Field Science Programs

Thank you for your interest in a Walking Mountains Field Science Program! 


To Sign Up for a 2021-2022 Walking Mountains Field Science Program:

  1. Select your grade level from the drop down menu below and read through the descriptions of grade-level programs.

Ideal seasons for the programs are indicated by the icon next to the program name:

2. Click the Sign Up Here box. You will be directed to Sign Up Genius.

Sign Up!

3. Select an open date that works for your grade. Please select only one date per program/grade. If you want to do more than one program with Walking Mountains this year, choose a date for each program.

    • In alignment with the Walking Mountains’ equity and inclusion efforts, all K-8 Eagle County Public School students will receive one free program during the academic year. Additional programs will be offered at a cost of $15/student for field trips, or $6/student for schoolyard programs

4. Answer all questions to provide the following information:

    • Name 
    • Contact Information (Phone Number and Email)
    • Name of School and Grade Level
    • Number of Students
    • Program Name
    • Program Location

I signed up for my 2021-2022 Field Science Program, NOW WHAT? 

  1. Wednesdays will be Virtual Pre-Visit Day! All pre-visits will be conducted via Google Meet after 10:00am on the Wednesday before your program.
  2. You will receive a google Planning Form one month prior to your scheduled program to set up your pre-visit time. This form needs to be filled out at least 2 weeks prior to your program. 
  3. After you complete the Planning Form, you will get a Confirmation Email with all teacher materials (pre-visit instructions, field group lists, med-forms, parent letters). 
  4. You should complete and send field group lists to Walking Mountains on the day of your pre-visit. 
  5. Please bring your completed med-forms divided into field groups with you to your program. 

Please contact the Walking Mountains Youth Programs Coordinator, Dustin Hall, with any questions or concerns, via email (dustinh@walkingmountains.org) or by phone at (970) 827-9725 X 138.  

Nature’s Needs

Students will have the opportunity to transform into biologists and discover nature’s different needs! Students will investigate the relationships between plants and animals, while identifying their needs for survival!

Next Generation State Science Standards

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.

Wonders of Weather

Students will have an opportunity to transform into meteorologists and explore the different wonders of weather! Throughout the program, students will investigate the sun’s role in our changing weather, use a variety of instruments to study the weather, and explore ways that plants and animals can prepare for the weather.

Next Generation State Science Standards

K-PS3-1: Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.

K-ESS2-1: Use and share observation of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

K-ESS3-2: Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

K-PS3-2: Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.

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Astonishing Adaptations

Through hands-on exploration of animal skulls and fur, students will learn different adaptations that help animals survive and thrive in their environment. Students will identify how some of these adaptations even inspired the creation of tools that humans use today!

Next Generation State Science Standards

SC.1.2.1: All organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions.

Making Waves: Light and Sound

Students will explore light and sound waves through a variety of hands-on experiments while investigating their impact on the natural world. Students will make observations of light waves in nature and learn about how animals can use sound waves to communicate.

Next Generation State Science Standards

SC.1.1.1: Sound can make matter vibrate and vibrating matter can make sound.

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Habitats

Students will explore the diversity of life throughout different habitats, while investigating and comparing the four different components of a habitat. Students will also make observations of the relationships between plants and animals that are required for growth and survival.

Next Generation State Science Standards

2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Earth’s Forces: The Power of Water

Students will examine how the power of water is a driving force in changing the shape of the land. While exploring, students will observe signs of weathering, erosion, and sedimentation, while experimenting with methods to slow erosion caused by wind and water.

Next Generation State Science Standards

2-PS1-4: Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

2-ESS1-1: Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

2-ESS2-1: Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.

2-ESS2-2: Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.

2-ESS2-3: Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.

Powerful Plants
New program coming in Spring 2022!
Next Generation Science Standards
 

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Climate Curiosities

Curious about climate? In this program, students will engage in hands-on activities examining Colorado’s climate. Students will identify the differences between climate and weather, while exploring various natural hazards like avalanches and extreme cold.

Next Generation State Science Standards

3-ESS2-1: Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

3-ESS2-2: Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.

