School Programs

School Programs

New Hampshire Audubon educational programs cover a diverse range of topics and are adapted to engage learners of all ages. Lessons are place-based, inquiry-driven, and student-centered. We will travel and facilitate programming at your location, or you may bring your students to one of our Centers for a fantastic field trip (McLane Center in Concord, Massabesic Center in Auburn, or Newfound Center in Hebron–summer only). All supplies needed for the program are included in the cost. 

Standard rate for a one-hour program is $150 + mileage. Live animal ambassadors are available for most programs for an additional $75.  

Limit 25 students per class. Inquire about availability for larger groups or multiple classes.  

All programs must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance. Invoices are due one week prior to the program. Once invoices are generated, cancellation fees of $100 per program may apply. 

Educational Programs

Birds All Around Us: What Makes A Bird A Bird (Beginner Birding)

Discover what makes a bird a bird in this beginner birding class. Learn the basics of bird identification, the wide diversity of birds you might see in New Hampshire, and some tools of the trade to help you name the birds around you.

NGSS: K-2-LS1-1, K-2-LS2-1, K-2-LS3-1, K-2-LS4-1, 3-5-LS1-2, 3-5-LS4-2, MS-LS3-1, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2

Avian Adventures (Advanced Birding)

Already a birder? Soar into a higher level of knowledge about birds! From Clever Corvids to the Sounds of Songs, let us know what topics you are interested in. Contact our educators for current availability in advanced topics. Consider booking advanced birding programs as a Series. We will work with you to design multiple programs in detail under this exciting program topic.

NGSS: K-3-LS1-1, K-3-LS2-1, K-3-LS3-1, K->3-LS4-1, 3-5-LS4-2, MS-LS3-1, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2

Raptor Rapture

Get up-close and personal with NH’s birds of prey and meet a live animal ambassador! Look into an owl’s eyes, check out the talons of a Red-tailed Hawk, and discover the biology behind what makes raptors such efficient hunters.

NGSS: 3-4-LS1-2, K-3-LS3-1, 2-LS4-1, 3-5-LS4-2, 3-5-PS3-2, MS-LS3-2, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2-3

Scales, Scutes and Skins

Get hands-on with the “Herps,” animals otherwise known as reptiles and amphibians. We’ll discuss turtle shells, snake skins, and other neat artifacts. Compare and contrast these two cool groups and find out which species call NH home. We’ll have live animal ambassadors with us to demonstrate the unique features of these amazing creatures.

NGSS: K-3-LS1-1, K-3-LS2-1, K-3-LS3-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, MS-LS1-1, MS-LS3-2, MS-LS4-2-3

Nocturnal Wonders

Did you know that porcupines and skunks are nocturnal? Explore the adaptations of many animals of the night. From well-known owls and bats to brightly colored moths and salamanders, this program focuses on all things nocturnal found here in the Granite State.

Consider booking this program as a series of hikes and lectures, with topics including different wildlife groups, migration, camouflage, light pollution, tidal patterns, astronomy, and more!

NGSS: K-2-LS1-1, K-2-LS2-1, K-2-LS3-1, 2-LS4-1, 3-5-LS1-2, 3-5-LS3-1, 3-5-LS4-2, MS-LS3-1, MS-LS4-2

Incredible Invertebrates

What’s the big deal about backbones? Investigate the smorgasbord of animals that live without spines. Insects, crustaceans, and worms are some of the animals we might discover while we talk about the diversity and importance of these critters.

NGSS: K-ESS3-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-1, 4-LS1-1

Moose to Mice

Share in our mammal mania! Touch a moose antler, compare different animal skulls, feel soft furs, and maybe even meet a mouse. We’ll discuss a variety of characteristics that make up the mammals and discuss in further detail some of the fabulous mammalian species that call New Hampshire home.

NGSS: K-LS1-1, K-2-LS1-2, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 4-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, 5-PS3-1

NH Wildlife

This program delves into a wide variety of wildlife, including plants and animals, plus their interactions and habitats. It’s a little bit of everything for everyone, with a focus on things you might see in both the wilds and the backyards of New Hampshire.

NGSS: K-2-LS1-1, K-2-LS2-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 4-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, 5-PS3-1  

Food Web Connections

This program offers a systematic understanding of food web structures through model demonstration, vocabulary terms, and activities to apply these concepts. Participants will further their understanding with challenges to create their own food web models and complete energy transfer examples of several wildlife species of New Hampshire.

