Science Field Trip Program Overview

Science Field Trip Overview + FAQs

Sensory Discovery
(Grades ECE and K):
Use all of your senses to explore Bluff Lake and discover how animals use their senses.
Healthy Habitats 
(Grades 1-2): 
Discover the different habitats at Bluff Lake, which animals live in each habitat and what they need to survive.
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.
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.

Prior to the science field trip and pre-trip outreach visit you can download an Explorer’s Pack here. This will contain pre-trip and post-trip activities, a parent letter, a map and vocabulary words.

Pre-Trip Outreach
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 an assessment and group activities, and answer questions. Your students will then be ready for their field experience.

Site Visit Field Trip
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.
Your Bluff Lake visit will begin with a general introduction and then the group as a whole will break into three groups (we advise dividing these groups before leaving the school) Each group will visit three stations led by one of our Education Volunteers. The stations 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 our pre-trip outreaches begin with a pre-trip assessment to help us gauge your students’ current experience with the relevant scientific concepts. We will wrap-up the field tirp with a post trip assessment to see how much they have learned.

Scholarship Availability
BLNC School Programs are free only for public schools with Title I status and/or 50% or more student enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program.  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.

This year we will be requiring schools to provide a bus request/route number to receive field trip confirmation.
BLNC does reimburse school bus expense for public schools with Title I status and/or 50% or more student enrollment in the free/reduced lunch program.  All other schools 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.

Frequently Ask Questions

How do I register?
Click here and fill out the online form.

What time do field trips start and when does it end?
We offer a flexible start time of 9:30 or 10:00, and end at 2:00 or 12:30.  This does not include time for lunch.

What days are available?
Field trips are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

When and where can we eat lunch?
Lunch happens after the program is over (12:00 or 12:30).  Weather permitting, your group may eat lunch at the top of the bluff around our fire circle, overlook, or pick-nick tables.

Does Bluff Lake have bathrooms?
Bluff Lake has three port-a-lets.  Two are located upstairs at near the shed and parking lot. The other is along the main trail near the boardwalk.

What does a typical field trip look like?
We break the field trip into a three station rotation with these parts
–Arrival and Welcome
–First Station
–Snack (provided by the school)
–Second Station
–Third Station
–Post Assessment
–Wrap Up, Lunch, and Departure

Do the students need to be broken into groups?
Yes, the entire field trip group should be broken into three roughly even groups (for example: two classes with 30 students each would be broken into groups of 20).

Does Bluff Lake have a drinking fountain?
No.  We have no running water, drinking fountains, or sinks.

Who owns Bluff Lake?
Bluff Lake is not owned by any city, state, or federal agency.  Bluff Lake is a private non-profit 501c3 organization that depends on grant funding and donations.

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