5th-6th Grade Science School

Whiskeytown Environmental School has put its residential 5th-6th program on "pause" due to not having a site that is currently safe for students.

We now offer a replacement program composed of all-day field trips.  Days are offered in the fall and spring.  Schools may choose the number and types of trips.

Meet your science goals this year as our field instructors guide students during this full or half day field trip.  All field trips include immersion activities that allow the students to explore and enjoy nature as well as science lessons that meet state science (NGSS) standards.  We strongly suggest whole-day programs but also offer half-day programs.  Our standard starting time is 9:30 a.m. but we have flexible start and end times.  Anything over 3 hours is a whole-day program.

  • Cost per student is $20/day or $15/half-day. Teacher and chaperones are free.
  • Payment is due on the date of the field trip.  We accept school Checks or purchase orders.  We do not accept cash.
  • The minimum number of students is 15.  If you have less than 15 you will need to pay for 15 or join another school group. 
  • Maximum number of students is 60.  
  • We require a 10:1 ratio of students to chaperones

Locations
(during registration you will pick one)
Anderson River Park
Battle Creek Wildlife Area
Clover Creek Preserve (hot in the late spring)
Lassen NP - Manzanita Lake (fall only)
Lassen NP - South Entrance (fall only)
Sacramento River Bend Area (hot in the late spring)
Spattercone Trail, North of Lassen NP (fall only)
Whiskeytown NRA, Mine Loop

Lessons
(during registration you will pick based on location)
Adaptations
Decomposition
Energy Flow
Erosion/Weathering
Fire Ecology
Slope Aspect
Trees Matter
Volcanic Landscapes

Location and Lesson Details

Lesson Descriptions

Trees Matter: What is a tree or plant composed of? “Wood.” Yes, but what did the plant use to make its wood? This is the essential question students investigate through observations, simple experiments, and critical thinking as they explore the trees and plants of the area. They experience the iterative process of developing a model based on evidence and reasoning to meet standard 5-LS1-1.

 

Energy Flow: Students explore the native plants and animals, using evidence to consider where each living thing gets its energy. They construct food chains and food webs, engaging in discourse in the process. The culminating activity is an active game using water as a model for energy, to understand the flow of energy through a system and the apparent loss of energy between trophic levels. 5-PS3-1

 

Erosion and Weathering: Rocks don’t change much, right? It depends on your point of view! In this lesson students seek out the processes of erosion and weathering in the field. They experiment with the interactions of the geosphere and hydrosphere as they experiment with erosion and weathering, developing an understanding of these complex processes. 5-ESS2-1

 

Slope Aspect: The phenomenon is an obvious difference in vegetation on two sides of the same valley. Why does this occur? What is the evidence to support it? Students compare the two sides, observing differences in biotic and abiotic factors. They take scientific measurements and make targeted observations as they construct an explanation to explain what they have observed. 5-ESS2-1

 

Adaptations: Students are fascinated by the unusual traits they observe in plants and animals, often asking why these things occur. This lesson has them examining the structure and function of the available species on the day of their field trip. They identify the value of the structures and behaviors. They also play fun adaptation games that exemplify these concepts. MS-LS1-4

 

Volcanic Landscapes: Volcanic activity created many unique landscapes and rocks in Shasta County. The students are often puzzled by these phenomena. This lesson hinges on this curiosity so they can explore how volcanoes have changed the landscape in the past and could change it in the future. MS-ESS2-2

 

Decomposition: The idea that plants, animals, and their products rot into the soil is well-known, but in this lesson students discover that the processes are less obvious. Through explorations of available field materials, students investigate this process. What is causing this process? Are certain organisms necessary for the breakdown of logs? They use “suspect cards” to identify the key culprits and connect their learning to other ecological concepts. 5-LS2-1


Fire Ecology: The Carr Fire for many Shasta County residents was a terrifying event that for some had lasting consequences. Our staff approaches this topic gently, leading the students toward the changes in the landscape. Why do some areas recover faster and in different ways than others? What is the evidence of recover? What are logical predictions for the future of this area?  5-ESS2-1 MS-LS1-4

Location Details and Directions

 

Whiskeytown NRA, Mine Loop

Exact location: Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive towards Whiskeytown Dam. Just before the dam the left fork which becomes Paige Bar Road. The trailhead and parking lot are about one mile farther on the left in a large parking lot.

Hiking distance: Up to 4 miles.

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Valley.

Natural highlights: An interesting trail through an area with mixed impact from the Carr Fire. Travels through mixed oak and pine woodland along a creek at times and potentially up a hill with a view. 

 

Spattercone Trail, north of Lassen NP (Open most of the fall, maybe late May)

Exact location: Take Hwy 44 for 59 miles from Redding. You will go past the entrance to Lassen National Park. It’s on the right approximately 1.5 miles south of Hwy 89/44 junction in Old Station.

