WES K-8th Field Labs

Meet your science goals this year at Whiskeytown Environmental School as field instructors facilitate learning during this 3-hour field trip. Our curriculum is experiential (the kids WILL get wet!) and based on the California Science Standards. Offered Fall and Spring only.

Field trips start at 9:30. The end time is determined by school and bus needs, usually 12:30. Each field trip has three hands-on learning stations, including one in the water. The campus closes at 1:00. 

Registration is through the calendar at the very bottom. 

See the list of programs by grade level below and essential information for field trips below that.
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NGSS-Based Curriculum Topics:

All field trips include a visit to Clear Creek.

Kindergarten – Patterns of Survival: Students capture aquatic organisms and observe terrestrial forest organisms. Students find patterns that allow organisms to survive such as food, light, and water. (K-LS-1). We do not allow TK students for safety reasons. We consider kindergarten students safe ONLY IF the school provides one engaged chaperone for every 5 students. We used to use the pond, but now we rarely have water in the pond. The creek is more hazardous for young children.

First Grade – Evidence of Heredity: Students compare adult and immature organisms they capture in a creek ecosystem and try to match baby and mature plants in the forest. 

Second Grade – Habitat Diversity and Seed Engineering: Students compare the diversity of habitats and how plant reproduction plays a vital role by modeling seed dispersal through an engineering activity. 

Third Grade – Modeling Life Cycles and Evidence of Inheritance: Students discover similar and different life cycles in the stream and on land. They analyze and interpret data to discover variations within plant and animal populations.

Fourth Grade – The Gold Rush, Weathering, and Dam Engineering: Students examine the ecological footprint of historical gold mining including providing evidence of erosion and constructing models of dams.

Fifth Grade – Fire Ecology and “Trees Matter”: Students discover how trees use matter to grow, how fires model the interaction among atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere, and have a review of adaptations in creek organisms.

Sixth Grade - Adaptive Behaviors & Structures and Watersheds: Students explore the specific behaviors and physical adaptations of creek organisms and then look at the ecological role (niche) of terrestrial organisms. The watershed engineering lesson applies context.

Seventh and Eighth Grades - Ecosystems, Nutrient Cycles, and Engineering: Students explore the connections of creek organisms to nearby terrestrial areas and then look at the elements and processes of decomposition, culminating in designing a composting system that could be used at home. 
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  • Clothes: Students will get wet.  Please wear an old pair of sneakers or water shoes to protect feet. NO bare feet, sandals, flip flops or open-toed shoes, even in the water.  
  • Cost is $10 per student (minimum of 15), starting in June 2023, to be paid by school check at time of field trip or we can invoice your district. Teachers and chaperones in attendance are free.
  • The field trip minimum is 15 students, maximum is 60 students. If you have less than 15 students you will need to register for 15. If you have more than 60 students you will need split up your group and register for two different days.
  • Chaperones supervise and make sure the students stay safe: K-2nd: One adult for every five students. 3rd-6th: One adult for every ten students.
  • Students are placed in groups of 17 when possible. Many factors affect the group size such as age of students and staff availability. Expect an email from us just prior to your trip. 
  • Cancellation/changes MUST be made no less than one week prior to the event or the full amount of reservation is due. This does not include rainy days.
  • Directions to Whiskeytown Environmental School:  Take Hwy. 299 west to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Turn left at the visitor center.  Take that road 2 miles, turn left onto Paige Bar Road (Do not go to the right, over the dam).  Continue for another 2 miles following the signs to N.E.E.D. Camp.

Effective August 1, 2023 the registration page will have a new look. If you have any registration issues please email us the details at wes@shastacoe.org.

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