Classroom Programs

Classroom Programs are 1 hour in length and some require an outdoor space, science lab or art room.

Pollinators – Children learn about the process and importance of pollination, including parts of flowers and various species responsible for pollination. (K-3)

What is a Watershed? – The Enviroscape© is a watershed model that can be used to demonstrate all sorts of ecological processes and allow students to investigate the causes of point and non-point source pollution. Can also be used to look at the function of wetlands. (3-adult)

Sum of the Parts – Students demonstrate how everyone contributes to the pollution of a river as it flows through a watershed and recognize that everyone’s contribution can be reduced. (4-8)

8-4-1, One for All – This activity allows students to understand the various pressures put on a water supply and how we all must work together to preserve and protect our water. (6-adult)

Investigating Soil – This is a hands-on and inquiry based program utilizing stations that deal with the components of soil, soil colors, organic matter, etc. Students learn what soil is made of, what lives there and a little bit about how we classify soils. (K-3)

The Living Soil – Students learn that the soil ecosystem plays a very important part of life above ground and how healthy soils support healthy environments. Students will build a soil food pyramid and learn about producers, decomposers, predators, etc. (3-6)

Soil Trek – Students do several hands-on activities outside. Some of the activities include: pH testing, soil temperature and percolation test. (4-High School) Spring and Fall.

Project Soil – Focuses on soil textures (sand, silt and clay) and how different soils interact with water and erode. Students will learn about the soil texture triangle and play some games to learn about how soil particles interact with water.

Edible Soil Profiles – This program focuses on the soil profile and soil forming factors. Children learn about the most valuable natural resource and enjoy eating a little dirt. (K-8) *this program involves food! Please check allergies prior to scheduling!

Soil Health Lab – This program was especially designed for 4th grade. We’ll delve into a little bit of history by discussing the Dust Bowl. Hands-on activities demonstrate mechanical vs. chemical weathering, different types of erosion and look at activities that humans can do to mitigate the impacts of erosion on the environment.

Wacky Waterdrops – Students will learn about the water cycle and the 3 phases of matter. This program includes a water cycle demonstration, basic introduction to hydrogen bonding and energy. using fun games as a learning tool. (1st-3rd)

Honeybees – This program includes a reading of “In the Trees, Honeybees”. We will learn about the life cycle of the honeybee and the differences between honeybees, other native bees and wasps. Then we’ll simulate the roles of various worker bees using costumes and props. (preK-2)

Insects – In this program, we will learn what attributes make an insect an insect. We’ll learn insect anatomy and dress up as insects and do an insect parade with the music of the Banana Slug String Band. (PreK-2)

Stream Sampling/Water Quality Field Trips – We can meet you and your class at a local stream to do macroinvertebrate sampling, water chemistry, habitat and watershed studies. This field trip is tailored to your group’s needs and location.

Flowers Seeking Pollinators – This inquiry-based lesson will allow students to use evidence to construct explanations about how pollinators are attracted to different types of flowers, how plants need pollinators and how pollinators need plants for food. They will work in groups to use data to develop an argument and decide which plant their assigned pollinator prefers. (3rd-7th)

Salmon Lifecycle – This program explores Lake Michigan and Trail Creek as critical habitat for salmon reproduction. We’ll discuss the life cycle of the salmon, and how various invasive species’ life cycles overlap that of the salmon and can have negative impact. Then, we’ll go outside (or a gym) and play the Salmon Game. (1st-3rd)


This is just a sampling of our programs. We can create something specific for a topic of your choice or tweak any of the programs listed for various age groups. Just contact us!

Remember! All programs are free, but the expenses are supported by our Affiliate Membership dues. Have you considered purchasing an affiliate membership for your class?

For program scheduling or questions contact the SWCD office at (219) 326-6808 ext. 2115 or email: nmessacar@laportecounty.org.