On-site & In-School Programs

View By:
Our on-site school programs are designed to enhance your school's curriculum by providing interactive learning experiences.

Our SM&NC in the Schools Outreach Programs are designed to provide in-class, hands-on programming for groups that cannot travel to the museum or that would like additional program experiences in-school.



Early Childhood and Preschool
Programs are available for children ages 2-5 in preschool settings. Older Pre-K students can visit the SM&NC for a variety of age-appropriate experiences or we can bring a large number of programs to your site. We can also tailor programs to meet your site and curriculum needs or can become your nature and science specialist with weekly, bimonthly, or monthly visits.

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, groups fewer than
       20 recommended
  • Program times are 20-45 minutes, depending on age
       and topic
  • Programs are customized for ages 18 months-3 years

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    Nature & Science Specialists
    Looking for regular visits with live animals and great science experiences? The SM&NC can work with your staff to create a specialized curriculum for your preschool that includes weekly, monthly, or seasonal visits. Program fees work on a sliding scale depending on number of visits.

    Discovery Space
    We can also create a Discovery Space in your school. Discovery Spaces are hands-on, interactive science and nature exploration spaces that encourage investigation on seasonal topics and is custom designed for each school. Click here for more information on our Discovery Spaces.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home.

    Plants for Sprouts
    Discover the great green world of plants in this hands-on program. Take a journey through the life of a plant from seed to adult through observing and touching real plant parts. We'll explore what a plant needs to grow and the jobs of different plant parts through song and 'building' our own plant! Students will also get to plant seeds for in-classroom study or to take home.

    What's Your Job?
    Discover the different jobs animals have in their habitat. We'll meet an animal who is a recycler, someone that eats plants, an insect-eater, meat-eater, and someone who dines on both plants and animals! We'll also see what the teeth of some of these animals look like.

    Nature at Night
    There is a whole world that comes alive when the sun sets! Meet some nocturnal animals and see what tools help them to be part of the night crew. We'll also discover some of the most common sights in the night sky-the moon and stars. We'll see how the moon changes and some of the most common constellation 'pictures' in the sky. This program is available in-school only.

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    Nocturnal Animals
    Discover the world of night-time animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    Colors in Nature
    Explore the many colors of nature's animals as we learn the reasons why animals have different colors on their bodies. Meet animals who use their colors to warn other animals, an animal that changes color depending on its mood, and animals that use their colors to attract other members of their species.

    Dinosaur Discovery
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    What's Your Cover
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how the differences among our five groups of animals with bones, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, and mammals. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm.

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    Pumpkins & Squash (October - November 2017)
    One of our favorite parts about fall is the variety of fall squashes and the arrival of our first local pumpkins! Students will explore the different sizes, textures, colors, and weights of squash through a hands-on lab and then we'll work together to find out what is inside! We'll also meet our live animal friends Pumpkin the box turtle and Squash the Hissing Cockroach, learn the animals that love to eat squash, and share a story on a pumpkin's life cycle.

    Animals in Winter (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold. For PreK 3s and up.

    Life Cycles (March - June 2018)
    Journey through the life cycle of local animals as we learn about the changes they go through from beginning to end. Students will investigate insects and amphibians from egg to adult and compare the lives of animals, such as mammals and reptiles, which do not go through metamorphosis. Program will include discussion on insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals and will feature live animals in various life cycle stages whenever possible.

    Barnyard Birds (April - June 2018)
    Discover our farm fowl and what makes them important parts of farm life. Learn about the different types of feathers that birds have and about life inside of an egg. Explore the similarities and differences in beaks, feet and other adaptations through artifacts, pictures, and live birds. Simulate eating like a chicken or duck with our hands-on Barnyard Beaks: lab that will help students match beaks with the type of food eaten.

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving. For PreK 4s and up.

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    PLANETARIUM

    Night is Nice (maximum 45)
    An introduction to the night sky: the moon, the planets, the stars and the constellations they form. We'll explore why there is night and day and the phases of the moon using imagery from NASA. Learn about nocturnal animals, the sounds they make, and how they use all their senses to get around in the world of night.



    Kindergarten
    Add hands-on and live components to your kindergarten classroom or take a field trip your students will never forget! Make apple cider, explore Heckscher Farm, get introduced to the night sky, and more! Or we can visit you with opportunities to learn about animal classification, life cycles of plants and animals, and what is found on Connecticut farms.

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 45-60 minutes

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. We'll focus on the use of five senses, habitats, and living and non-living factors.

    NGSS Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.1, K.2, K.4

    Plants for Sprouts
    Discover the great green world of plants in this hands-on program. Take a journey through the life of a plant from seed to adult through observing and touching real plant parts. We'll explore what a plant needs to grow and the jobs of different plant parts through song and 'building' our own plant! Students will also get to plant seeds for in-classroom study or to take home.

    NGSS Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to simple weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore weather across seasons.

    NGSS Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-ESS2-1, K-ESS3-2
    CT Science Standards: K.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO K.4

    Nature at Night
    There is a whole world that comes alive when the sun sets! Meet some nocturnal animals and see what tools help them to be part of the night crew. We'll also discover some of the most common sights in the night sky-the moon and stars. We'll see how the moon changes and some of the most common constellation 'pictures' in the sky. This program is available in-school only.

    NGSS Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2
    CT Science Standards: K.1

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    Nocturnal Animals (maximum 60)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.1, K.2

    Dinosaur Discovery (maximum 60)
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.1, K.2

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    NGSS Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2.a

    Animal Classification
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.1.a, K.2.a

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS-1, K-ESS3-3
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO K.4

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS-3-3
    CT Science Standards: K.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO K.4

    A Wild and Wooly Workshop
    Take a trip from sheep to sweater, as we see what happens to the wool after the sheep are sheared in the spring. Wool needs to be washed, combed, spun, and dyed before it can be worn. We'll start with the raw wool and try our hands at washing, drying, and carding (combing). We'll also get to visit our sheep to see what their wool currently looks like and share a story as well.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS-1, K-ESS3-3
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.4

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.1

    Animals in Winter (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.3

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2, K.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.1

    Life Cycles (March - June 2018)
    Journey through the life cycle of local animals as we learn about the changes they go through from beginning to end. Students will investigate insects and amphibians from egg to adult and compare the lives of animals, such as mammals and reptiles, which do not go through metamorphosis. Program will include discussion on insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals and will feature live animals in various life cycle stages whenever possible.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    Barnyard Birds (April - June 2018)
    Discover our farm fowl and what makes them important parts of farm life. Learn about the different types of feathers that birds have and about life inside of an egg. Explore the similarities and differences in beaks, feet and other adaptations through artifacts, pictures, and live birds. Simulate eating like a chicken or duck with our hands-on Barnyard Beaks: lab that will help students match beaks with the type of food eaten.

    NGSS Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: K.2

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.1, HIST K.3, ECO K.1

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. hrough authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.1, HIST K.3, ECO K.1, GEO K.4

    PLANETARIUM

    Night is Nice (maximum 45)
    An introduction to the night sky: the moon, the planets, the stars and the constellations they form. We'll explore why there is night and day and the phases of the moon using imagery from NASA. Learn about nocturnal animals, the sounds they make, and how they use all their senses to get around in the world of night.

