Morris County Park Commission logoMorris County NJ Park Commission

Home >School Programs >Science/Interdisciplinary

School Programs: Science/Interdisciplinary

Great Swamp | Pyramid Mountain | Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

Amazing Adaptations
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall and Spring

How do animals avoid predators on the prowl, attract the best mates, or survive the winter cold? Visit a variety of habitats and take part in hands-on activities to learn about the amazing physical and behavioral adap-tations that help wildlife survive.

Optional Extension: Teams create an imaginary new species to match a given set of adaptations.

Apple Cidering
  • Grades: K-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall Only

Discover the apple's place in history and the natural world by preparing and grinding apples, turning the old-fashioned press, collecting the cider, and tasting the sweet results. Hike the trails searching for other fruits and seeds to see how they are dispersed.

Backbone Bonanza
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall and Spring

Compare and contrast vertebrates and invertebrates as students handle a multitude of touchable nature ob-jects and take a hike while categorizing all the animal life found.

Optional Extension: Meet and touch two live animals, an invertebrate and a vertebrate, and examine their physical characteristics up close.

Blazing the Way
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Get a taste of life in the 1700s. Make wooden shingles with real pioneer tools and tint wool with dyes made from native plants, among other activities.

Optional Extension: Become a pioneer and test your survival skills as you build a shelter and try making fire with friction.

Cool Creepy Crawlies
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Spring and Fall

After learning about the physical characteristics of in-sects and their relatives, students capture, study, and release live specimens outdoors, and meet and touch some unusual captive invertebrates.

Optional Extension: Search for signs insects have left behind and evidence of their life cycles on a guided walk.

Fantastic Forest
  • Grades: 1-4
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Explore the wonders of the forest habitat and its inhabit-ants through hands-on activities and a guided walk. Focus on trees, plant life cycles, and the jobs of roots, leaves, bark, branches, and more.

Optional Extension: Take a closer look at the forest floor and its inhabitants with a leaf litter study .

Get Lost
  • Grades: 3-12
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall and Spring

Combine science, math, and history by experimenting with basic map and compass use. Following a series of hands-on activities, teams embark on an orienteering challenge.

Optional Extension: Learn the secrets of navi-gating a trail system by reading trail blazes and orienting a map during a hike.

Great Swamp Ecosystems
  • Grades: 9-College
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Explore a variety of habitats and discover their defining characteristics and species. A special emphasis is placed on current environmental issues in NJ, such as invasive species, erosion, species overpopulation, watershed issues, and human impact. Lesson content can be adapted to fit curriculum needs.

Lenape Life
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Tour a model wigwam, play the games Lenape children played, try making rope from natural fibers, and much more. Explore the culture of the Lenape Indians of New Jersey with an emphasis placed on the importance of the natural world in their daily existence.

Optional Extension: Make and take a traditional Lenape game and join in a communal “round dance” at the wig-wam.

Maple Sugaring
  • Grades: 3-12
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: January – March

Discover the sweet secrets of making maple syrup through indoor and outdoor activities. The lesson focus-es on the history of maple sugaring, identifying and tap-ping a maple tree, and collecting and evaporating sap. Complete the lesson with a tasty syrup taste test.

Optional Extension: Expand the lesson through math: identify and measure trees, take the temperature, calculate how much syrup a bucket of sap will make, and more.

Nature Detectives
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Students search for animal signs, homes, sounds, and other clues left behind by wild residents. Teams of students explore their own study sites looking for evidence of animals, and apply the new skills they have learned.

Optional Extension: Take a guided walk to discover more evidence of animal activity along the trails.

Nature Nuts
  • Grades: PreK-2
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Offered: Year-round

Curious youngsters have fun learning about staying safe in the natural world during this introductory walk. Hands-on activities emphasize respect for the natural world and its creatures.

Optional Extension: Take part in a group scaven-ger hunt to discover hidden natural wonders.

Sense-ational
  • Grades: K-2
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Through hands-on discovery, kids enjoy experiencing nature using their senses while learning how animals and plants use their senses to survive.

Optional Extension: With hands-on activities, explore how butterflies taste with their feet and spiders feel vibrations through their webs.

The World in the Water
  • Grades: 5-12
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Spring, Summer and Fall

Many tiny creatures await discovery in the pond! Students collect specimens for study and learn how macroinvertebrates can be water quality indicators.

Optional Extension: Take a guided tour of a vernal pool and a stream, contrasting them with the pond and investigating human impact on water quality.

Whose Home?
  • Grades: 2-5
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Students compare and contrast forest, meadow, swamp, marsh, and pond habitats through firsthand observation. Fun activities help children understand the characteristics of habitats that all animals, plants, and even humans need to survive.

Optional Extension: Examine the microhabitat under the leaf litter and hunt for signs of human impact.

Pyramid Mountain

Backbone Bonanza
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall and Spring

Compare and contrast vertebrates and invertebrates as students handle a multitude of touchable nature ob-jects and take a hike while categorizing all the animal life found.

Optional Extension: Meet and touch two live animals, an invertebrate and a vertebrate, and examine their physical characteristics up close.

 

Bird-Brained
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

As they hike through different habitats, observing and identifying birds with binoculars, students are introduced to the amazing adaptations, behaviors, and songs of these winged creatures.

Optional Extension: Further explore the physical adaptations or nesting habits of birds through interactive simulation activities.

Cool Creepy Crawlies
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: 5/15 - 10/15

After learning about the physical characteristics of insects and their relatives, students capture, study, and release live specimens outdoors, and meet and touch some unusual captive invertebrates.

Optional Extension: Search for signs insects have left behind and evidence of their life cycles on a guided walk.