NGSS: K-2-LS1-1, K-2, LS1-2, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1, 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS3-1, 4-LS1-1, 4-PS3-4, 4-PS3-2, 5-PS3-1, MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-2 MS-LS1-3, MS-LS2-1, MS-ESS3-3 

Pollinator Party

This program discusses the relationships between plants and their pollinator pals by introducing participants to the basics of plant anatomy and entomophilous (insect!) pollination. From beetles and ants to moths and butterflies, explore the unique and specialized insects that rely on plants for their energy needs. Discover what could happen to these insects and plants if the pollinator population continues to decline. Learn ways in which we can help these amazing creatures continue assisting their plant allies by ensuring that their pollen is transported across the garden.

NGSS: K-ESS3-1, 1-LS1-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-1, 4-LS1-1

Ponding

Go for a walk to our own pond and scoop to see what kinds of critters live here. Through scientific discovery we’ll learn about wetlands in NH, why they’re so important, and how to identify a variety of insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds.

This is a Wild New Hampshire Outdoor Field Trip. These field trips have a special rate of $200 for two hours, with a limit of 25 people.

NGSS: K-ESS3-1, K-3-LS1-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 4-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1 

 

Tracks, Scats, and Signs

Footprints in the snow and mud tell stories about the secret lives of wild animals. Learn how to identify common New Hampshire animals by their tracks, signs, and scat. Come out for a hike to discover what’s been in our backyard or do an indoor study and create your very own track mold to take home!

This is a Wild New Hampshire Outdoor Field Trip. These field trips have a special rate of $200 for two hours, with a limit of 25 people.

NGSS: K-PS2-1, K-ESS2-2, K-2-LS1-1, 2-LS4-1, 2LS4-1, 3-5-LS1-1, 5PS2-1, MS-LS1-1, MS-PS1-1

Nature Walks

Join our educators on a leisurely hike along one of our trails to explore the world around us. Hikes can be catered to all seasons and a variety of nature topics. Program rate is $150/hr and can last as long as you’d like up to 4 hrs. We will also travel to you! Have one of our educators facilitate a guided walk with your group at your site. Please include a trail map and information about trail conditions with your inquiry. Mileage rates apply. Nature Walks will take place in most weather conditions so please plan ahead. Cancellation fees may apply.

Choose an Educational Program topic and inquire with either Shelby Morelli for McLane Center, greater Concord area, or statewide; or Slater Roosa for Massabesic Center and greater Manchester area.

Specialized and Scaffolded Curriculum Offerings

Want more than just one lesson from our experienced educators? Check out our specialized and scaffolded curriculum offerings below. We work with you and your students over the course of weeks or months to develop a deeper understanding of wildlife, science, language arts, mathematics, and so much more.

Peregrine Falcons

This five-part environmental education program is designed to engage, excite, and invite students into the diverse and fascinating world of wildlife biology through the lens of observing nesting behavior of Peregrine Falcons. From documenting observations and developing hypotheses, to engaging in hands-on learning activities, this place-based curriculum covers multiple common core standards well beyond those pertaining specifically to STEM. 

Tracking the breeding season of local Peregrine Falcons in Manchester, this program begins in February and runs monthly through June. The program includes a kickoff introduction to bird biology and scientific observation, key life cycle and behavioral details of Peregrine Falcons and their recovery story here in NH, and monthly discussions with NH Audubon’s raptor biologist answering questions the students formulate while independently observing the nest camera.

The focal age for this program is 5th -8th grade classes and is facilitated by NH Audubon naturalists and a senior biologist affiliate through a series of interactive lectures, webinars, activities, and assignments. This program directly involves young people in a local, longitudinal study of nesting Peregrine Falcons in Manchester.

As a result of this program, participating students have an increased awareness of how far-reaching science and technology are within our society and are more confident in making scientific observations. This program helps to reframe how they view science from something happening in basement laboratories to something that happens all around them while exploring such topics as wildlife biology, robotic engineering, biotechnology, field botany, and conservation science. Students expressed that they were more aware of the importance of studying not only wildlife, but science as a whole after completing this program.