    NGSS Science Standards: K-PS-3-1, K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST K.4



    1st Grade
    First graders get to explore the world of plants and animals, the expansive sky, and investigate how living things grow!

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 60 minutes (75 minutes for Insects)

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. We'll focus on seasonal changes based upon daylight and temperature and adaptations of animals and plants to survive in their habitats.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1, 1-ESS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Plants for Sprouts
    Discover the great green world of plants in this hands-on program. Take a journey through the life of a plant from seed to adult through observing and touching real plant parts. We'll explore what a plant needs to grow and the jobs of different plant parts through song and 'building' our own plant! Students will also get to plant seeds for in-classroom study or to take home.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1, 1-ESS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Science of Soil
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    CT Social Studies Standards: 1.4

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to simple weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore weather across seasons.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-ESS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 1.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 1.4

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Nocturnal Animals (maximum 60)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Dinosaur Discovery (maximum 60)
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2.a, 1.2.b

    Animal Classification
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2.a, 1.3.a

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 1.3

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 1.3, GEO 1.4

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 1.3, GEO 1.4

    A Wild and Wooly Workshop
    Take a trip from sheep to sweater, as we see what happens to the wool after the sheep are sheared in the spring. Wool needs to be washed, combed, spun, and dyed before it can be worn. We'll start with the raw wool and try our hands at washing, drying, and carding (combing). We'll also get to visit our sheep to see what their wool currently looks like and share a story as well.

    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 1.3, GEO 1.4

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 1.1

    Animals in Winter (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    CT Science Standards: 1.2

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-ESS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 1.1

    Life Cycles (March - June 2018)
    Journey through the life cycle of local animals as we learn about the changes they go through from beginning to end. Students will investigate insects and amphibians from egg to adult and compare the lives of animals, such as mammals and reptiles, which do not go through metamorphosis. Program will include discussion on insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals and will feature live animals in various life cycle stages whenever possible.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.3

    Barnyard Birds (April - June 2018)
    Discover our farm fowl and what makes them important parts of farm life. Learn about the different types of feathers that birds have and about life inside of an egg. Explore the similarities and differences in beaks, feet and other adaptations through artifacts, pictures, and live birds. Simulate eating like a chicken or duck with our hands-on Barnyard Beaks: lab that will help students match beaks with the type of food eaten.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.3

    Insects & Invertebrates (April - June 2018)
    Discover the life cycles, adaptations, and ecology of our boneless beasts through a hands-on lab and outdoor field experience, both using science journaling. Students will explore insect life cycles and different body structures of insects and invertebrates through a multi-station lab featuring live animals, artifacts, and pictures. Then, we'll head into the woods to collect forest invertebrates to compare and contrast to aquatic invertebrates through observation and journaling. For in-school programs, we'll bring the insect specimens to you! 75 minutes.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-LS2-1, 1-LS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.2, 1.3

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Map it!
    Explore the world of maps. Spatial thinking is one the most important skills one can develop as they learn geography. Students will each create their own map and discover the features and symbols often used for maps. We'll map both man-made and natural features and make observations as to why settlers chose different locations for towns and cities. Typically, students make a map of Connecticut, but we can customize to create a map of other areas.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 1.1, GEO 1.2, GEO 1.3, GEO 1.4

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 1.1, HIST 1.3, ECO 1.1

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 1.1, HIST 1.3, ECO 1.1, GEO 1.4

    PLANETARIUM

    Night is Nice (maximum 45)
    An introduction to the night sky: the moon, the planets, the stars and the constellations they form. We'll explore why there is night and day and the phases of the moon using imagery from NASA. Learn about nocturnal animals, the sounds they make, and how they use all their senses to get around in the world of night.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-ESS-1-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.1

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    NGSS Science Standards: 1-ESS-1-1
    CT Science Standards: 1.1

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 1.3
    CT Science Standards: 1.1



    2nd Grade
    Second graders can delve into the world of plants with our large variety of botany-based programs in our Roots, Fruits, Leaves, and STEM series. They can also explore the states of matter, learn how to make maple syrup, see the diversity of life in the animal kingdom, and discover the features of Connecticut.

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 60 minutes (75 minutes for Insects)

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Roots, Shoots, Leaves, and STEM Series
    Bring the world of plants to life through our hands-on education programs! Choose an existing program or create a program series that provides an unparalleled journey into the many facets of the plant life cycles. We can customize programs for your school garden and outdoor space too!

    What's up with Plants?
    Through hands-on activities, including take-home plantings, students will examine the life cycle and importance of plants, including basic needs and adaptations. Using real-life specimens, different mechanisms for seed dispersal will be examined and students will discover the different parts of plants, from roots to fruits, and the role that each plays in a plant's life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS-2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    Science of Soil
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-ESS-2-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 1.4

    Plants & Pollinators
    Discover the important role of pollinators in a plant's life cycle! Through hands-on stations, students will explore the life cycles of common pollinators, discover other pollinators besides bees and butterflies, and explore the structures of different flowers which allow for pollination. We'll also have a chance to study the SM&NC honey bee hives, how we care for our bees, and do an 'open hive' demonstration (weather providing).

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS-2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    Growing & Sowing
    Students will discover how to plan a garden plot through an interactive activity where they create their own garden plan, making choices on how to maximize what to grow based upon space requirements of each vegetable/fruit type. Students will use their decision and spatial reasoning skills to determine what can best grow in their mock garden spaces and calculate the potential yield of their gardens. For groups that have school yard gardens, we can then map those areas and sow some seeds for future planting outdoors.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS-2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    In the Garden
    Students will work as a team to plant in school garden spaces. In small groups, each class will lend their planting skills to build the garden, using their measuring and mapping skills along the way. During the time, students will direct sow seeds and some plants into the garden, measuring for proper space along the way. We'll also take an in-depth look at the part of the plant life cycle with a seed dispersal lab and give students a challenge to build their own seed. Schools must provide and ready school garden spaces for planting.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS-2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. For second grade, we'll focus on the diversity of life in different habitats and the rate of how things change in the natural world

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1, 2-ESS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to simple weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore weather across seasons.

    CT Science Standards: 2.1

    Waterworks
    Students will explore what a watershed is and learn about the relationships between human activity and the health of the water, air, plants, and animals of a watershed. Students will first identify potential pollution sources and solutions through an interactive model. Then, in an inquiry-based lab, students will work in small groups to brainstorm pollution clean-up methods, record data, and report findings to their peers.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-ESS2-2, 2-ESS2-3
    CT Science Standards: 2.3, 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 2.2

    CT/NY Rocks & Minerals
    Using specimens from the SM&NC collection, students will explore the three rock types, the conditions in which they form, and the history of their formations in our local area. Through a multi-station lab, students will investigate and learn to identify local rock specimens, explore how fossils forms, and discover how earth materials are used by people in their daily lives.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-ESS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.1
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 2.3, GEO 2.6

    What's it Matter (Matter 101)
    Discover the world of solids, liquids, and gases in this hands-on workshop. We'll learn about the properties of each state of matter as we launch a film canister in the air, make solids 'disappear' and measure air. We'll even learn about materials that are 'in-between' states as we make our own slime and explore the properties of polymers.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-PS-1-1, 2-ESS2-3
    CT Science Standards: 2.1

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Nocturnal Animals (maximum 60)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the 'night crew."

