeling (SC.MS.1.1, SC.MS.3.6) 

In-depth investigation into the water cycle and how to model it. 

Water Contamination (SC.MS.3.10) 

Exploring chemicals that contaminate water, how they enter and travel through a system. 

Water Quality Testing (SC.MS.3.6, SC.MS.3.10) 

A local field investigation of the chemical, biological, and physical characteristics measured to determine the water quality at one or more sites. 

Water Distribution and the Continental Divide (SC.MS.3.8, SS.6.2.1, and SS.6.2.2) 

Resources are distributed unevenly across the globe. Explore the concept using water distribution in Colorado. 

Land Use Planning and Decision Making (SC.MS.3.10, SS.6.2.2, Engaging in Argument from Evidence) 

How do you make decisions on land uses while listening to all stakeholders? 

Community Resiliency: Drought, Fire, or Flood (SC.MS.3.9, SS.8.2.1) 

Examining natural hazards in the local community and how to be prepared. Hands-on scenarios. 

Environmental Justice (SC.MS.3.10, RW.MS.3.1, RW.MS.1.1, SS.6.2.2, SS.8.2.1) 

Examining case studies of environmental justice incidents. 

A Long Walk to Water 

Interdisciplinary lesson relating the book A Long Walk to Water to water availability, distribution, and access in Colorado. 

Nature Journaling (RW.MS.4.1, RW.MS.3.2, VA.6.1.3) 

Writing and art go hand in hand to describe the natural environment. 

Leave No Trace Ethics (SS.6.2.2) 

How do we protect the outdoors? What principles help us minimize impacts and how are they determined? 

Coming Soon: Climate Science 

Special Requests Are Welcome 

High School: 50 or 90 minute sessions

Water Quality Assessment – Two-Part In-Class (in-person or virtual) and Field (SC.HS.2.6, SC.HS.2.12, SC.HS.3.6) 

An introduction to water quality and a local field investigation of the chemical, biological, and physical characteristics measured to determine the water quality at one or more sites. 

Measuring Streamflow (SC.HS.3.6, SC.HS.3.9) Outdoor field investigation 

A field investigation to calculate streamflow and identify river characteristics. 

Western Water Rights – Prior Appropriation (SS.HS.1.2, SS.HS.2.3, SS.HS.3.1, RW.H2.1.1) 

Water rights in the west are complex. Examine the different stakeholders and history of water rights in the West. 

Community Resiliency – Drought, Flood, or Fire (SC.HS.3.10) 

Examining natural hazards in the local community and how to be prepared. 

Snow Survey 

A field investigation into how snow survey is conducted and what the data is used for in our Basin. Partnership with Natural Resource Conservation Service. 

Forests after Fire – Secondary Succession (SC.HS.2.6) 

The importance of fire in forest ecosystems and examining the succession of different species in the aftermath of wildland fire. 

The History of Fire Suppression in the West (SS.HS.2.1, SS.HS.1.1) 

Introducing the history of fire suppression in the US and its effect on modern forests. 

Fighting Fires with Chemistry (SC.HS.PS.3.2 and SC.HS.PS.3.1) 

Chemical fire retardants and extinguishers, exploring their chemical composition and unique properties. 

Fire Weather 

Introducing how weather influences fire behavior and how fire influences weather. 

Fire Adaptations (SC.HS.LS.2.6 and SC.HS.LS.2.12) 

Introducing plant species adapted to fire, their physical and behavioral adaptations. 

Wildland Fire Models (SC.HS.1.7 and SC.HS.2.6) 

Exploring complex system modeling using the context of wildland fire. 

Nature Journaling (RW.H1.4.1, RW.H1.3.2, RW.H2.3.1, VA.HS.1.1, VA.HS.1.3) 

There are so many different habitats in Colorado. Let’s explore some. 

Leave No Trace Ethics (SS.HS.4.1, SS.HS.2.3, SS.HS.1.2) 

How do we protect the outdoors? What principles help us minimize impacts and how are they determined? 

Special Requests Are Welcome 

 ELP = Environmental Literacy Program

This is an in-depth three-part program involving three aspects, exploration, reflection, and action. Each program has a field component. 

  • PreK: Exploring Nature
  • Kindergarten: Predicting and Preparing for Weather Changes
  • First Grade: Bird Adaptations: Beaks, Feet, and Wings
  • Second Grade: The Shape of the Land
  • Third Grade: Animal Lives
  • Fourth Grade: Changing Earth
  • Fifth Grade: Drinking Our Food
  • Middle School: Cycle Modeling (Water or Carbon)
  • High School: Water Quality
  • Middle and High School: Fire in Colorado
  • Middle and High School: Community Resilience: Drought, Fire, or Flood 

Professional Development

Please contact sheryl@yampatika.org to schedule your workshop.

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Project Learning Tree (available for K-12) 

Free workshop (4 or 8-hour options) with printed materials included. Group size 4-10 teachers. 

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Project WET (available for K-12) 

Free workshop (4 or 8-hour options) with printed materials available for a small fee. Group size 4-10 teachers. 

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Additional Resources, Discovery Boxes, and Lending Library

Yampatika has a variety of portable resources available for check out for FREE. Discovery boxes are themed resources on specific topics. They include activities, books, posters, specimens, and more. Lending library materials include books, skulls, furs, compasses, maps, binoculars, magnifying glasses We can tailor specimens and materials to suit your needs. Request materials on a topic and grade level of your choice, and we will compile a resource kit for your classroom. ALL are available for use in your classroom free of charge.

If you prefer to simply borrow from our lending library, use the below request form. As noted above, programs are scheduled here.

LENDING LIBRARY DISCOVERY BOX REQUESTS:

Items to include:
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MM slash DD slash YYYY
Name of Borrower:

 

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