Hiking distance: 1.7 mile loop

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Mountains (4500’)

Natural highlights: A fascinating trail through the origin of the Hat Creek Lava Flow.  See spatter cones, craters, and a beautiful view of the Hat Creek Valley. Mostly sunny with a few small trees. 

 

Clover Creek Preserve 

Exact location: Clover Creek Preserve is off Shasta View Drive (across from Venus Way) in Redding.

Hiking distance: 2+ miles

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Valley floor.

Natural highlights: Exposed trails wind through natural grass, blue oak, and valley oak along the edges of ponds that attract wildlife. 

 

Anderson River Park 

Exact location: From Stingy Lane in Anderson, take Rupert Road and turn left into KC Grove.

Hiking distance: 1.5 to 4 miles.

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Valley floor.

Natural highlights: This flat trail offers many possible options through forests and fields, along several ponds and the Sacramento River. 

 

Lassen NP - Manzanita Lake (Open fall only)

Exact location: From Redding travel 47 miles east on Hwy 44 to the entrance to Lassen National Park. Go 1.1 miles to the large parking lot for the Loomis Museum. 

Hiking distance: 2 - 4 miles.

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Mountains (5,800’).

Natural highlights: Trail options include hiking around the edge of beautiful Manzanita Lake and/or Reflection Lake and Lily Pond. Mostly forested. 

 

Lassen NP - South Entrance (Open fall only)

Exact location: From Red Bluff take Hwy. 36 east about 45 miles to Hwy 89. Turn left on Hwy. 89, which ends at the parking lot for Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

Hiking distance: Varies. 1 - 4 miles. 

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Mountains (6,700’).

Natural highlights: The area offers access to a small thermal area and trails along Mill Creek or, for the adventurous, Ridge Lakes, through a mix of forest and meadow. 

 

Battle Creek Wildlife Area

Exact location: The school meets in the Coleman Fish Hatchery parking lot. From I-5 in Anderson, take exit 667 for Factory Outlets Drive/Deschutes and travel 2 miles east on Deschutes Road. Turn right onto Balls Ferry Road. In 3 miles turn left on Ash Creek Road. After 1.2 miles and turn right onto Gover Road.

Stay on Gover Road for 1.5 miles and turn left onto Coleman Fish Hatchery Road. Find CFH in 2 miles, on the right.

Hiking distance: 2 miles one-way or 4 miles RT. 

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Valley floor.

Natural highlights: The trail alternates between meadow, grassland, and forest with some views of the creek. 

 

Sacramento River Bend Area

Exact location: From I-5, just north of Red Bluff, CA, take the Jelly's Ferry exit and head east. Turn right on Bend Ferry Road and follow the road to the recreation sites and trailheads. We meet at the first large parking lot on your left (Bass Pond). 

Hiking distance: Varies. This is a huge area with miles of options.

Elevation (consider snow in winter and heat in fall/spring): Valley floor.

Natural highlights: Streams, ponds, volcanic fields, and meadows. This area is large enough for several days of experiences and lessons.

Registration starts with the calendar below.  Once you choose a date you will be asked to make four more choices.

  1. Choose half (3 hours or less) or full (more than 3 hours) day
  2. Pick a beginning and ending time for your field trip
  3. Choose a site (Note that not all lessons are available at all sites)
  4. Choose one of our NGSS field lessons
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sun, Oct 27
Mon, Oct 28
Field Lab - October 28, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Tue, Oct 29
Field Lab - October 29, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Wed, Oct 30
Battle Creek Wildlife Area - Adaptations ONLY - 15 spots left
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Thu, Oct 31
Fri, Nov 1
Clover Creek Preserve - Adaptations - ONLY - 45 spots left
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Sat, Nov 2
Sun, Nov 3
Mon, Nov 4
Field Lab - November 4, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Tue, Nov 5
Field Lab - November 5, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Wed, Nov 6
Thu, Nov 7
Field Lab - November 7, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Fri, Nov 8
Sat, Nov 9
Sun, Nov 10
Mon, Nov 11
Tue, Nov 12
Field Lab - November 12, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Wed, Nov 13
Field Lab - November 13, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Thu, Nov 14
Field Lab - November 14, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Fri, Nov 15
Field Lab - November 15, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Sat, Nov 16
Sun, Nov 17
Mon, Nov 18
Subscribe to Alerts Field Lab - November 18, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Tue, Nov 19
Subscribe to Alerts Field Lab - November 19, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Wed, Nov 20
Thu, Nov 21
Subscribe to Alerts Field Lab - November 21, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Fri, Nov 22
Subscribe to Alerts Field Lab - November 22, 2019
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Whiskeytown Environmental School
Sat, Nov 23
Sun, Nov 24
Mon, Nov 25
Tue, Nov 26
Wed, Nov 27
Thu, Nov 28
Fri, Nov 29
Sat, Nov 30