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Dinosaur Discovery
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Animal Classification
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 2.3

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    CT Science Standards: 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 2.3

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 2.3

    Farming by the Numbers
    Bring your math concepts to life while exploring the sights and sounds of Heckscher Farm. How do the farmers calculate how much feed they need per year? How many worker bees does it take to make a pound of honey? How do we calculate the yield of our garden plots? This interactive tour of Heckscher Farm allows students to meet some of its residents while working to discover how the farm works "by the numbers." Programs are tailored to specific math standards depending on the group.

    A Wild and Wooly Workshop
    Take a trip from sheep to sweater, as we see what happens to the wool after the sheep are sheared in the spring. Wool needs to be washed, combed, spun, and dyed before it can be worn. We'll start with the raw wool and try our hands at washing, drying, and carding (combing). We'll also get to visit our sheep to see what their wool currently looks like and share a story as well.

    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 2.3

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    CT Science Standards: 2.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.2

    Animals in Winter (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    CT Science Standards: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.2

    Life Cycles (March - June 2018)
    Journey through the life cycle of local animals as we learn about the changes they go through from beginning to end. Students will investigate insects and amphibians from egg to adult and compare the lives of animals, such as mammals and reptiles, which do not go through metamorphosis. Program will include discussion on insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals and will feature live animals in various life cycle stages whenever possible.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.2

    Barnyard Birds (April - June 2018)
    Discover our farm fowl and what makes them important parts of farm life. Learn about the different types of feathers that birds have and about life inside of an egg. Explore the similarities and differences in beaks, feet and other adaptations through artifacts, pictures, and live birds. Simulate eating like a chicken or duck with our hands-on Barnyard Beaks: lab that will help students match beaks with the type of food eaten.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.4

    Vernal Pool Ecology (previously Life in the Pond) (April - June 2018)
    Join us on an adventure to one of our most unique habitats, the vernal pool. Discover some amazing creatures that call these special places home. This interactive, catch-and-release program will introduce students to the adaptations that allow animals to live and survive in this temporary aquatic ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 2.3

    Insects & Invertebrates (April - June 2018)
    Discover the life cycles, adaptations, and ecology of our boneless beasts through a hands-on lab and outdoor field experience, both using science journaling. Students will explore insect life cycles and different body structures of insects and invertebrates through a multi-station lab featuring live animals, artifacts, and pictures. Then, we'll head into the woods to collect forest invertebrates to compare and contrast to aquatic invertebrates through observation and journaling. For in-school programs, we'll bring the insect specimens to you!

    NGSS Science Standards: 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-2

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Map it!
    Explore the world of maps. Spatial thinking is one the most important skills one can develop as they learn geography. Students will each create their own map and discover the features and symbols often used for maps. We'll map both man-made and natural features and make observations as to why settlers chose different locations for towns and cities. Typically, students make a map of Connecticut, but we can customize to create a map of other areas.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 2.1, GEO 2.3, GEO 2.6

    Geography of Connecticut
    Through an interactive map-making experience, students will develop an awareness of the geography of Connecticut and explore the relationship between humans and the features of the natural environment. As we create our map, students will discover major natural and man-made features of Connecticut and how these natural resources shape the lives of inhabitants from early settlers to today.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 2.1, GEO 2.3, GEO 2.6

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Science Standards: 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.2, HIST 2.4, ECO 2.1, GEO 2.4, GEO 2.6

    Native American Land Use
    Students will discover local Native American history and learn about important resources and how they were used in early Native American life. As we hike through the forest, we'll explore seasonal aspects of local resources and how they affected settlements and behaviors. Through artifacts and items from the forest, students will explore uses of trees and rocks, commonly hunted wildlife, and movement patterns of local Native inhabitants.

    CT Science Standards: 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.2, HIST 2.4, ECO 2.1, GEO 2.4, GEO 2.6

    Plants & Animals in Native Culture
    Explore the vital flora and fauna of the eastern woodlands that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools. Through a hands-on lab, students will identify uses for medicinal and edible plants, learn the tracks and signs used to find animals, learn the role of animals in Native folklore, and discover what animals were hunted and gathered in our local area. We'll also take a look at some common ways that plants and animals were used by native people in other parts of the country as well.

    CT Science Standards: 2.2, 2.4
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.2, HIST 2.4, ECO 2.1, GEO 2.4, GEO 2.6

    PLANETARIUM

    Night is Nice (maximum 45)
    An introduction to the night sky: the moon, the planets, the stars and the constellations they form. We'll explore why there is night and day and the phases of the moon using imagery from NASA. Learn about nocturnal animals, the sounds they make, and how they use all their senses to get around in the world of night.

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 2.4



    3rd Grade
    Third graders can investigate rock types, practice mapping skills, explore how plants and animals adapt to their world ecosystems without leaving Connecticut, and more!

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 60 minutes (75 minutes for Insects)

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. For third grade, we'll focus on similarities and differences in adaptations help organisms to survive.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS1, 3-LS2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore the differences between weather and climate.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-ESS2-1, 3-ESS2-2
    CT Science Standards: 3.1

    Waterworks
    Students will explore what a watershed is and learn about the relationships between human activity and the health of the water, air, plants, and animals of a watershed. Students will first identify potential pollution sources and solutions through an interactive model. Then, in an inquiry-based lab, students will work in small groups to brainstorm pollution clean-up methods, record data, and report findings to their peers.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS4-4
    CT Science Standards: 3.2, 3.4

    CT/NY Rocks & Minerals
    Using specimens from the SM&NC collection, students will explore the three rock types, the conditions in which they form, and the history of their formations in our local area. Through a multi-station lab, students will investigate and learn to identify local rock specimens, explore how fossils forms, and discover how earth materials are used by people in their daily lives.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS4-1
    CT Science Standards: 3.1, 3.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 3.2, GEO 3.8

    What's up with Plants?
    Through hands-on activities, including take-home plantings, students will examine the life cycle and importance of plants, including basic needs and adaptations. Using real-life specimens, different mechanisms for seed dispersal will be examined and students will discover the different parts of plants, from roots to fruits, and the role that each plays in a plant's life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS1
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Science of Soil
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    CT Science Standards: 3.3

    Mind over Matter (Matter 102)
    Extend your studies of the properties of matter with an exploration of the physical and chemical properties of the different states of matter and how matter can change from one state to another. Through a game and more great hands-on activities, students will further their study of matter. This class is designed for students who have taken What's it Matter (see 2nd grade) but can also stand on its own.

