Middle School–High School Field Trips

We’re happy to serve students of all ages, even middle and high school students. Field trips listed below are specialized for secondary students and include a major outdoor component; get ready to learn and have fun outdoors!

The fee is $4 per student during the school year and $5 per student in the summer. There is no charge for adult chaperones, except for maple syruping programs which are $2 per adult. Field trips are 90 minutes long, unless otherwise noted.

All programs scheduled will require 50% of the total paid in advance in order to reserve the date for your program.

This fee includes free admission to exhibits and use of picnic areas. Our calendar fills quickly so call early to reserve your date. Visit our Scheduling and Policies section for more details.

If a topic you are interested in is not covered in our field trip list, we may be able to create a special field trip for you!

Fall

Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8
Service Learning Experiences | 6-12
Team Building | 6-12
Geocaching | 6-12
Water Monitoring | 6-12
Outdoor Skills | 6-12
Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8

NGSS: (6-8): MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-5, MS-ETS1-3

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6

Get ready to explore the Indian Creek Watershed and the problems it faces as a result of human activity. Using a 3-D watershed model you will look at urban and rural pollution sources, erosion and flooding.  Conservation techniques will also be discussed. Tour a rain garden and parking lot bioswale, see an example of permeable paving, and learn about the benefits of using rain barrels. The focus is on what each of us can do individually to improve watershed health.

Service Learning Experiences | 6-12

NGSS: Project Dependent

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Projects vary by season and include an educational component.  One example could be removing invasive species, including learning about the history of the species, where it is native to, how it came to Iowa, ways that invasive plants spread, how to prevent spreading them, the threats these species pose to native habitats, control measures, and the nation-wide prevalence of some species. If you are studying specific concepts in the classroom and would like us to include them in your Nature Center field experience, please contact us.

Team Building | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Communication, working together and patience are important life skills. Get ready to put these skills to the test as you attempt many fun challenges and cooperate to reach common goals.  Some examples of activities you might complete include setting up a tent while blindfolded, fire starting with limited supplies, a zero waste relay, and an interesting problem related to water consumption. Come dressed and prepared to be outdoors in all weather.

Geocaching | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Geocaching is a recreational activity that requires creative thinking, patience, and teamwork. The objective is to hunt for and locate a hidden object using GPS coordinates. You will work together and locate hidden objects, while enjoying the natural beauty of the woods, prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center.

Water Monitoring | 6-12

Duration: 2 hours

NGSS: (6-8): MS-LS2-5 (9-12): HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-5

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6 (9-10): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 (11-12): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

You will get their feet wet – literally – as you record chemical, physical and biological stream measurements and assessments and focus on finding and identifying macro invertebrates.  What do the presence or absence of these small organisms tell us about the health of the stream?  Detailed information and vocabulary will be sent to the teacher before this program so students can be prepared for the adventure.

Outdoor Skills | 6-12

Duration: 2 hours

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

An outdoor skills experience with hands-on activities including but not limited to: fire building, use of flint and steel to start fires, knot tying, basic first aid, shelter building, plants to avoid, and more.  Many teachers choose activities to fit the themes in literature from texts like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or Jack London short stories. If students are reading one of these novels, naturalists may integrate themes and characters from the various books into the activities in which the students participate.  If your students are reading one of these books and you have specific requests for related activities, please contact us.

Winter

Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8
Maple Syruping | 6-12
Service Learning Experiences | 6-12
Team Building | 6-12
Geocaching | 6-12
Outdoor Skills | 6-12
Snowshoeing | 6-12
Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8

NGSS: (6-8): MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-5, MS-ETS1-3

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6

Get ready to explore the Indian Creek Watershed and the problems it faces as a result of human activity. Using a 3-D watershed model you will look at urban and rural pollution sources, erosion and flooding.  Conservation techniques will also be discussed. Tour a rain garden and parking lot bioswale, see an example of permeable paving, and learn about the benefits of using rain barrels. The focus is on what each of us can do individually to improve watershed health.

Maple Syruping | 6-12

Month of March only

NGSS: (6-8): MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-6, MS-LS2-5 (9-12): HS-ESS3-1, HS-ESS3-4

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

After a brief history of the Native American, colonial and pioneer history of ‘sugaring’, a Teacher-Naturalist will review the physiology and identification of maple trees. This experience includes a hike in the sugar bush and using tools to tap a maple tree, as well as a tour the sugarhouse to learn how sap is boiled to create maple syrup. You’ll also enjoy a sample of the maple syrup made at Indian Creek Nature Center on a small ice cream cone.

Service Learning Experiences | 6-12

NGSS: Project Dependent

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Projects vary by season and include an educational component.  One example could be removing invasive species, including learning about the history of the species, where it is native to, how it came to Iowa, ways that invasive plants spread, how to prevent spreading them, the threats these species pose to native habitats, control measures, and the nation-wide prevalence of some species. If you are studying specific concepts in the classroom and would like us to include them in your Nature Center field experience, please contact us.

