School Programs

Preschool

Timeframe: 1.5hours

There are a lot of different ways plants and animals “grow-up” in the wild. Get hands-on with the plants and animals in Leight Park and learn just how they grow over time.

These cold blooded creatures live interesting lives! Spend time with a naturalist learning about what makes them special. Then, get up close and personal with a few of our reptile animal ambassadors.

Through stories, crafts, and activities, learn all about our scaly, slippery, water-bound friends of Otter Point Creek. Spend time getting up close and personal with a few caught right off the shore and see what makes them so unique.

Elementary School

Timeframe: 2.5 hours

From the fish that swim in the underwater grasses, to the osprey that soar in the sky, the largest estuary in the U.S. has a lot to teach us! Discover how living and nonliving pieces of the estuary ecosystem fit together through activities like fish seining, live animal talk, watershed hike or pond exploration.

Middle and High School

Timeframe: 2.5 hours

From the fish that swim in the underwater grasses, to the osprey that soar in the sky, the largest estuary in the U.S. has a lot to teach us! Discover how living and nonliving pieces of the estuary ecosystem fit together through activities like fish seining, live animal talk, watershed hike or pond exploration.

Homeschool

Timeframe: 1.5 hours

From the fish that swim in the underwater grasses, to the osprey that soar in the sky, the largest estuary in the U.S. has a lot to teach us! Discover how living and nonliving pieces of the estuary ecosystem fit together through activities like fish seining, live animal talk, watershed hike or pond exploration.

Determine what makes a fish unique, explore their adaptations, and then sample for fish in Otter Point Creek. 

Meet the herps of Otter Point Creek. Learn how to classify them, where they fit in the food chain, how they are adapted to their environment, and how we study them to determine population level and health. Age 5 to 10 focus is on hands-on Discovery Room activities and adaptations. Age 11 to 17 will conduct guided investigations of Center herps and then participate in ongoing herp research projects.

An excellent introduction to the external and internal structures of aquatic animals in the Estuary. Each lab includes information about the life history of the organism and its role in the Estuary ecosystem.

  • Dissection labs are available at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center
  • Price for each Lab Session: Up to 6 students=$100; Up to 10 students=$140
  • For high school students ages 14+; for younger students, speak with instructor
  • Allow a 2-hour period 
  • 2 Chaperones requested per group 

*During the Covid pandemic, only registered participants and 2 chaperones may attend the lab session (family members are welcome to explore the exhibits upstairs or hike the trails during lab time). Each student and chaperone will follow Covid protocol: masks and social distancing will be observed. Student dissection stations will be spaced apart, but personal space may be reduced during individual instruction.

3 Lab Sessions are offered: 

Session 1: Bivalves – Mussels, Clams, Oysters. Includes an in-class experiment. 

Session 2: Crustaceans – Blue Crabs, crayfish.  

Session 3: Fin Fish – White Perch or Yellow Perch, depending on availability. 

*Other sessions available upon request; price may vary from quote above.

General Program Details:

  • Each student must have a liability waiver signed by the legal guardian before participation. It can be filled out at the Center on the day of the program or requested and filled out in advance. This is only necessary at the time of the first class.
  • A list of the students who attend and the names of the chaperones who will pick up each student after class is required. Chaperones will show ID to sign student out.

At the Estuary Center, we strive to provide hands-on experiences that will help our visitors understand and connect with the natural world. Even during uncertain times, we are working hard to deliver safe programs, field trips, and outreach opportunities for our community.