    CT Science Standards: 3.1

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Nocturnal Animals (maximum 60)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Dinosaur Discovery
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3

    Animal Classification
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3

    Ecosystems Everywhere
    Explore the biotic and abiotic factors that help plants and animals survive in their specific ecosystem. After an introduction to the different types of ecosystems and their non-living components, students will participate in a multi-station, inquiry-based lab to observe live plant and animal specimens, as well as relevant artifacts, to infer how their adaptations help them to play a role in their ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-ESS2-2
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS1
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    CT Science Standards: 3.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 3.2

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    Farming by the Numbers
    Bring your math concepts to life while exploring the sights and sounds of Heckscher Farm. How do the farmers calculate how much feed they need per year? How many worker bees does it take to make a pound of honey? How do we calculate the yield of our garden plots? This interactive tour of Heckscher Farm allows students to meet some of its residents while working to discover how the farm works "by the numbers." Programs are tailored to specific math standards depending on the group.

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    Animals in Winter (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS1
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    NGSS Science Standards: HIST 3.2
    CT Science Standards: 3.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 3.2

    Vernal Pool Ecology (previously Life in the Pond) (April - June 2018)
    Join us on an adventure to one of our most unique habitats, the vernal pool. Discover some amazing creatures that call these special places home. This interactive, catch-and-release program will introduce students to the adaptations that allow animals to live and survive in this temporary aquatic ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3
    CT Science Standards: 3.2

    Insects & Invertebrates (April - June 2018)
    Discover the life cycles, adaptations, and ecology of our boneless beasts through a hands-on lab and outdoor field experience, both using science journaling. Students will explore insect life cycles and different body structures of insects and invertebrates through a multi-station lab featuring live animals, artifacts, and pictures. Then, we'll head into the woods to collect forest invertebrates to compare and contrast to aquatic invertebrates through observation and journaling. For in-school programs, we'll bring the insect specimens to you!

    NGSS Science Standards: 3-LS-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Map it!
    Explore the world of maps. Spatial thinking is one the most important skills one can develop as they learn geography. Students will each create their own map and discover the features and symbols often used for maps. We'll map both man-made and natural features and make observations as to why settlers chose different locations for towns and cities. Typically, students make a map of Connecticut, but we can customize to create a map of other areas.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 3.1, GEO 3.3, GEO 3.8

    Geography of Connecticut
    Through an interactive map-making experience, students will develop an awareness of the geography of Connecticut and explore the relationship between humans and the features of the natural environment. As we create our map, students will discover major natural and man-made features of Connecticut, how settlement patterns were affected by these features, and how the local natural resources shaped their lives.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 3.1, GEO 3.3, GEO 3.8

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 3.2, GEO 3.8

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 3.2, GEO 3.8

    Native American Land Use
    Students will discover local Native American history and learn about important resources and how they were used in early Native American life. As we hike through the forest, we'll explore seasonal aspects of local resources and how they affected settlements and behaviors. Through artifacts and items from the forest, students will explore uses of trees and rocks, commonly hunted wildlife, and movement patterns of local Native inhabitants.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 3.2, GEO 3.8

    Plants & Animals in Native Culture
    Explore the vital flora and fauna of the eastern woodlands that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools. Through a hands-on lab, students will identify uses for medicinal and edible plants, learn the tracks and signs used to find animals, learn the role of animals in Native folklore, and discover what animals were hunted and gathered in our local area. We'll also take a look at some common ways that plants and animals were used by native people in other parts of the country as well.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 3.2, GEO 3.8

    PLANETARIUM

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.



    4th Grade
    Fourth graders get to discover the importance of watersheds, learn how an animal's adaptations help them to survive, explore the science of soil, and travel back in time to study the lifestyle of the Woodland Indians.

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 60 minutes (75 minutes for Insects)

    Programs available in-school are designated with red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. For fourth grade, we'll focus on structure and function of animals that support their survival.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore the differences between weather and climate.

    CT Science Standards: 4.3

    Waterworks
    Students will explore what a watershed is and learn about the relationships between human activity and the health of the water, air, plants, and animals of a watershed. Students will first identify potential pollution sources and solutions through an interactive model. Then, in an inquiry-based lab, students will work in small groups to brainstorm pollution clean-up methods, record data, and report findings to their peers.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS3-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2, 4.3
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 4.3

    CT/NY Rocks & Minerals
    Using specimens from the SM&NC collection, students will explore the three rock types, the conditions in which they form, and the history of their formations in our local area. Through a multi-station lab, students will investigate and learn to identify local rock specimens, explore how fossils forms, and discover how earth materials are used by people in their daily lives.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-ESS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.3 GEO 4.2, GEO 4.7

    What's up with Plants?
    Through hands-on activities, including take-home plantings, students will examine the life cycle and importance of plants, including basic needs and adaptations. Using real-life specimens, different mechanisms for seed dispersal will be examined and students will discover the different parts of plants, from roots to fruits, and the role that each plays in a plant's life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Science of Soil
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    Vertebrate Skulls & Bones
    Discover the structure and function of the skeletons and skulls of common members of the five classes of vertebrates. In this lab-style class, students will observe similarities and differences among vertebrate skeletons and explore what we can infer about animals from their skull structure. We'll investigate the internal bone structures that allow these animals to survive in their habitats.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Nocturnal Animals
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Endangered Species (maximum 60)
    Discover the diversity of animal life on our planet and their necessities for survival. Then, explore the reasons why some of this diversity can disappear and learn what extinct, endangered, and threatened mean for a species. Meet live representatives of endangered, threatened, and protected species and discover how we can all be champions for animal diversity on our planet.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Slimy & Scaly (maximum 60)
    We'll explore the world of reptiles and amphibians as we meet a variety of these creatures from all over the world. Discover the differences and similarities between the two groups, which animal orders belong in each class, and the adaptations that these animals have to survive in their respective habitats.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Rainforest Ecology (maximum 60)
    Take a closer look at one of the most fascinating biomes on the planet without leaving our local area! We'll delve into the climate of this unique habitat and explore some of the adaptations needed for survival by meeting some live plants and animals from throughout the globe.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Living and Non-Living
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2.a

    Animal Classification
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1

    Ecosystems Everywhere
    Explore the biotic and abiotic factors that help plants and animals survive in their specific ecosystem. After an introduction to the different types of ecosystems and their non-living components, students will participate in a multi-station, inquiry-based lab to observe live plant and animal specimens, as well as relevant artifacts, to infer how their adaptations help them to play a role in their ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 4.3

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    CT Science Standards: 4.2
    CT Social Studies Standards: ECO 4.3

    Farm Fun
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1

    Farming by the Numbers
    Bring your math concepts to life while exploring the sights and sounds of Heckscher Farm. How do the farmers calculate how much feed they need per year? How many worker bees does it take to make a pound of honey? How do we calculate the yield of our garden plots? This interactive tour of Heckscher Farm allows students to meet some of its residents while working to discover how the farm works "by the numbers." Programs are tailored to specific math standards depending on the group.