Team Building | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Communication, working together and patience are important life skills. Get ready to put these skills to the test as you attempt many fun challenges and cooperate to reach common goals.  Some examples of activities you might complete include setting up a tent while blindfolded, fire starting with limited supplies, a zero waste relay, and an interesting problem related to water consumption. Come dressed and prepared to be outdoors in all weather.

Geocaching | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Geocaching is a recreational activity that requires creative thinking, patience, and teamwork. The objective is to hunt for and locate a hidden object using GPS coordinates. You will work together and locate hidden objects, while enjoying the natural beauty of the woods, prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center.

Outdoor Skills | 6-12

Duration: 2 hours

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

An outdoor skills experience with hands-on activities including but not limited to: fire building, use of flint and steel to start fires, knot tying, basic first aid, shelter building, plants to avoid, and more.  Many teachers choose activities to fit the themes in literature from texts like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or Jack London short stories. If students are reading one of these novels, naturalists may integrate themes and characters from the various books into the activities in which the students participate.  If your students are reading one of these books and you have specific requests for related activities, please contact us.

Snowshoeing | 6-12

Available with 5 + inches of snow

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Strap on snowshoes, and head for the trails! This outdoor snowshoeing experience includes discussion of the history of snowshoes. We will also discuss the value of snowshoeing as recreation and exercise as you explore the trails looking for signs of wildlife. Snowshoes are provided. Not enough snow on the ground?  Don’t worry!  We have a plan to get you outside regardless of snow accumulation.

Spring

Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8
Service Learning Experiences | 6-12
Team Building | 6-12
Geocaching | 6-12
Water Monitoring | 6-12
Outdoor Skills | 6-12
Watersheds: Exploring Our Actions | 6-8

NGSS: (6-8): MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-5, MS-ETS1-3

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6

Get ready to explore the Indian Creek Watershed and the problems it faces as a result of human activity. Using a 3-D watershed model you will look at urban and rural pollution sources, erosion and flooding.  Conservation techniques will also be discussed. Tour a rain garden and parking lot bioswale, see an example of permeable paving, and learn about the benefits of using rain barrels. The focus is on what each of us can do individually to improve watershed health.

Service Learning Experiences | 6-12

NGSS: Project Dependent

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Projects vary by season and include an educational component.  One example could be removing invasive species, including learning about the history of the species, where it is native to, how it came to Iowa, ways that invasive plants spread, how to prevent spreading them, the threats these species pose to native habitats, control measures, and the nation-wide prevalence of some species. If you are studying specific concepts in the classroom and would like us to include them in your Nature Center field experience, please contact us.

Team Building | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Communication, working together and patience are important life skills. Get ready to put these skills to the test as you attempt many fun challenges and cooperate to reach common goals.  Some examples of activities you might complete include setting up a tent while blindfolded, fire starting with limited supplies, a zero waste relay, and an interesting problem related to water consumption. Come dressed and prepared to be outdoors in all weather.

Geocaching | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Geocaching is a recreational activity that requires creative thinking, patience, and teamwork. The objective is to hunt for and locate a hidden object using GPS coordinates. You will work together and locate hidden objects, while enjoying the natural beauty of the woods, prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center.

Water Monitoring | 6-12

Duration: 2 hours

NGSS: (6-8): MS-LS2-5 (9-12): HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-5

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.G.B.6 (9-10): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7 (11-12): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4

You will get their feet wet – literally – as you record chemical, physical and biological stream measurements and assessments and focus on finding and identifying macro invertebrates.  What do the presence or absence of these small organisms tell us about the health of the stream?  Detailed information and vocabulary will be sent to the teacher before this program so students can be prepared for the adventure.

Outdoor Skills | 6-12

Duration: 2 hours

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

An outdoor skills experience with hands-on activities including but not limited to: fire building, use of flint and steel to start fires, knot tying, basic first aid, shelter building, plants to avoid, and more.  Many teachers choose activities to fit the themes in literature from texts like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or Jack London short stories. If students are reading one of these novels, naturalists may integrate themes and characters from the various books into the activities in which the students participate.  If your students are reading one of these books and you have specific requests for related activities, please contact us.

Summer

Learning doesn’t stop in the summer! In fact, the Nature Center is brimming with insect and animal activity. Summer Group Experiences take place June through August.

Fee: $5 per student. No fee for chaperones.

Team Building | 6-12
Geocaching | 6-12
Creek Walk | 6-12
Team Building | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by activities

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Communication, working together and patience are important life skills. Get ready to put these skills to the test as you attempt many fun challenges and cooperate to reach common goals.  Some examples of activities you might complete include setting up a tent while blindfolded, fire starting with limited supplies, a zero waste relay, and an interesting problem related to water consumption. Come dressed and prepared to be outdoors in all weather.

Geocaching | 6-12

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Common Core: (6-8): CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7

Geocaching is a recreational activity that requires creative thinking, patience, and teamwork. The objective is to hunt for and locate a hidden object using GPS coordinates. You will work together and locate hidden objects, while enjoying the natural beauty of the woods, prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center.

Creek Walk | 6-12

Walk through the gentle flow of Bena Brook as you enjoy the cool feel of the water on a hot summer day (water shoes required).  Look at the animal tracks and be on the lookout for wildlife around you!  Limit of 24 students.

Menu