School Programs

2013-2014 School Programs

Providing science field trips at Bluff Lake for Denver area elementary schools is one of BLNC’s longest running and best loved programs.  We make science accessible by providing scholarship to schools with Title I status and/or 50%+ students receiving free and reduced lunch.

Registration begins August 20th.

Bluff Lake utilizes a tiered registration system.  Your tier remains open even as other tiers begin registration.

Tier One 
Schools within the 3 mile radius of Bluff Lake (Tier I Schools PDF)
may register
beginning 8:00am
Tuesday, August 20th
Tier Two
Title I and/or 50%+ FRL Schools
may register
beginning 8:00am
Monday, August 26th
Tier Three
All other schools
may register
beginning 8:00am
Thursday, August 29th

Here are your registration options:

  • All fall and spring days have been booked.
  • If you are interested in being on our Wait List please register below by putting “wait list” in the date field.
  • If you are interested in a Self-Guided Tour click here
  • Using our calendar (at right) pick 3 available dates in order of preference (Please note groups with more than 65 students will need to schedule additional days)
  • Register online by clicking on your tier above
  • Request a form to be emailed to you here
  • Download the form as a PDF to mail or email it to us
  • Call us at 720-708-4079

All registrants will be processed according to tiers and in the order they are received.

Science Field Trips Availability September Through June

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Use the pull-down tabs to select for both the Month and Year you want to view.

Green Dates = Open
Pink Dates = Scheduled
Orange Dates = Not Available

A Proven Combination: Field Trips & Learning!

BLNC’s Education Program brings elementary students into nature for hands-on learning and the kids show consistent, significant improvements on environmental literacy assessments scores. During the 2011-2012 school year:

  • First and second graders who attended our “Healthy Habitats” program showed a 47.18% average improvement between pre-visit and post-visit assessment scores.
  • Second through fourth graders who attended our “Life Cycles” program showed a 20.97% average improvement between pre-visit and post-visit assessment scores.
  • Fourth and fifth graders who attended our “Wetland Wonders” program showed a 27.24% average improvement between pre-visit and post-visit assessment scores.

The success of our programs is reliant upon financial and in-kind support from the community—as well as the time and dedication of our amazing Volunteer Educators. During the 2011-2012 school year, twelve Volunteer Educators put in a combined total of 750.5 hours.

For the following topics, please scroll down:

  • A Multi-level Approach to Field Experience
  • Program Overview
  • Curricula Summaries
  • Fulfilling the Colorado Model Content Standards
  • Registration Information for Teachers
  • Schools Within Three Miles of Bluff Lake
  • FAQs

A Multi-level Approach to Field Experience

Guided education programs for students in ECE-5th grade are available throughout the year.  Programs are led by staff and volunteers.  Each class that registers for a Bluff Lake field program has several education experiences with Bluff Lake staff.  First, teachers receive a Bluff Lake Explorers packet containing classroom activities.  Pre-trip activities can easily be conducted in the classroom to help prepare students for their field experience.  Next, a BLNC staff Naturalist visits the classroom prior to the trip to answer questions, guide students through related activities and provide background information.  The third phase is a visit to Bluff Lake’s outdoor classroom, which consists of visiting activity stations that will engage students through hands-on learning and exploration.  Finally, post-trip activities are provided to help the teacher solidify concepts learned in the field.

Program Overview

Pre-Trip Classroom Visit: Prior to our classroom visit you will get an Explorer’s Pack via email. This will contain pre-trip and post-trip activities, a parent letter, a map and vocabulary words. Approximately one week prior to your field experience, a Bluff Lake Instructor will come to your class. During this pre-trip visit we will give your students the background information they need, conduct group activities, and answer questions. Your students will then be ready for their field experience.

Site Visit Field Trip: Your Bluff Lake visit will begin with a general introduction and then your class will be broken up into 3 groups. Each group will visit a hands-on activity station led by one of our Education Volunteers.  Each station will incorporate games and activities, journaling and writing, and exploration to teach the concepts outline in each Life Science Grade Level Expectation.

Assessment Program: Most of BLNC Explorer’s programs begin with a pre-trip assessment to help us gauge your students’ current experience with the relevant scientific concepts. We will wrap-up with a post trip assessment to see how much they have learned.

Scholarship Availablility: BLNC School Programs are free only for public schools with 50% or more enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program, and these schools may also qualify for a partial reimbursement of school bus expense. All other schools will be invoiced at $4.00 per student and will be responsible for their transportation expenses.

Sheltering and English Language Learners: All of our programs use sheltered English techniques to reach a broad spectrum of ELL.

Curricula Summaries

Sensory Discovery (Grades ECE and K): Use all of your senses to explore Bluff Lake and discover how animals use their senses. Based on Life Science GLE Preschool #1.

Healthy Habitats (Grades 1-2): Discover the different habitats at Bluff Lake, which animals live in each habitat and what they need to survive. Based on Life Science GLE 1st Grade #2 and 2nd Grade #1 and #2.

Life Cycles (Grades 2-4): Learn about the different life cycles of various animals and how they are connected to all other animals, including humans. Based Life Science GLE 3rd Grade #1.

Wetland Wonders (Grades 3-5): Learn what makes a wetland a wetland, what animals live there, and how a wetland is nature’s way of cleaning water. Based on Life Science GLE 4th Grade #1 and #3.

Fulfilling the Colorado Model Content Standards

The combination of experiences is designed to teach science concepts in alignment with the new Colorado Model Content Standards for Science adopted in December 2009. Each program is designed to meet the Life Science Standards outlined in each Grade Level Expectation for Preschool through 5th Grade. Each outdoor activity station focuses on specific evidence outcomes listed for each GLE. For specifics on evidence outcomes, please contact our Education Department at the number listed below.

 Registration Information for Teachers

Please call 720-708-4079 or email Keith Wood at to arrange your pre-trip outreach presentation and on-site field trip. Calls and emails will be answered in the order they are received.

Please allow 10-20 minutes for the registration process.  Please have all teachers’ phone numbers and email addresses.  We present in classrooms on Mondays and need approximately 45 minutes for each classroom presentation.

On-site field trips are scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from approximately 9:30am-12:30pm.  Field trip time lines are flexible; please contact us for more information.


Schools within three miles of Bluff Lake

  • Amesse Elementary
  • Ashley Elementary
  • Boston K-8 School
  • Crawford Elementary
  • Fletcher Community School
  • Ford Elementary
  • Fulton Academy of Excellence
  • Greenwood K-8 School
  • Hallett Elementary
  • Howell K-8 School
  • Isabella Bird Community School
  • Kenton Elementary
  • Lansing Elementary
  • Maxwell Elementary
  • McGlone Elementary
  • Montview Elementary
  • Northeast Academy Charter School
  • Oakland Elementary
  • Odyssey School
  • Options School
  • Paris Elementary
  • Park Lane Elementary
  • Peoria Elementary
  • Sable Elementary
  • Sixth Avenue Elementary
  • Swigert-McAuliffe International School
  • Vaughn Elementary
  • Westerly Creek Elementary
  • William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School




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