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Virtual Education Sessions
Virtual Education Sessions
If you can't come to us, we can come to you ... online! Our education staff is excited to bring nature and science to you virtually! These 45-minute virtual lessons cover a multitude of science themes connected to NGSS and STEM.
View available options below for both school year programs (available Oct. 1 - June 15) and summer day camp programs (available June 16 - Aug. 30).
Virtual live school year programs
Virtual live summer programs
Virtual recorded summer programs
Choose from our list of virtual school program offerings to help keep your students engaged with Michigan's natural resources and the outdoors this school year. Current offerings include programs for grades pre-K through 12. The experience will be live with one of our educators, and will be approximately 45 minutes in length.
Programs are NGSS-aligned, and additional pre- and post-lesson resources will be included. Each program session of no more than 40 students costs $40, paid in advance by check or charge (preferred). An educator will contact the teacher to discuss delivery details for the virtual experience prior to confirmation.
Animal ABC's (pre-K)
Practice letters and spelling virtually with Michigan wildlife! Learn about Michigan species and the differences between mammals, birds and reptiles through stories, rhymes and virtual exploration of their characteristics featuring a few of the OAC's live animals. We'll also discuss differences between wild and domestic animals.
Wild in Michigan (grades K-2)
All animals have the same basic survival needs - food, water, shelter and space - the components that make up a habitat. In this virtual program we'll take a closer look at several Michigan wildlife species, from mammals to birds to reptiles, and compare and contrast some of their specific habitat needs.
Trappers and Traders (grades 3-5)
Detroit was founded in 1701 as a fur-trading post in the wilderness. Join us for a virtual exploration the abundant natural resources and the lives of both Native Americans and settlers during that time, featuring footage of some historical locations and land features that we can observe in the area today.
Great Lakes Invaders (grades 3-5)
What does it mean to be invasive? How are invasive species in the Great Lakes different from our native species? We'll answer these questions and more while we introduce several of our Great Lakes invaders in our virtual program. We will also have the chance to meet one of our most destructive invaders - the sea lamprey.
Migration Science - Featuring Southeast Michigan Osprey (grades 6-8)
Bird migration is an absolutely incredible feat, but to make the journey, migratory birds still require the basic needs - food, water, shelter, and space - as they migrate. How do birds know where to fly? How do they know where to stop for food and rest? How have humans impacted bird migration over the last several decades? We'll answer these questions and more in our virtual program, as we take a closer look at one local migratory species - the osprey. We'll track the migratory journeys of actual osprey, and see how local biologists have used technology to track their migration.
White-tailed Deer - Coming to a Neighborhood Near You! (grades 9-12)
Have you been seeing more of Michigan's state mammal in your community? You're not alone! Numbers of white-tailed deer have gone up significantly in recent years - especially in our cities and suburbs. Join us to take a look at the reasons behind this increase, its ecological impact and the unique challenges this mammal has created for citizens, municipalities and wildlife managers in Michigan's urban areas.
The following two programs will be delivered in a live format with an educator who will teach the content of the program as well as lead the corresponding activities. Activity kits will be mailed. Programs will need to be confirmed at least two weeks in advance in order to receive mailed materials in time. These programs can accommodate groups of up to 40 participants, and the cost will be $40 per class for live programs and $2 per student for materials.
Teeth, beaks and feet, oh my! Join us for a virtual up-close exploration of the tools and adaptations of some of Michigan's bird and mammal species. Whether the animal is a predator, a plant eater or something in between, each is equipped with the unique tools it needs to survive. We'll compare and contrast some of these tools through a live presentation using a variety of real and replica materials, and we'll end with a guided owl pellet dissection, where participants become the scientist testing a hypothesis about what an owl typically eats. Prepackaged kits for the exploration will be sent to program leaders in advance of the program. For ages 8 and up.
Birds are all around us in our yards and neighborhoods - have you ever stopped to watch them or listen to them? Watched how they get food or how they interact with each other? We'll introduce you to a few common bird species and how you can identify them, then send you on your way to make your own observations of what you saw or heard! Prepackaged kits for the exploration will be sent to program leaders in advance of the program. For ages 5 and up.
The following two programs will consist of prerecorded instructional video and accompanying kits of materials. Activity kits will be mailed. Programs will need to be confirmed at least two weeks in advance in order to receive mailed materials in time. These programs can accommodate a large age range, and can be offered at flexible times as the recording will be available to watch at your convenience. These programs are $25 per class for prerecorded program and $2 per student for materials.
A great program for those hoping to learn more about fish identification and why knowing how to properly ID a fish is important. This program will introduce the parts of a fish and the basics of fish identification. A prerecorded video will introduce the program, provide an overview of the Great Lakes and why fish ID is important, and introduce the program activity. Activities for younger audiences will include a color and shape activity and a craft, and activities for older participants will include DIY "pin the parts on the fish" along with a dichotomous key activity. For ages 5 and up.
Nature Exploration Toolkit
Calling all explorers! Whether it's finding colors and shapes in nature, identifying the trees and insects around you or independently building a nature journal, there are many ways to explore and enjoy nature. A prerecorded video will introduce participants to the concepts behind nature exploration, and will also give guidance and instruction on how to use the tools and activities provided. Activities for younger audiences will include a color and shape scavenger hunt and investigation circles, and activities for older participants will include tree/leaf identification and nature journaling. For ages 5 and up.