“Science is everything. We need it to learn and live. Science helps us do things and communicate, science is a big part of our world.”
– Student Scientist

For Teachers: Here are the Next Generation Science Standards used in this program 5-PS3-1 5-LS1-1 5-LS2-1 5-ESS3-1 3-5-ETS1-2 3-5 ETS1-3

Urban Wildlife Education Programs

In collaboration with New Hampshire Fish & Game and the NHFG Nongame Wildlife Program and Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH, our experienced educators deliver a scaffolded series of lessons to third grade classrooms in the Manchester School District at no cost to the schools or students. Lesson topics start with a broad understanding of Habitats in NH, then focus on the main animal groups with examples of species that call New Hampshire their home: Mammals, Birds, and Reptiles & Amphibians.  

Communication between the program educator and the attending schoolteachers ensured successful delivery and feedback was positive throughout. “I look forward to this program every year,” explained one 3rd grade teacher. “My students always say it’s one of the highlights of their year. [This year’s instructor] was by far the BEST presenter I’ve had. The students learn about so many things they won’t get in general classroom lessons. They love to learn about the animals they may have in their backyards and in their state. Thank you for making this program possible!” 

Each lesson also includes at least one physical element to encourage students to get out of their seats and engage in a movement challenge. This is realized as habitat hunts, dance-offs, animal yoga, and reverse charades, and is positively received by most students (and some teachers!). Students return from their movement activities re-energized and eager for the next interactive experience. Lesson objectives are met based on evaluative feedback both at the conclusion of class as well as expressed in the post-survey. 

If you are a third-grade teacher or a parent of a third-grade student in the Manchester School District, there may be available funding to bring this educational experience to your school. Please reach out to our Urban Wildlife Education Specialist, Willa Coroka at [email protected] for more information.

Becoming Scientists: Community-based longitudinal environmental education initiative

Since 2006, this science education initiative at Beech Street Elementary School in Manchester has been supported by organizations like the TD Charitable Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Manchester, Queen City Rotary Club, Cogswell Benevolent Trust, Arthur Getz Trust, and the Horne Family Foundation. Each year we make the case to continue this science education program that the teachers, students, and families of Beech Street Elementary School have grown to love. 

Thanks to generous funders, this science education program has increased second graders’ understanding and knowledge of ecological and biological concepts while applying this knowledge through exploration of field and forest habitats at our nature center in Auburn. Beech Street Elementary School is a multicultural school in Manchester representing, in the words of its principal, a “diverse educational community with approximately 600 students in grades K-5 that provides a challenging and global learning environment for all.” 93.1% of attending students participate in the Federal Lunch program. Many students are first generation American Families and 30.8% are Limited English Proficient.  

Past programmatic grants have enabled NH Audubon to offer monthly science programs for about 125 second grade students at the Beech Street Elementary School each year since first piloting this longitudinal instruction in 2006. Teachers have told us these visits are often the only science instruction that students receive during the year. Like all second graders, they are excited to see common animals like squirrels, chipmunks, Blue Jays and Robins. We encourage those observations and positive experiences in nature throughout the year. In our ponding class, they discover and learn about the life cycle of aquatic insects, fish, and frogs. In a program evaluation, one teacher wrote:  

“The majority of the children at Beech Street do not have the ability to spend time away from the city for various reasons (transportation, parent availability, money, etc.) so this program allows our students to be able to experience nature first-hand in our own school. The students are engaged and excited every time [the NH Audubon science educator] shows up. The students will continue to talk about the lessons and animals long after the hour-long class has finished. I have seen my students collect trash on their own after lessons on conservation with [the NH Audubon science educator].”  

In the words of 2nd grade teacher Jeanne Branscombe, “I’d rate the program at a 10++. It is so valuable for our students and it is perfect for this grade level. So many of our students have never seen or learned about some of these animals.” Many of the students are able to touch and hold turtles and other animals for the first time.  

If you are interested in providing this longitudinal and scaffolded program to your second-grade class, please contact an Education Coordinator to inquire about partnering on future grant opportunities.

Explore 39 wildlife sanctuaries throughout all 10 counties of New Hampshire.

Committed to the conservation of ecologically important lands.

We regularly observe and count 14 species at NH Audubon’s Raptor Observatories.

NH Audubon Protects

The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.

About Us

Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.