Fantastic Forest
  • Grades: 1-4
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Explore the wonders of the forest habitat and its inhabitants through hands-on activities and a guided walk. Focus on trees, plant life cycles, and the jobs of roots, leaves, bark, branches, and more.

Optional Extension: Take a closer look at the forest floor and its inhabitants with a leaf litter study .

Get Lost
  • Grades: 3-12
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Combine science, math, and history by experimenting with basic map and compass use. Following a series of hands-on activities, teams embark on an orienteering challenge.

Optional Extension: Learn the secrets of navi-gating a trail system by reading trail blazes and orienting a map during a hike.

Hiking Through History
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Travel through a billion years of history in just two hours. A guided hike becomes a fascinating journey through the history of the area, from mountain-building events and glaciation, through human settlement up to the present.

Optional Extension: Explore the power of glaciers and how they shape the earth with a simulation activity.

Lenape Life in Winter
  • Grades: 9-College
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Offered in Winter Only

The Lenape Indians depended on the wise use of and respect for the local flora and fauna, especially in the winter. Learn how they prepared for and lived through the harsh winter season with nature's help.

Nature Detectives
  • Grades: 3-6
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Students search for animal signs, homes, sounds, and other clues left behind by wild residents. Teams of students explore their own study sites looking for evidence of animals, and apply the new skills they have learned.

Optional Extension: Take a guided walk to discover more evidence of animal activity along the trails.

Nature Nuts
  • Grades: PreK-2
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Curious youngsters have fun learning about staying safe in the natural world during this introductory walk. Hands-on activities emphasize respect for the natural world and its creatures.

Optional Extension: Take part in a group scaven-ger hunt to discover hidden natural wonders.

Rock On!
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

New Jersey's geologic history is literally etched in stone! During this lesson, students hunt for rocks and minerals along the trail, study glacial formations, and climb ridges made of New Jersey's oldest rocks.

Optional Extension: Choose a ‘pet rock’ to examine and describe in a cooperative learning activity.

Sense-ational
  • Grades: K-2
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Year-round

Through hands-on discovery, kids enjoy experiencing nature using their senses while learning how animals and plants use their senses to survive.

Optional Extension: With hands-on activities, explore how butterflies taste with their feet and spiders feel vibrations through their webs.

Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Plants Around Us
  • Grades: PreK-4
  • Duration: PreK-K: 1 hour; 1-4: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Roots, stems, leaves, and flowers – each of these parts has an important function. This workshop offers a basic introduction to the world of plants. Children discover the interconnectivity between plants and themselves through firsthand investigations of plants. Weather permitting, the class goes outside to explore the arboretum's gardens and see the diversity of plant life. Every child will take home a plant that they planted during the program.

Trees - In Your Own Backyard
  • Grades: PreK-5
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Trees are some of the largest living organisms on earth. Using the living laboratory of the arboretum grounds, students investigate the uses, as well as the diversity of these tremendous plants. They learn the functions and uses of the major parts of a tree and discover the importance of trees to all of us for homes, shelter, food, and more. Depending on the season, children plant an indoor tree to take home or start some trees from seed.

Seeds - Where it All Begins
  • Grades: 1-5
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Most plants begin their lives as tiny seeds. Under the right conditions, they grow to produce roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and finally, more seeds so that the cycle begins again. Children explore questions such as: Are seeds alive? How long can a seed last? How does a seed know when to start growing? Outside, children will gather a collection of seeds. Inside, they plant a variety of seeds to grow at home.

Bulbs - Plant in a Package
  • Grades: 2-5
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: September, October and November

What makes bulbs so special? More than just an early sign of spring, bulbs produce some of the most easily recognizable plants. This workshop introduces students to a bulb's uniqueness in the plant world. Students explore a bulb's special growth cycle and its relationship with the seasons and climate. Outside, children explore how autumn effects changes in plants. Children plant and take home a bulb to "force."

Propagation - No Seed? No Problem
  • Grades: 3-8
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Tips, divisions, runners, and offshoots are just a few of the ways that plants reproduce without seeds. Students examine different methods of propagation and plant several different types of specimens to take home. Outside, students explore how plants reproduce by the vegetative process.

Backpack Field Trip: I <3 Trees
  • Grades: 1-5
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

This self-guided backpack tour gives teachers and chaperones information, activities, and games for use during a class visit to The Frelinghuysen Arboretum. These materials help classes to discover some of New Jersey's most useful and interesting trees. Want to measure a tree without a ruler? Learn how! Wondering what are the most common trees in New Jersey? Discover and see them up close! Each backpack has supplies and activities for up to 30 children. Backpack field trips may be rescheduled due to inclement weather, availability permitting.

Backpack Field Trip: Math in the Garden
  • Grades: 3-5
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Offered: Fall, Winter and Spring

Explore the different gardens of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum with "multiples" of math games and activities. Students see firsthand how numbers work in nature as they explore measuring, estimating, symmetry, graphing, and more. Count the number of leaves on a tree; see patterns in flowers and leaves; and search for triangles everywhere! Each backpack contains materials for 30 children and allows teachers to travel through the gardens making math come to life. This self-guided tour allows for teachers, students, and chaperones to move freely throughout the park and includes follow-up materials to reinforce concepts in the classroom. Backpack field trips may be rescheduled due to inclement weather, availability permitting.



New Jersey Monthly - Jersey Choice 2012

Facilities & Parks | Golf | Calendar | Maps | Reservations | Pathways

E-Newsletters
Facilities & Activities | Mennen Sports Arena | Horticulture Education | Historic Sites

Site design by County of Morris, NJ Office of Public Information
© County of Morris, NJ. All rights reserved.
Website Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy
Feedback, comments or questions.