3-ESS3-1: Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Finding the Fittest Flyers

Students will engage in hands-on activities that help them understand that animals have unique characteristics and life cycles. Students will learn that these unique abilities help them interact with and survive in their specific environment.

Next Generation State Science Standards

3-LS1-1: Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

3-LS2-1: Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

3-LS3-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.

3-LS3-2: Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Fun with Fossils

In this in-school program, students will examine fossils to discover what they can tell us about organisms that lived long ago. Students will transform into paleontologists and learn about how some of these organisms still look like organisms living today.

Next Generation State Science Standards

3-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

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Earth’s Changing Landscape

Students will travel back in time while exploring the McCoy Fossil Beds. Students will unearth fossils and discover how Colorado has changed over time. Students will also observe how the landscape continues to change and use inquiry to study rock patterns to learn the story that they tell about past environments.

Next Generation State Science Standards

4-ESS1-1: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape overtime.

4-ESS2-1: Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.

4-ESS2-2: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s feature.

3-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

Sustainable Energy

Students will experiment with energy while engaging in hands-on engineering projects to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of wind, solar, and hydro energy. Students will identify types of energy, witness the Law of Conservation of Energy, and engage in critical thinking skills as they compare and contrast renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.

Next Generation State Science Standards

4-PS3-1: Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.

4-PS3-2: Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

4-PS3-3: Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

4-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

3-5-ETS1-1: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specific criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, and cost.

3-5-ETS1-2: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

3-5-ETS1-3: Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

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Natural Cycles: An Ecosystem Exploration

Students will explore an ecosystem while observing energy cycling through different trophic levels. Students will learn how living and nonliving components interact and depend upon one another to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Students will further investigate ecological cycling by learning about the importance of the carbon and nitrogen cycles.

Next Generation State Science Standards

5-PS3-1: Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

5-LS1-1: Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Ecosystem Explorers (Residential Program)

During this two-night residential program, students will explore a variety of ecosystems well participating in team building games and activities that help their class perform like a healtyh ecosystem. Students will compare and contrast the energy cycling of different trophic levels of each ecosystem and learn how living and nonliving components interact and depend upon one another to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Students will further investigate ecological cycling by learning the importance of the carbon and nitrogen cycles. An evening component focusing on stars and Earth’s orbit is also included in this program.

Next Generation State Science Standards

5-PS3-1: Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

5-LS1-1: Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.

5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

5-ESS1-1: Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

5-ESS1-2: Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

Mountain Weather: How Earth’s Systems Interact

Students will discover how Earth’s major systems interact in our mountains. Using a place-based approach, students will learn how our mountains can influence our weather and have in effect on our distribution of freshwater here in the Eagle River Valley. Students will also engage in discussion to see how their actions can have an impact on their water sources.

Next Generation State Science Standards

5-ESS2-1: Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

5-ESS2-2: Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.

5-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.Sign Up!

Climate: Snow Science

While digging snow pits and testing snow stability, students will conduct research on the fascinating world of snow through the lens of snow science and safety. Students will investigate how Colorado’s climate can produce a very different snowpack and avalanche danger compared to other parts of the country and explore how a changing global climate could impact mountain snow.

Next Generation State Science Standards

MS-ESS2-6: Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.

MS-ESS3-2: Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

MS-ESS3-5: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Ecology: Biodiversity Research

On this two-day field program*, students participate in hands-on field research protocols as they explore the interactions within an ecological community. By conducting a biophysical monitoring project, students will have the opportunity to investigate and compare the diversity between two unique ecosystems at different field sites.

Next Generation State Science Standards

MS-LS2-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Geology: Geomorphology

Students will investigate the natural constructive and destructive processes that shape the Earth’s landscape. Students will explore content such as tectonic plate interactions, chemical and physical weathering, erosion, deposition, and stream dynamics.

Next Generation State Science Standards

MS-ESS2-1: Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.

MS-ESS2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.

MS-ESS2-4: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

Geology: Written in Stone

Students will learn to read rock layers while exploring the McCoy Fossil Beds unearthing evidence of the previous environments and the organisms found in Colorado thousands of years ago. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate the major geologic events that are responsible for the changing landscape.

Next Generation State Science Standards

MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.

MS-LS4-2: Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.

MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.

MS-ESS2-3: Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

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