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25-November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    Simple Machines on the Farm (September - November 2017; May - June 2018)
    Investigate the simple machines in our presses, grinders, and plows that help farmers engineer better ways to plan, harvest crops, and manage livestock. Through a hands-on lab, students will experiment with real farm tools, make observations on how these tool designs helped farmers solve problems, and use tools to do simpler tasks. Students will also work to complete a simple machine scavenger hunt on the farm, where they'll match tools like wheelbarrows, door pulls, and wagons to types of simple machines.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-PS3
    CT Science Standards: 4.1.a, 4.1.b

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Vernal Pool Ecology (previously Life in the Pond) (April - June 2018)
    Join us on an adventure to one of our most unique habitats, the vernal pool. Discover some amazing creatures that call these special places home. This interactive, catch-and-release program will introduce students to the adaptations that allow animals to live and survive in this temporary aquatic ecosystem. Students should wear shoes that can get wet.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Stream Ecology (April - June 2018)
    Take a closer look at life beneath the ripples as we visit Poorhouse Brook. We'll explore the macroinvertebrate species that are specialized to survive in stream habitats and delve into the relationship between species present and water quality. From insects to crayfish to amphibians, we'll discover the adaptations that these animals have to live in moving water. Students should wear shoes that can get wet.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
    CT Science Standards: 4.2

    Insects & Invertebrates (April - June 2018)
    Discover the life cycles, adaptations, and ecology of our boneless beasts through a hands-on lab and outdoor field experience, both using science journaling. Students will explore insect life cycles and different body structures of insects and invertebrates through a multi-station lab featuring live animals, artifacts, and pictures. Then, we'll head into the woods to collect forest invertebrates to compare and contrast to aquatic invertebrates through observation and journaling. For in-school programs, we'll bring the insect specimens to you! This program is 75 minutes.

    NGSS Science Standards: 4-LS1-1

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Geography of Connecticut
    Through an interactive map-making experience, students will develop an awareness of the geography of Connecticut and explore the relationship between humans and the features of the natural environment. As we create our map, students will discover major natural and man-made features of Connecticut, how settlement patterns were affected by these features, and how the local natural resources shaped their lives.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 4.1, GEO 4.7

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 4.7

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 4.7

    Native American Land Use
    Students will discover local Native American history and learn about important resources and how they were used in early Native American life. As we hike through the forest, we'll explore seasonal aspects of local resources and how they affected settlements and behaviors. Through artifacts and items from the forest, students will explore uses of trees and rocks, commonly hunted wildlife, and movement patterns of local Native inhabitants.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 4.7

    Plants & Animals in Native Culture
    Explore the vital flora and fauna of the eastern woodlands that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools. Through a hands-on lab, students will identify uses for medicinal and edible plants, learn the tracks and signs used to find animals, learn the role of animals in Native folklore, and discover what animals were hunted and gathered in our local area. We'll also take a look at some common ways that plants and animals were used by native people in other parts of the country as well.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 4.7

    PLANETARIUM

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.



    5th Grade
    Fifth graders can 'travel' through the solar system, discover the features of their home state, meet live animals up close and personally, and discover Native American land use.

  • Maximum group size is 25 children, except where noted
  • Program times are 60 minutes

    Programs available in-school are designated with a red schoolhouse symbol.

    For information on scheduling a program, click here.

    SCIENCE AND NATURE

    Nature Walk
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. For 5th grade we'll focus on how matter and energy cycles through an ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-LS2-1

    Weather Wise
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to simple weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore the differences between weather and climate.

    Waterworks
    Students will explore what a watershed is and learn about the relationships between human activity and the health of the water, air, plants, and animals of a watershed. Students will first identify potential pollution sources and solutions through an interactive model. Then, in an inquiry-based lab, students will work in small groups to brainstorm pollution clean-up methods, record data, and report findings to their peers.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-ESS2-2
    CT Science Standards: 5.4

    CT/NY Rocks & Minerals
    Using specimens from the SM&NC collection, students will explore the three rock types, the conditions in which they form, and the history of their formations in our local area. Through a multi-station lab, students will investigate and learn to identify local rock specimens, explore how fossils forms, and discover how earth materials are used by people in their daily lives.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 5.1, GEO 5.3

    What's up with Plants?
    Through hands-on activities, including take-home plantings, students will examine the life cycle and importance of plants, including basic needs and adaptations. Using real-life specimens, different mechanisms for seed dispersal will be examined and students will discover the different parts of plants, from roots to fruits, and the role that each plays in a plant's life.

    Science of Soil
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    NGSS Science Standard: 5-LS2-1

    What's it Matter (Matter 101)
    Discover the world of solids, liquids, and gases in this hands-on workshop. We'll learn about the properties of each state of matter as we launch a film canister in the air, make solids 'disappear' and measure air. We'll even learn about materials that are 'in-between' states as we make our own slime and explore the properties of polymers. NGSS Science Standards: 5-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3

    Mind over Matter (Matter 102)
    Extend your studies of the properties of matter with an exploration of the physical and chemical properties of the different states of matter and how matter can change from one state to another. Through a game and more great hands-on activities, students will further their study of matter. This class is designed for students who have taken What's it Matter but can also stand on its own.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3

    Vertebrate Skulls & Bones
    Discover the structure and function of the skeletons and skulls of common members of the five classes of vertebrates. In this lab-style class, students will observe similarities and differences among vertebrate skeletons and explore what we can infer about animals from their skull structure. We'll investigate the internal bone structures that allow these animals to survive in their habitats.

    LIVE ANIMALS

    Meet the Animals (maximum 60)
    Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-LS2-1

    Animal Adaptations (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    Nocturnal Animals (maximum 60)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    Endangered Species (maximum 60)
    Discover the diversity of animal life on our planet and their necessities for survival. Then, explore the reasons why some of this diversity can disappear and learn what extinct, endangered, and threatened mean for a species. Meet live representatives of endangered, threatened, and protected species and discover how we can all be champions for animal diversity on our planet.

    Slimy & Scaly (maximum 60)
    We'll explore the world of reptiles and amphibians as we meet a variety of these creatures from all over the world. Discover the differences and similarities between the two groups, which animal orders belong in each class, and the adaptations that these animals have to survive in their respective habitats.

    Rainforest Ecology (maximum 60)
    Take a closer look at one of the most fascinating biomes on the planet without leaving our local area! We'll delve into the climate of this unique habitat and explore some of the adaptations needed for survival by meeting some live plants and animals from throughout the globe.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-LS2-1

    Ecosystems Everywhere
    Explore the biotic and abiotic factors that help plants and animals survive in their specific ecosystem. After an introduction to the different types of ecosystems and their non-living components, students will participate in a multi-station, inquiry-based lab to observe live plant and animal specimens, as well as relevant artifacts, to infer how their adaptations help them to play a role in their ecosystem.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-LS2-1

    FARM-BASED

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    Heckscher Farm to You
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    Farming by the Numbers
    Bring your math concepts to life while exploring the sights and sounds of Heckscher Farm. How do the farmers calculate how much feed they need per year? How many worker bees does it take to make a pound of honey? How do we calculate the yield of our garden plots? This interactive tour of Heckscher Farm allows students to meet some of its residents while working to discover how the farm works "by the numbers." Programs are tailored to specific math standards depending on the group.

