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Education Programs

Published on: 9/28/2021 7:17 PM
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School Field Trip Programs  


We are excited to be offering school programs again, and hope to be meeting your class soon. Please note that some county staff may be reassigned to help with the pandemic response, and we may need to change program availability if we no longer have adequate staff.

Connect your class with nature and history in our local County Parks or Online. We offer a variety of curriculum-based field trip programs for grades K-6+. New in Fall 2021: We offer virtual field trip programs for all grades, too!

Most in-person 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.

Virtual school programs last 30 minutes to 1 hour. Programs are led by interpretive staff.
 
Grade​ ​​​​​​Field Trip Program​ ​Location​
K-1 ​Pieces of the Past ​Bernal Ranch at Santa Teresa
2-3​ ​Cottle Ranch Children Martial Cottle Park 
3-4​ ​Chitactac School Program ​Chitactac Adams
4​ ​Mining Museum School Field Trip ​Almaden Quicksilver​
6​+ ​Exploring Our Changing Bay​ Alviso Marina
 

 

Virtual Programs

K-1​ Pieces of the Past Virtual Program​
2-3​ ​Cottle Ranch Children Virtual Program
3-4​ ​Keeping Traditions Alive: Life in the Chitactac Village
​4 ​Quicksilver Mining Museum Virtual School Program
6+​ ​Realizing Hope in Alviso’s Wetlands
 

Programs for Grades K-3 


Pieces of the Past early California history and rancho life

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: FREE

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 HE​RE to submit a program request 


Pieces of the Past Virtual School Programearly California history and rancho life
Location: Virtual
Grade Level(s): K/1st
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Program Duration: 30-45 minutes
Program Fee: FREE

Overview: During this 45-minute interactive virtual program, kindergarten and first grade students have the opportunity to see how different groups of people living in California used different resources to acquire food, water, and shelter. This field trip is designed to help students understand how people in the Santa Clara Valley once lived and compare those lifestyles to our habits today. The program length can be adjusted down to 30 minutes to accommodate the needs of your particular class.. 

Click HERE to submit a virtual program request


Cottle Ranch Childrenagricultural history and changing land use
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: FREE

Overview: This 90-minute, hands‐on program is designed for second and third grades. Students participate in activities that three Cottle Ranch children might have taken part in, and compare photographs and current views from the park to see how the Santa Clara Valley has changed from the early 1900s until now.​ The program aligns with California History-Social Science  standards for grades 2/3.

Click HERE to submit a program request


Cottle Ranch Children Virtual Program – agricultural history and changing land use
Location: Virtual
Grade Level(s): 2nd/3rd
Maximum Number of Students: 60
Program Duration: 45 min - 1 hour
Program Fee: FREE 

Overview: During this 45-minute to one-hour interactive virtual program, second and third grade students will learn about how a child's life on Cottle Ranch in the past compares to their lives now. The program is presented from Martial Cottle Park, including one of the historic buildings. The program was designed in consultation with teachers to support second and third grade history/social science standards. Time can be adjusted between 45 minutes and one hour to accommodate the needs of your particular class.

Click HERE to submit a virtual program request


Living in Balance – Life in the Chitactac Community Village
School ProgramCalifornia Indians and natural resources
Location: Chitactac-Adams Heritage Santa Clara County Park in Gilroy, CA
Grade Level(s): 3rd/4th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 2 hours (10am-12pm)
Program Fee: FREE

Overview:  Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park is a special place to discover the traditions of the native people who resided along the Uvas Creek for thousands of years. Students will explore the plants, wildlife, and life of what was the Chitactac community village through activity stations. The site is a wealth of cultural artifacts including bedrock mortars and petroglyphs found throughout the grounds. A visit to the park will explain how the native people lived and respectfully managed the land and its importance to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s life today. We encourage you to review the Chitactac Teaching and Activity Guide and visit the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band website to familiarize your class with the local tribal region.

Click HERE to submit a program request

 

Keeping Traditions Alive: Life in the Chitactac Village
Virtual School ProgramCalifornia Indians and natural resources
Location: Virtual
Grade Level(s): 3rd/4th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 30-45 minutes
Program Fee: FREE 

Overview:  During the “Chitactac Virtual” school program, students will discover traditions of the native people who resided along the Uvas Creek for thousands of years. Students will explore photos, replica tools and a video as evidence of habitation during their 30-45 minute virtual field trip. The program will explain how the native people lived and respectfully managed the land and its importance to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s life today.  We encourage you to review the Chitactac Teaching and Activity Guide and visit the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band​ website to familiarize your class with the local tribal region.

Click HERE to submit a virtual program request


Programs for Grades 4-6 

Quicksilver Mining Museum School Program – mercury mining and California Gold Rush
Location: New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum in San Jose
Grade Level(s): 3rd/4th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 2 hours (10:00am-12:00pm)
Program Fee: FREE

Overview: Students explore the history of mercury mining, its importance to the gold rush, and the power of community to achieve a goal through a brief museum tour and hands-on activities indoors at the Casa Grande.  

We hope to restart this program in Spring 2022. Please check back in winter for more information and a sign-up link.


Virtual Quicksilver Mining Mus​eum School Programmercury mining and California Gold Rush
Location: Virtual
Grade Level(s): 3rd/4th
Maximum Number of Students: 35
Program Duration: 1 hour (10-11am or 1-2pm)
Program Fee: FREE

Overview: Students will join a Park Interpreter to explore the history of mercury mining, its importance to the gold rush, and the power of community to achieve a goal. Students will engage in a virtual tour of the museum, exploration of key community members, and a PowerPoint presentation featuring maps and historic photos. 

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

Click HERE to submit a virtual program request 


Exploring our Changing Baywetlands and climate change at Alviso Slough

Location: Alviso Marina County Park in Alviso
Grade Level(s): 6th and up
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Program Duration: 1.5 hours (times slots vary due to tides)
Program Fee: FREE 

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 supports Next Generation Science Standards. 

Click HERE to submit a program request 

  

Realizing Hope in Alviso’s Wetlands Virtual School Programwetlands and climate change at Alviso Slough
Location:Virtual
Grade Level(s): 6th and up
Maximum Number of Students: 40
Program Duration: 1 hour
Program Fee: FREE

Overview: During this 60-minute interactive virtual program, middle school students will learn how south San Francisco Bay wetlands protect our community from the effects of a changing climate. They will observe the Bay's wildlife and plants through a pre-recorded boat ride on Alviso Slough, reflect on and discuss their own connections to nature, and learn the basic mechanism of climate change.

Click HERE to submit a virtual 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 limited basis. 

Click HERE to submit a program request 

  

Custom ProgramOutside 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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