Schoolyard Programs

1 class – 45 minute program:  $100; $50 each additional class on the same day
1 class – 90 minute program : $150; $75 each additional class on the same day

Visits further then 20 miles from the Cary Institute will be charged .55 a mile to help cover travel costs
Pre and post program material can be provided to the teacher upon request.

Schoolyard Ecosystem Explorations

Grades K-12

At the Cary Institute we believe every place is an ecosystem.  This program allows students to explore and investigate an ecosystem that means a lot to them – their schoolyard!  Cary educators visit your classroom to introduce and set up an inquiry based project that compliments your curriculum, individual schoolyard, and time constraints.  Popular topics include schoolyard ecosystem discovery walks for younger students and investigations of food webs, biodiversity, phenology and microbes for older students.     

Investigating Your Schoolyard Water Cycle

Grades 3-12

When we think about the water cycle, most of us think of a diagram with arrows moving from alpine peaks into the big, blue ocean.  Unless we live in such a place, this idealized diagram does not teach us where our water comes from, or what happens to rain that falls on our neighborhoods.  In this program, the local water cycle goes beyond evaporation and condensation to become local and significant as students participate in mini water investigations in their schoolyard that illustrate the many pathways of water in your local neighborhood.

High School Eco-Talks

Grades 9-12

Make science more accessible by inviting a Cary educator to discuss real-life challenges that are currently being addressed in the field of Ecology.  Our educators will speak on current research  conducted by Cary Institute scientists in the local region.  Choose from one of the following Eco-talk topics: Invasives in the Hudson, The Ecology of Lyme Disease, and Climate Change and the Hudson Valley.  Depending on the topic chosen, students may have the opportunity to Skype with a Cary researcher for a short question and answer session at the end of the program.


Young Environmental Scientist Network (YES-Net)

The YES- Net program offers student and teachers the opportunity to join a community of learners. The program promotes data literacy and teaches basic ecological concepts through a blended structure of field experiences and classroom instruction. During the field experience students participate in authentic data collection while being immersed in our local natural ecosystems. Two pre and two post in-classroom lessons help to extend the field trip experience, providing a deeper understanding of concepts student experience hands-on while out in the field.

Stream Ecology Unit

Grades 6-8
Four, 40 minute classroom lessons; One 3-hr field trip

Help us track macroinvertebrate populations in the Wappinger Creek! An expansion of our Water Life Field Trip, the 5 lesson stream ecology unit consists of two in-classroom pre lessons and two in-classroom post lessons, plus a field trip to the Cary Institute. The lessons focus on life cycles, abiotic and biotic factors, data analysis and phenology. Cary educators teach two of the lessons and support teacher-led instruction for the remaining two. This program gives students and teachers an opportunity to expand their knowledge of some of ecology's "big ideas" as well as gives context to the field trip experience. Unit can be adapted to your local stream, call for more information.

Five lesson unit - 4 classroom lessons taught by Cary Educator, 1 field trip

Up to 30 students: $200
30-60 students: $300
(each additional field trip - $100)
There is a maximum of 60 students per field trip.


Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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