    SEASONAL PROGRAMS

    Apple Cidering (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    Simple Machines on the Farm (September - November 2017; May - June 2018)
    Investigate the simple machines in our presses, grinders, and plows that help farmers engineer better ways to plan, harvest crops, and manage livestock. Through a hands-on lab, students will experiment with real farm tools, make observations on how these tool designs helped farmers solve problems, and use tools to do simpler tasks. Students will also work to complete a simple machine scavenger hunt on the farm, where they'll match tools like wheelbarrows, door pulls, and wagons to types of simple machines.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 5.2

    Maple Sugaring (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 5.2

    Vernal Pool Ecology (previously Life in the Pond) (April - June 2018)
    Join us on an adventure to one of our most unique habitats, the vernal pool. Discover some amazing creatures that call these special places home. This interactive, catch-and-release program will introduce students to the adaptations that allow animals to live and survive in this temporary aquatic ecosystem. Students should wear shoes that can get wet.

    CT Science Standards: 5.2

    Stream Ecology (April - June 2018)
    Take a closer look at life beneath the ripples as we visit Poorhouse Brook. We'll explore the macroinvertebrate species that are specialized to survive in stream habitats and delve into the relationship between species present and water quality. From insects to crayfish to amphibians, we'll discover the adaptations that these animals have to live in moving water. Students should wear shoes that can get wet.

    CT Science Standards: 5.2

    SOCIAL STUDIES

    Geography of Connecticut
    Through an interactive map-making experience, students will develop an awareness of the geography of Connecticut and explore the relationship between humans and the features of the natural environment. As we create our map, students will discover major natural and man-made features of Connecticut, how settlement patterns were affected by these features, and how the local natural resources shaped their lives.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 5.3

    Early American Life
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving.

    CT Social Studies Standards: HIST 5.2

    Life of Woodland Indians
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 5.3

    Native American Land Use
    Students will discover local Native American history and learn about important resources and how they were used in early Native American life. As we hike through the forest, we'll explore seasonal aspects of local resources and how they affected settlements and behaviors. Through artifacts and items from the forest, students will explore uses of trees and rocks, commonly hunted wildlife, and movement patterns of local Native inhabitants.

    CT Social Studies Standards: EO 5.3

    Plants & Animals in Native Culture
    Explore the vital flora and fauna of the eastern woodlands that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools. Through a hands-on lab, students will identify uses for medicinal and edible plants, learn the tracks and signs used to find animals, learn the role of animals in Native folklore, and discover what animals were hunted and gathered in our local area. We'll also take a look at some common ways that plants and animals were used by native people in other parts of the country as well.

    CT Social Studies Standards: GEO 5.3

    PLANETARIUM

    The Solar System and Night Sky (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-ESS1-1, 5-ESS1-2
    CT Science Standards: 5.2, 5.3

    Native American Star Legends (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.

    NGSS Science Standards: 5-ESS1-2



    6th Grade and Up
    We usually find that custom programs work best for older age groups, depending on group sizing and structure.

    Please contact Lisa monachelli at lmonachelli@stamfordmuseum.org to discuss a custom program for your group.






    Programs by Type
    *Please refer to individual grade listings for content standards.

    Live Animal Programs
    Our live animal teachers, from goats to geckos and ferrets to frogs, bring your field trip or classroom alive! Programs meet a variety of curriculum topics but can also be a special event for your students!

    Meet the Animals (PreK-5)
    (schoolhouse icon) Get up close and personal with our wide variety of teaching animal! From furry chinchillas to slither snakes to boneless beasts, we'll introduce students to the wonderful world of animals and to the amazing diversity in the animal kingdom.

    Nocturnal Animals (PreK-5)
    Discover the world of nighttime animals and explore how their tools and behaviors help them to do their jobs under the cover of darkness. From excellent hearing to silent flight, we'll explore some of the best nocturnal adaptations and meet some live members of the "night crew."

    Colors in Nature (PreK)
    Explore the many colors of nature's animals as we learn the reasons why animals have different colors on their bodies. Meet animals who use their colors to warn other animals, an animal that changes color depending on its mood, and animals that use their colors to attract other members of their species.

    What's Your Cover (PreK)
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how the differences among our five groups of animals with bones, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, and mammals. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    Dinosaur Discovery (PreK-3)
    Dig into the world of dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives. Discover what we think we know about dinosaurs that walked here in Connecticut and in the region through observing real fossils. Meet some live lizards to learn what they share in common with their prehistoric relatives and discover that our feathered friends share some history with the T-Rex and other dinosaurs.

    Living and Non-Living (PreK-4)
    Using our senses and real-life specimens, we'll discover the characteristics of living and non-living things and the role that each plays in a habitat. We'll explore the importance of non-living factors such as soil, rocks and weather in an ecosystem and how those are interconnected to living things. Meet some live animals and plants to learn about different roles that decomposers, producers and consumers play in a food chain.

    Animal Classification (K-4)
    Using live animals and artifacts, students will discover how scientists group our vertebrate animals and what characteristics, including body coverings and life cycles, separate mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds from each other. Meeting live animals from most categories and hands-on activities will bring these characteristics to life.

    Animal Adaptations (K-5) (maximum 45)
    An introduction to ecological principles using live animals, mounted specimens, and other materials to illustrate the special adaptations, such as hibernation, camouflage, and body structure, that help animals to survive in their environment.

    Endangered Species (4-5) (maximum 60)
    Discover the diversity of animal life on our planet and their necessities for survival. Then, explore the reasons why some of this diversity can disappear and learn what extinct, endangered, and threatened mean for a species. Meet live representatives of endangered, threatened, and protected species and discover how we can all be champions for animal diversity on our planet.

    Slimy & Scaly (4-5) (maximum 60)
    We'll explore the world of reptiles and amphibians as we meet a variety of these creatures from all over the world. Discover the differences and similarities between the two groups, which animal orders belong in each class, and the adaptations that these animals have to survive in their respective habitats.

    Rainforest Ecology (4-5) (maximum 60)
    Take a closer look at one of the most fascinating biomes on the planet without leaving our local area! We'll delve into the climate of this unique habitat and explore some of the adaptations needed for survival by meeting some live plants and animals from throughout the globe.



    Farm-based Programs
    Our Heckscher Farm is home to a variety of traditional New England farm animals and heritage breeds. Students can discover the resident animals of Heckscher Farm or focus on the products that come from our small working farm. Explore the process from sheep-to-sweater and see how we farm 'by the numbers.' Can't come to us? Our Farm Fun program can travel to schools with small farm animals, including a goat and chicken.

    Hands-on Heckscher Farm Tour (PreK-5)
    Have you ever felt the wool of a sheep? Have you ever been kissed by a llama? Discover the many animals that call Heckscher Farm home and get an up-close and personal introduction to their care and behavior. This walking tour will cover most of our animals, from horses to chickens, and provide a seasonal view of farm happenings, from the arrival of baby animals to getting animals ready for the winter. In-pasture visits may be included depending on season and group size. While we'll discuss the products that we get from various animals, this program will focus mostly on the animals of Heckscher Farm and will be tailored to the participant's grade level.

    Farm Fun (PreK-2)
    Students will discover many of the animals that live on a farm and the everyday products that local farmers produce for us. Through live animals, real farm products, tools, pictures, and activities, students will begin to make the connection between farm and food. This program will include a visit from 2-3 small farm animals, such as a goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit, depending on season and availability. This program is great for those groups who are not able to visit our farm! This program is available in-school only.

