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. 
We are able to accommodate up to 40 students and 4 adults per program session unless otherwise noted.
For larger groups, please inquire about booking multiple sessions.

Your program 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.

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Fall

Program Duration: 90 minutes unless otherwise noted
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum)

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 prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center. 

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Team Building

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.

Duration: Project dependent
Fee: Project dependent

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. We discuss the importance of clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Come dressed and prepared to enjoy the great outdoors in all weather.

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching

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 be discussed and viewed as students experiment with a stream table. Tour a rain garden and parking lot bioswale, while also looking at an example of permeable paving. The focus is on what each of us can do individually to improve watershed health. 

Capacity: 20 students

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Water Monitoring

Winter

Program Duration: 90 minutes unless otherwise noted
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum) unless otherwise noted

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 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 of 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. This program meets at the Penningroth Barn (6665 Otis Road SE).

Duration: 1 hour 
Fee: $5/student; $5/adult

 

NGSS: Varies by activities

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

An outdoor skills experience with hands-on activities that may include: fire building, use of flint and steel, orienteering and/or atlatl, archery, plants to avoid, and marking your trail.  Indoor inclement weather plans may include: introduction to compasses, map skills, what to bring on adventures or knot tying.
Duration: 2 hours 

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching or Team Building

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.

Duration: Project dependent
Fee: Project dependent

NGSS: Varies by trails selected

Strap on snowshoes, and head for the trails! This outdoor snowshoeing experience includes discussion of the history of snowshoes while you explore the trails looking for signs of wildlife. ICNC has a limited number of adult-sized snowshoes that are included in the registration, and participants are welcome to bring their own snowshoes as well. This program requires 5″ of snow. Not enough snow on the ground?  Don’t worry!  We will go on a guided winter trek through the woods.

For a longer experience, pairs well with:  Outdoor Skills

Maximum number: 12 students

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. We discuss the importance of clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Come dressed and prepared to enjoy the great outdoors in all weather.

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching

Spring

Program Duration: 90 minutes unless otherwise noted
Fee: $5 per student ($50 minimum)

 

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 prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center. 

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Team Building

NGSS: Varies by activities

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

An outdoor skills experience with hands-on activities that may include: fire building, use of flint and steel, orienteering and/or atlatl, archery, plants to avoid, and marking your trail.  Indoor inclement weather plans may include: introduction to compasses, map skills, what to bring on adventures or knot tying.
Duration: 2 hours 

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching or Team Building

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.

Duration: Project dependent
Fee: Project dependent

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. We discuss the importance of clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Come dressed and prepared to enjoy the great outdoors in all weather.

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching

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.

Program Duration: 90 minutes unless otherwise noted
Fee:
$5 per student ($50 minimum)
Capacity: Due to COVID-19 we are limiting summer groups to 36 students and 4 adults. For larger groups, please request multiple sessions.

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 prairie and trails at Indian Creek Nature Center. 

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Team Building

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.

Duration: Project dependent
Fee: Project dependent

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. We discuss the importance of clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Come dressed and prepared to enjoy the great outdoors in all weather.

For a longer experience, pairs well with: Geocaching