Starting November 2020, the Ashokan Center invites school groups and families to experience live, online Virtual Field Trips via Zoom. Dynamic, inspiring activities will be taught by an educator from Ashokan’s 385 acre preserve, bringing environmental subjects to life and empowering local and global youth to take positive action in their own communities.

The trips are aligned with NYS learning standards and tailored to Grade Levels 3-7 / Ages 8-12, but can be enjoyed by all ages. Interwoven in each episode is a connection to sustainability and environmental stewardship, as well as a theme of resilience during challenging times. 

Each live, interactive hour-long field trip is a unique learning experience enhanced by a cinematic video segment in the field and culminating in interactive activities and a Q&A to help deepen students’ understanding. Youngsters will become familiar with identifying microorganisms in a water sample, knowing the importance of pollinator insects, and spotting the defining traits of many majestic NY State birds and trees.

Optional follow-up activities (art, writing, and research projects) are included, along with vetted online resources for further investigation. With each virtual field trip, students will discover ways to lead change within their own communities with fun projects that help the environment.

Stemming from more than half-century-long tradition of bringing kids into the forest and fresh air, these new Virtual Field Trips seek to meet the needs of schools and families who are not able to attend in person this season due to the pandemic. Schools may schedule a group session any weekday for their class. LEARN MORE HERE

  • The Power of Pollinators Come travel with us to the magical garden of Maraleen Manos-Jones to learn how bees, butterflies and birds support the cycle of life. We will explore how pollinators promote biodiversity and help grow the food we eat. Learn how you can help at-risk pollinators in your community by creating your very own pollinator gateway garden!
  • Rescued Birds of Prey Let’s take a field trip to Ashokan’s Esopus Creek and pond and investigate the differences between two adjacent aquatic ecosystems. We will catch and examine macroinvertebrates, learn about indicator species, and join Hailey in the lab to get a closer look at microscopic life using our powerful NOAA microscope.
  • Forest Mysteries Revealed What’s happening to the Ash Trees? Put on your citizen scientist hats as we explore and investigate a mystery in Ashokan’s forest ecosystem. We will learn to identify the beautiful deciduous and coniferous trees that live in New York’s Hudson Valley and reveal what we can do to help preserve forest biodiversity statewide.
  • Stream & Pond Investigations Journey with us to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center to meet wildlife rehabilitator, Ellen Kalish, and her rescued birds of prey. Hear each bird’s fascinating story of resilience, and learn about the critically important role of bald eagles, owls, falcons, and hawks in the food chain.
Contact the Ashokan Center’s Director of Education, Dan Shornstein:
Learn more about Virtual Field trips and complete our online inquiry form!

NYS PTA Attendee Prize Word – NATURE

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