Homeschool Naturalists

The Homeschool Naturalist program is offered as a series of eight different two-hour long visits to the Ogden Nature Center. These programs will be offered once monthly from September to May (no program in December) on the last Wednesday of each month.

Registration

Pre-registration and payment is required at the time of registration. Space is limited. Please call 801-621-7595 to register for the Homeschool Naturalist program.

Cost and Payment   

The fee for the Ogden Nature Center Homeschool Naturalist program is $95 for non-members and $80 for members per child per school year. A 15% discount will be given to families who enroll more than one child in the program

Student Age   

Students aged 6-12 may register for the program.  

Siblings 

Children who are not registered for the program should not be brought to class, including all siblings. Please make arrangements for other children on the dates of your visits. 

Parents

You are welcome to attend any and all visits with your children and act as a chaperone. If you choose to attend, we would like to stress the importance of your active participation. Please be willing to help with all children, not just your own. We also ask that you turn off all cell phones and other distractions for the duration of the visit. 

Weather

Our programs will be held even if weather is inclement. Please be sure your child is adequately prepared for weather conditions including rain, snow, sun, cold, and heat. 

West Nile Virus 

West Nile Virus has been reported in the Ogden Area this year. As your child will be outdoors for a large portion of the visit, we recommend that you protect him/her with insect repellent containing DEET. The chance of contracting the disease or of displaying any symptoms is fairly low, but it's always best to take precautions.  

Program Times  

All programs will begin at 12:30 p.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. Please be punctual, as your child may miss some vital information at the start if they are late, and may also cause a distraction for those who are on time. If you will not be attending a visit, be sure to pick your child up on time as well. Teachers often have other assignments right after your program and are not available to supervise children waiting for rides.

Expected Behavior

Please prepare your child by helping him or her to understand appropriate group learning behavior. Raising hands before shouting out questions or ideas, taking turns, staying with the group, and being respectful to class-mates and teachers will be essential for a productive learning experience.  Students may also be asked to stand in lines.

Homeschool Naturalists Schedule 2017-2018 

The scientific method is a systematic procedure that scientists of all fields use to generate questions, make observations, form conclusions, and share findings. This year, our Homeschool community will delve deeper into the method, learning how to be better observers and critical thinkers, and collaborate on short- and long-term monitoring projects at the Ogden Nature Center.  

 

September 26: What is the Scientific Method?

During our first session of the year, we will set our learning goals for the year, familiarize ourselves with the scientific method by completing cause-and-effect experiments, practice using scientific language, and get to know each other more through solving collaborative team building games.

October 31: Water Ecosystems and Migrating Dragonflies

“Ecosystems” – how living and nonliving elements are interconnected. We’ll take a deeper look at the water ecosystems of the Ogden Nature Center and how they reflect the water health of Utah, via chemical water testing and qualitative data collection. Did you know that many species of dragonflies migrate north in the spring and south in the fall? By visiting the same waterways on a regular basis (fall, winter, and spring), we’ll help researchers track the migration patterns of these important insects.

November 28: Project FeederWatch

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders in backyards and nature centers throughout North America. The data collected from everyday citizens is used by ornithologists (bird researchers) to track long-term trends in bird distribution, abundance and movement, and results from these citizen science efforts are published in scientific journals. Homeschool Naturalists will help build and install feeders at the nature center that we will monitor through April.

January 30: The Science of Snow and Ice

We will continue our long-term water-quality monitoring project with a focus on potential winter differences between still water, flowing water, rain, and melted snow. If weather dictates, this may mean snowshoe hikes to monitoring sites and drilling through ice to collect samples!

 

February 27: Birds of a Feather

As we continue monitoring our feeders and studying migration patterns, this month our Homeschool Naturalists will look more closely at survival adaptations unique to birds – and we’ll make plaster casts of bird foot prints!

March 27: We are Citizen Scientists!

Guests from the Natural History Museum of Utah will be coaching us through the ins and outs of iNaturalist, a key technology tool in reporting our citizen science data. Our Homeschool Naturalist will be the resident “experts” at the Ogden Nature Center’s spring BioBlitz event!

April 24: The Spring Check-In

Have dissolved oxygen levels in the waterways changed now that it’s spring? What about nitrogen levels, and the water temperature? Are dragonfly nymphs appearing in the ponds yet? Are there new birds arriving at our feeders? We have lots of data to collect and observations to make in the spring on our various long-term monitoring projects!

May 29: Putting It All Together

Our Homeschool community has now collected a significant amount of data throughout the school year! We will now be able to graph data, make conclusions, practice writing reports, and brainstorm individual continuation projects for the summer and beyond.