    A Wild and Wooly Workshop (K-2)
    Take a trip from sheep to sweater, as we see what happens to the wool after the sheep are sheared in the spring. Wool needs to be washed, combed, spun, and dyed before it can be worn. We'll start with the raw wool and try our hands at washing, drying, and carding (combing). We'll also get to visit our sheep to see what their wool currently looks like and share a story as well.

    Heckscher Farm to You (K-5)
    Discover the many products that come from local farms through this interactive tour of Heckscher Farm. Students will explore the products that come from Heckscher Farm, including eggs, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and fibers, and the processes behind their respective harvests, as we travel through the farm from our Maple Sugar House to our Chicken Coop. While we'll meet some animals along the way, this program will focus mostly on the products that come from our farm and will be tailored to participant's grade level.

    Farming by the Numbers (2-5)
    Bring your math concepts to life while exploring the sights and sounds of Heckscher Farm. How do the farmers calculate how much feed they need per year? How many worker bees does it take to make a pound of honey? How do we calculate the yield of our garden plots? This interactive tour of Heckscher Farm allows students to meet some of its residents while working to discover how the farm works "by the numbers." Programs are tailored to specific math standards depending on the group.



    Plant Ecology
    Our Roots, Fruits, Leaves, and STEM series allows for customization of plant-based classes both here at SM&NC and at your school. We can work with your schoolyard garden or planting spaces to customize programs.

    Plants for Sprouts (PreK-1)
    Discover the great green world of plants in this hands-on program. Take a journey through the life of a plant from seed to adult through observing and touching real plant parts. We'll explore what a plant needs to grow and the jobs of different plant parts through song and 'building' our own plant! Students will also get to plant seeds for in-classroom study or to take home.

    Science of Soil (1-5)
    Investigate the world beneath your feet! Students will explore the living and non-living components of the soil community and the vital importance of this resource. They will learn about the physical properties of soil, the animals and plants that call it home, and the need for healthy soil for sustainable food sources. Through a soil sample lab, hands-on decomposer study, games, and live animals, students will get all the "dirt" on soil.

    What's up with Plants? (2-5)
    Through hands-on activities, including take-home plantings, students will examine the life cycle and importance of plants, including basic needs and adaptations. Using real-life specimens, different mechanisms for seed dispersal will be examined and students will discover the different parts of plants, from roots to fruits, and the role that each plays in a plant's life.

    Plants & Pollinators (2)
    Discover the important role of pollinators in a plant's life cycle! Through hands-on stations, students will explore the life cycles of common pollinators, discover other pollinators besides bees and butterflies, and explore the structures of different flowers which allow for pollination. We'll also have a chance to study the SM&NC honey bee hives, how we care for our bees, and do an 'open hive' demonstration (weather providing).

    Growing & Sowing
    Students will discover how to plan a garden plot through an interactive activity where they create their own garden plan, making choices on how to maximize what to grow based upon space requirements of each vegetable/fruit type. Students will use their decision and spatial reasoning skills to determine what can best grow in their mock garden spaces and calculate the potential yield of their gardens. For groups that have school yard gardens, we can then map those areas and sow some seeds for future planting outdoors.

    In the Garden (2)
    Students will work as a team to plant in school garden spaces. In small groups, each class will lend their planting skills to build the garden, using their measuring and mapping skills along the way. During the time, students will direct sow seeds and some plants into the garden, measuring for proper space along the way. We'll also take an in-depth look at the part of the plant life cycle with a seed dispersal lab and give students a challenge to build their own seed. Schools must provide and ready school garden spaces for planting.



    Natural & Physical Science
    Delve into local geology, discover the importance of our local watersheds, explore how scientists study weather, get hands-on with the states of matter, and more! Almost all of our programs can also travel to you!

    Nature Walk (PreK-5)
    Take a guided walk on our trail system through several woodland habitats. Experience the natural highlights of the season through a variety of hands-on activities. Investigate with your senses, explore the microhabitats of the forest, and discover the plants and animals that call the forest home. For Kindergarten, we'll focus on the use of five senses, habitats, and living and non-living factors.

    What's Your Job? (PreK)
    Discover the different jobs animals have in their habitat. We'll meet an animal who is a recycler, someone that eats plants, an insect-eater, meat-eater, and someone who dines on both plants and animals! We'll also see what the teeth of some of these animals look like.

    Nature at Night (PreK-K)
    There is a whole world that comes alive when the sun sets! Meet some nocturnal animals and see what tools help them to be part of the night crew. We'll also discover some of the most common sights in the night sky-the moon and stars. We'll see how the moon changes and some of the most common constellation 'pictures' in the sky. This program is available in-school only.

    Weather Wise (K-5)
    Explore the science of weather through a hands-on, multi-station lab. Students will be introduced to simple weather instruments, such as rain gauges and anemometers and what they measure, travel through the water cycle, and explore weather across seasons.

    Waterworks(2-5)
    Students will explore what a watershed is and learn about the relationships between human activity and the health of the water, air, plants, and animals of a watershed. Students will first identify potential pollution sources and solutions through an interactive model. Then, in an inquiry-based lab, students will work in small groups to brainstorm pollution clean-up methods, record data, and report findings to their peers.

    CT/NY Rocks & Minerals (2-5)
    Using specimens from the SM&NC collection, students will explore the three rock types, the conditions in which they form, and the history of their formations in our local area. Through a multi-station lab, students will investigate and learn to identify local rock specimens, explore how fossils forms, and discover how earth materials are used by people in their daily lives.

    What's it Matter (Matter 101) (2-5)
    Discover the world of solids, liquids, and gases in this hands-on workshop. We'll learn about the properties of each state of matter as we launch a film canister in the air, make solids 'disappear' and measure air. We'll even learn about materials that are 'in-between' states as we make our own slime and explore the properties of polymers.

    Mind over Matter (Matter 102) (3-5)
    Extend your studies of the properties of matter with an exploration of the physical and chemical properties of the different states of matter and how matter can change from one state to another. Through a game and more great hands-on activities, students will further their study of matter. This class is designed for students who have taken What's it Matter (see 2nd grade) but can also stand on its own.

    Vertebrate Skulls & Bones (4-5)
    Discover the structure and function of the skeletons and skulls of common members of the five classes of vertebrates. In this lab-style class, students will observe similarities and differences among vertebrate skeletons and explore what we can infer about animals from their skull structure. We'll investigate the internal bone structures that allow these animals to survive in their habitats.



    Social Studies
    We are not just known for our nature, farm, and science programs! Hundreds of students per year discover the geography of local regions, become cartographers, go back in time to the Woodland Indian period or to an early colonial farm. Geography, mapping, and Life of Woodland Indians programs travel to you; our other social studies offerings make rich use of our site and collections.

    Map it! (1-3)
    Explore the world of maps. Spatial thinking is one the most important skills one can develop as they learn geography. Students will each create their own map and discover the features and symbols often used for maps. We'll map both man-made and natural features and make observations as to why settlers chose different locations for towns and cities. Typically, students make a map of Connecticut, but we can customize to create a map of other areas.

