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Education Programs

Published on: 9/24/2018 8:58 AM
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School Field Trip Programs

Connect your class with nature and history in our local County Parks. We offer a variety of curriculum-based field trip programs for grades K-6.

Most field trips last 1-2 hours and can accommodate one class per time slot. Programs are led by interpretive staff and supported by volunteer docents. We are always looking for enthusiastic school program docents. For more information on volunteering, click HERE

Grade​ ​​​​​​Field Trip Program​ ​Location​
K-1 ​Pieces of the Past (Pedazos Del Pasado) ​Bernal Ranch at Santa Teresa County Park
2-3​ ​Cottle Ranch Children Martial Cottle Park 
3-4​ ​Chitactac School Program ​Chitactac Adams Heritage County Park 
4​ ​Mining Museum School Field Trip ​Almaden Quicksilver County​
​5 ​Raptor Route (Ruta De Rapaces) ​Bernal Ranch at Santa Teresa County Park 
6​ ​Our Changing Bay Alviso Marina County Park 

 

Programs for Grades K-3

Pieces of the Past (Pedazos Del Pasado) – early California history and rancho life at Bernal Ranch
Location: Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Grade Level(s): K/1st
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Language: English (English/Español by request)
Program Duration: 2 hours (10am -12pm)
Program Fee: $100 (Half price for schools with 50% or more students qualifying for free and reduced meals)

Overview:
Students will learn about the Bernal Ranch area's past inhabitants, including the Muwekma Ohlone, Chicano ranchers, and Bernal family. Through artifacts and a visit to the historical house students will explore early California life at the ranch. The field trip aligns with California History-Social Science and Common Core English/Language Arts standards for grades K/1.

Click HERE to submit a program request

Cottle Ranch Children – agricultural history and life on a farm
Location: Martial Cottle Park in San Jose
Grade Level(s): 2nd/3rd 
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Program Duration: 1.5 hours (10:00-11:30am)
Program Fee: $100 (Half price for schools with 50% or more students qualifying for free and reduced meals)

 
Overview: This 90-minute, hands‐on program is designed for second and third grades. Students participate in activities the three Cottle Ranch children might have taken part in and compare maps, photographs and current views from the park to see how the valley has changed from the early 1900s until now. Learn more in our Teaching and Activity Guide - Martial Cottle​.

Click HERE to submit a program request



Chitactac School Program – California Indians and natural resources 
Location: Chitactac Adams County Park in Gilroy
Grade Level(s): 3rd/4th 
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 2 hours (10am-12pm)​
Program Fee: $100 (Half price for schools with 50% or more students qualifying for free and reduced meals)

Overview: Students will learn about the local tribal region by exploring ways in which the Amah Mutsun utilized the natural resources along Uvas Creek for thousands of years. Students will explore the park through activity stations focused on wildlife and hunting, native plants and their uses, and life in the Chitactac village community. Learn more in our Teaching and Activity Guide - Chitactac-Adams.

Click HERE to submit a program request



Programs for Grades 4-6

 

Quicksilver Mining Museum School Program – rocks, mining, and the California Gold Rush
Location: New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum in San Jose
Grade Level(s): 4th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 1.5 hours (10:00-11:30am)
Program Fee: $100 (Half price for schools with 50% or more students qualifying for free and reduced meals)

Overview: Students explore the history and science of mercury mining and its importance to the gold rush and local mining communities through a museum tour and hands-on activities indoors and outdoors at the Casa Grande. 

Learn more in our Teaching and Activity Guide for the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum​.

Click HERE to submit a program request 


Raptor Route (Ruta De Rapaces) – Explore the migratory patterns of raptors
Location: Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Grade Level(s): 5th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Language: English (English/Español by request)​
Program Duration: 2 hours (10am–12pm FALL ONLY)
Program Fee: $100 (Half price for schools with 50% or more students qualifying for free and reduced meals)

Overview: On a short hike up into Santa Teresa Park students will participate in counting birds of prey during the peak of raptor migration season. Through inquiry, students will work with their peers to identify obstacles and aids to raptor migration and human immigration. The field trip curriculum aligns with the Next Generation Science standards.

Click HERE to submit a program request

Exploring our Changing Bay – wetlands and climate change at Alviso Slough
LocationAlviso Marina County Park in Alviso
Grade Level(s): 6th and up
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Program Duration: 1-2 hours (times vary due to tides)
Program Fee: FREE ($100 program fee waived due to special funding from the County)

Overview: Students will explore the carbon cycle and our changing climate while traveling through the tidal marsh environment of Alviso Slough aboard Santa Clara County’s new “floating classroom”. This boat-based field trip will support Next Generation Science Standards.

Click HERE to submit a program request 

 



Custom Programs & Tours


Custom Program – At a County Park
Location: Onsite at one of our Santa Clara County Parks
Maximum Number of participants: varies, depending on program
Program Duration: varies, depending on program
Program Fee: $60 per hour per staff

 
Overview: Don’t see what you’re looking for in one of our existing field trip options? Perhaps you want to bring a group to tour the Quicksilver Mining Museum or want to bring your Girl Scouts out on a guided nature-hike? Let us know what you are looking for, and we’ll do our best to accommodate if staff is available. Custom tours are available on a very limited basis. 

Click HERE to submit a program request

 

Custom Program Outside of County Parks

Location: Within Santa Clara County (i.e. schools, senior centers, libraries, etc.)
Maximum Number of participants: varies, depending on program
Program Duration: varies, depending on program
Program Fee: $120 per hour per staff

Overview: Park interpretive staff are occasionally able to come out to your school or community center to provide a custom program about the natural or cultural history of our County Parks. Availability is limited during peak field trip season (fall and spring), but we have more flexibility in winter and summer months.

Click HERE​ to submit a program request


Self-Guided Tours
Individuals and groups may conduct a self-guided park visit during open hours. However, groups of 10 or more are advised to contact the park interpretive staff in advance at education@prk.sccgov.org to find out if their activities may conflict with a previously scheduled group visit or event.



Classroom Kits, Activity Guides, and Online Resources

A limited number of classroom kits are available throughout the year for a variety of topics. To reserve your teaching kit, contact education@prk.sccgov.org. Kits are available for up to two weeks at a time.

Activity Guides are designed to support learning, before, during, and after park field trip programs. Teachers can access the most recent versions of activity guides at the links below:​

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