Elementary school program at the Science Center

Grades 3-5

INDOOR PROGRAMS

Animals in Winter | Grades 3, 4

Winter means cold, ice, snow, and shorter days. How do New Hampshire animals survive these conditions? See three live animals up close and find out about various successful adaptations they use to cope with the stresses of winter.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Creatures of the Night | Grade 4

You don’t have to stay up late to learn about elusive nocturnal animals. Students see some creatures of the night and learn about specific adaptations that make these animals so well-suited for life at night.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Eyes of the Wild: Hawks and Owls | Grades 3-5

Peer into the raptor world through an up close experience with live hawks and owls that call New Hampshire home. Compare the fascinating similarities and differences between hawks and owls to discover how they are perfectly suited to the habitat niche they each fill.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

Good, Bad, or Ugly? | Grade 4

What makes us like some animals, but not others? Learn the truth about misunderstood animals as we explore the physical and behavioral adaptations that make these animals act the way they do, often giving them a bad reputation unfairly.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Have to Have a Habitat | Grade 3

Animals live everywhere around us, but no matter where they live they all require the basic needs of food, water, shelter, air, space, and sun. See three different live animals and learn how each meets its habitat needs.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

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

Predators | Grades 3, 4

From small to large, all predators live by catching other animals. Students explore adaptations that make these animals successful by studying several live predators.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits – Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Stories on the Wild Side | Grades 3, 4

Reading and science come together in this fun program that blends storytelling with up close live animal encounters. Animal characters in stories are often very different from real animals, but students can still learn important truths about animals through stories. Visits with live animals featured in the tales will challenge students to separate fact from fiction. Post visit activities will help students continue to blend literacy and science back in the classroom.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Wildlife Webs | Grade 5

Carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and insectivores! Meet three live animals that represent these different groups as we build a food web that models the interrelationships and flow of energy through the ecosystem.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 5-PS3-1 Energy: Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
    5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics - Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

OUTDOOR PROGRAMS

Discovering Geology at Work | Grades 4

New Hampshire is a state of rocks, stones, and “mountain bones” shaped by geologic forces. Students discover the geologic processes that formed Squam Lake. They explore the effects of ice and water on the current landscape and create their own map showing local land features. Conclude by meeting a live animal influenced by the region’s geology.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 4-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe – Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
  • 4-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • 4-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems – Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

Ecosystems Scavenger Hunt | Grade 5

In small exploratory teams, students collect and analyze data. These data help them learn how matter moves among producers, consumers, decomposers, and the environment. Students will develop a model to describe these relationships.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

Energy and the Web of Life | Grade 5

Students examine the energy-rich components of a natural community and, through hands-on activities, gain an understanding of the flow of the sun’s energy through forest, field, and pond. Students experience how living things are connected in a web of life.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Geology Lake Cruise: Shaping Squam | Grade 4

Cruise Squam Lake to discover how geology shaped the lake and its surrounding watershed, which influences the animals living there too. During this hands-on, minds-on cruise aboard pontoon boats, students will analyze and interpret data from maps and take depth measurements to locate themselves and surrounding landmarks on a lake chart. They will also learn how the lake basins influence loons.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 4-ESS1-1 Earth's Place in the Universe – Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.
  • 4-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. 
  • 4-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems – Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

Habitats | Grades 3-5

Through outdoor activities, students learn about the complex interrelationships among living things that are the essence of all natural communities. Students will model these interrelationships by developing a food web, and exploring how animals are particularly well-suited for the habitats where they live.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Interactions of the Spheres | Grade 5

Earth’s major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth’s surface materials and processes. Through hands-on activities and visits with live animals, students develop models to demonstrate three different examples of interactions between the spheres.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 5-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design – Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Living Wild: Plant and Animal Adaptations | Grades 3, 4

Students learn how animals survive in the wild with a variety of learn-by-doing activities. Students role-play and investigate plant and animal adaptations in outdoor natural communities.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Predator Survival | Grades 3-5

Predators are a crucial part of any ecosystem. Explore the role predators play through food web models and active outdoor simulations of the interrelationships between predator and prey. Meet a live predator to observe its adaptations up close.
Available: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

Squam Lake’s Microscopic Mysteries | Grade 5

Rotifers, copepods, and phantom midges share our lakes. Take a trip on a 28-foot pontoon boat to study these and other zooplankton and discover their place in the lake’s food web. Student teams collect plankton samples and look at them under magnification back on land with a high definition projection microscope. All data are posted on the Science Center’s website for teachers to compare with results from past years.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • 5-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.

Tree-mendous Trees | Grades 3-5

Through hands-on activities students learn about the structure of trees and how forest communities are important to wildlife. The reliance of humans on trees and forests is also emphasized.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits – Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy – Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • 5-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics – Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Wet and Wild: Water and Wetlands | Grades 3,5

Water is vital to life. Wetlands perform essential functions, from controlling floods, to purifying water, to providing wildlife habitat. They are also amazing places to explore. Using indoor and outdoor activities and live animals, students learn why water and wetlands are important to both humans and wildlife.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer, at SLNSC only

  • 3-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
  • 5-ESS2-1 Earth's Systems – Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
  • 5-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems – Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity – Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

Winter Birds | Grades 3-5

Students learn how and why birds are banded. They help capture and release wild birds and collect measurements for banding records under the direction of a Master Bird Bander. Students explore bird adaptations, migration, and identification using live birds and mounted specimens. Discussion covers the reasons scientists engage in this research and the questions that can and can’t be answered by the data.
Available: Winter, at SLNSC only

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
    Engaging students with this long-term data collection project will bring the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices to life while helping students increase their understanding of the Nature of Science.

Winter Exploration | Grades 3, 4

How do New Hampshire animals survive winter with cold, ice, snow, and shorter days? This outdoor experience combines natural history and active games to demonstrate how animals adapt to the rigors of winter.
Available: Winter, at SLNSC or your site

  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
For questions or to schedule your field trip contact Jeremy Phillips, School Programs Coordinator/Naturalist at 603-968-7194 x 18 or email
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