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Outdoor Classroom Lessons



How to Schedule a Classroom Lesson

Step 1: Read class descriptions below.


Step 2: Contact our Program Manager, Renee Valentine, by email or call 479-202-8340 to schedule your class.

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Join our Teacher Naturalists for any of our 9 science lessons in the outdoor classroom, where we follow physical distancing protocols to keep you safe while you explore the exciting creatures and ecosystems of the Ozarks.
3-person minimum, 50-person maximum
Classes are 1 hour and $10 per person
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Creek Critters

There is a world of life under the water!


In this class students will meet and identify some of these water-dwelling macroinvertebrates and discover how their presence can be an indication of water quality through hands experimentation.


Join us as we explore the world of the tiny and its large impact.

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Breaking it Down

Exploring decomposition through a hands-on demonstration of a living, breathing earthworm compost bin, where students will be introduced to the three major groups of decomposers: Fungus, Bacteria and Invertebrates.

The class will sketch, analyze chemical alteration by microbes, and compare old to fresh compost. They will see first‐hand how cycles of energy and decomposition occur while learning to treat all living things with respect - including compost ‐ a building block of life!

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Radio Tracking

Have you ever wondered how scientists study animals in the wild?


Students will learn firsthand how and why scientists use radio tracking to monitor and help wildlife.


Following a brief tutorial, students will put their newfound knowledge to the test as they head out into the field to locate hidden transmitters using real radio tracking equipment.

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Discovery of the Specimen

Students will explore ONSC’s museum specimens, where they will use tools and resources to identify specimens and collect data.


From measuring a skull, to using a microscope, this hands‐on course will illustrate methods used for specimen identification, while highlighting the diversity of the Ozarks.

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This adventure will introduce students to many different species of reptiles and amphibians, their amazing abilities, threats to their well‐being, and how humans can help them. The students will learn by playing a herpetology game and will have the opportunity to meet our snake ambassadors. This hands-on experience will continue as they investigate the herpetology specimens from our science museum.

Image by Vincent van Zalinge

Students will “flock” to this class, where they will learn the basics of bird biology, adaptations for flight, and bird conservation.


They will explore the Ozark fliers as they conduct field work outdoors using binoculars and field guides to identify ONSC birds and accurately record scientific field notes.

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FrogWatch is a nation‐wide citizen science project that will have students using scientific protocols to identify frogs and record data while exploring a pond. Students will learn to identify Ozark frogs and toads by their songs of croaks and peeps. They will gain knowledge about amphibians as bioindicators while learning about stewardship and wetland conservation.

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There are more insects on our planet than any other type of animal. Students try out new skills as entomologists as they study these amazing creatures.


Identification, adaptations, habitats, and observations make all parts of this class hands‐on.

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A course that introduces students to the Ozark plant world. Learn to identify local trees, herbs and flowers and their uses to early pioneers.


Students will collect specimens, learn to use field guides and dichotomous keys as they explore hands on in the wild and in the classroom.

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