    Geography of Connecticut (2-5)
    Through an interactive map-making experience, students will develop an awareness of the geography of Connecticut and explore the relationship between humans and the features of the natural environment. As we create our map, students will discover major natural and man-made features of Connecticut and how these natural resources shape the lives of inhabitants from early settlers to today.

    Early American Life (K-5)
    Did you know that over 200 years ago in New England, almost everyone lived on a farm? Discover how families coped without electricity, what seasonal chores were done on a farm, and see what tools that were used for many daily activities, such as cooking. In small groups and hands-on stations, tailored to grade, students will figure out which tools were used for which job, try their hand at some simple games of the time, and help with chores such as wool washing or weaving. For PreK 4s and up.

    Life of Woodland Indians (K-5)
    Learn how early Native Americans met their needs for homes, food, clothes, and medicine by using the resources of their environment. Through authentic artifacts and reproductions, and in a hands-on lab-style structure, students will discover how connections to the land where vital to the survival of early tribes.

    Native American Land Use (2-5)
    Students will discover local Native American history and learn about important resources and how they were used in early Native American life. As we hike through the forest, we'll explore seasonal aspects of local resources and how they affected settlements and behaviors. Through artifacts and items from the forest, students will explore uses of trees and rocks, commonly hunted wildlife, and movement patterns of local Native inhabitants.

    Plants & Animals in Native Culture (2-5)
    Explore the vital flora and fauna of the eastern woodlands that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools. Through a hands-on lab, students will identify uses for medicinal and edible plants, learn the tracks and signs used to find animals, learn the role of animals in Native folklore, and discover what animals were hunted and gathered in our local area. We'll also take a look at some common ways that plants and animals were used by native people in other parts of the country as well.



    Seasonal Programs
    It wouldn't be fall without a chance to press apples, and we treasure the winter tradition of collecting maple sap as it drips into our buckets. Spring brings chances to explore vernal pool ecology, the life cycle of animals, and the world of boneless beasts. Some of our most popular field trips are for our seasonal programming and our animals can travel to you to help explore seasonal happenings.

    Apple Cidering (PreK-5) (September 25 - November 21, 2017)
    Visit Heckscher Farm for one of our favorite fall traditions- Apple cider making! Students will discover the life cycle of apple trees, as well the history, uses, and varieties of the amazing apple. Each child will participate in the making cider by adding apples to and working our old-fashioned, hand-operated press. When the work is done there is, of course, a toast and taste.

    Simple Machines on the Farm (4-5) (September - November 2017; May - June 2018)
    Investigate the simple machines in our presses, grinders, and plows that help farmers engineer better ways to plan, harvest crops, and manage livestock. Through a hands-on lab, students will experiment with real farm tools, make observations on how these tool designs helped farmers solve problems, and use tools to do simpler tasks. Students will also work to complete a simple machine scavenger hunt on the farm, where they'll match tools like wheelbarrows, door pulls, and wagons to types of simple machines.

    Pumpkins & Squash (PreK) (October - November)
    One of our favorite parts about fall is the variety of fall squashes and the arrival of our first local pumpkins! Students will explore the different sizes, textures, colors, and weights of squash through a hands-on lab and then we'll work together to find out what is inside! We'll also meet our live animal friends Pumpkin the box turtle and Squash the Hissing Cockroach, learn the animals that love to eat squash, and share a story on a pumpkin's life cycle.

    Animals in Winter (PreK-3) (November 2017 - February 2018)
    Discover how animals from furry to feathery, prepare of the changing seasons. Using live animals, mounted specimens, artifacts, and puppets, student will discover the ways that our local animals survive the winter, uncover why some animals migrate and investigate those that sleep for all of part of the winter.

    Maple Sugaring (PreK-5) (February 13 - March 16, 2018)
    Come to the Heckscher Farm's Maple Sugar House for a New England tradition. Students will learn about the seasonal cycle that causes maples to produce sugar and the methods used to extract and process the sap. Start outside at a Sugar Maple tree where students will discover its physiology. Then visit a Native American operation before getting warmed up in the sugarhouse to see the modern evaporator at full boil. Dress for the cold. For PreK 3s and up.

    Life Cycles (PreK-2) (March - June 2018)
    Journey through the life cycle of local animals as we learn about the changes they go through from beginning to end. Students will investigate insects and amphibians from egg to adult and compare the lives of animals, such as mammals and reptiles, which do not go through metamorphosis. Program will include discussion on insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals and will feature live animals in various life cycle stages whenever possible.

    Vernal Pool Ecology (previously Life in the Pond) (2-5) (April - June 2018)
    Join us on an adventure to one of our most unique habitats, the vernal pool. Discover some amazing creatures that call these special places home. This interactive, catch-and-release program will introduce students to the adaptations that allow animals to live and survive in this temporary aquatic ecosystem.

    Stream Ecology (4-5) (April - June 2018)
    Take a closer look at life beneath the ripples as we visit Poorhouse Brook. We'll explore the macroinvertebrate species that are specialized to survive in stream habitats and delve into the relationship between species present and water quality. From insects to crayfish to amphibians, we'll discover the adaptations that these animals have to live in moving water. Students should wear shoes that can get wet.

    Barnyard Birds (PreK-2) (April - June 2018)
    Discover our farm fowl and what makes them important parts of farm life. Learn about the different types of feathers that birds have and about life inside of an egg. Explore the similarities and differences in beaks, feet and other adaptations through artifacts, pictures, and live birds. Simulate eating like a chicken or duck with our hands-on Barnyard Beaks: lab that will help students match beaks with the type of food eaten.

    Insects & Invertebrates (1-4) (April - June 2018)
    Discover the life cycles, adaptations, and ecology of our boneless beasts through a hands-on lab and outdoor field experience, both using science journaling. Students will explore insect life cycles and different body structures of insects and invertebrates through a multi-station lab featuring live animals, artifacts, and pictures. Then, we'll head into the woods to collect forest invertebrates to compare and contrast to aquatic invertebrates through observation and journaling. For in-school programs, we'll bring the insect specimens to you! 75 minutes.



    Planetarium Programs
    Our intimate planetarium setting is the perfect introduction to the wonderous world of the night from nocturnal animals to constellations to a trip through our solar system. Planetarium programs can set 45 people per showing.

    Night is Nice (PreK-2) (maximum 45)
    An introduction to the night sky: the moon, the planets, the stars and the constellations they form. We'll explore why there is night and day and the phases of the moon using imagery from NASA. Learn about nocturnal animals, the sounds they make, and how they use all their senses to get around in the world of night.

    The Solar System and Night Sky (K-5) (maximum 45)
    In this introduction to astronomy, under darkened skies and starting at our sun, your class will take a journey past all the planets to discover what's unique about each. We will learn about comets, meteors, asteroids, and our place in the universe. Explore the difference between stars and planets and learn to recognize some of the major constellations.

    Native American Star Legends (K-5) (maximum 45)
    Hear some stories of the creation of the Earth, day and night, and how the stars came to be. Learn the major constellations and what the Native Americans saw in the same patterns. Hear some insightful and humorous stories about how animals came to be the way they are today and try to make up some stories of your own.

  • © 2017 Stamford Museum & Nature Center. All rights reserved.