Programs for 6 – 8th Grade

Located along the Potomac River, our campus provides the perfect setting for students to get hands-on and minds-on in an outdoor, natural environment. Throughout their time on the farm, students will explore scientific and other academic concepts through authentic experiences. These classes are designed for grades 6 to 8, with age-appropriate activities, and include a wagon ride.


 

Programs

Day ProgramThese classes are designed for grades 6 to 8, with age-appropriate activities, and include a wagon ride. Students will complete one activity before and the other after a thirty-minute lunch break. The day typically runs from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Activities: Please scroll down for a list of available activities.

   Overnight ProgramThe overnight program consists of two days of age-appropriate activities, which typically run from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Day 1) and 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Day 2).

Activities: Please scroll down for overnight program overview.

Fees: Contact us at 301-292-5665 or [email protected].

Scheduling: For information about scheduling visit our scheduling page or call 301-292-5665.

* Note: Times and activities may vary according to weather conditions, bus schedules, or special needs of the class participants and farm staff.


 

Day Program Activities Overview

These classes are designed for grades 6 to 8, with age-appropriate activities, and include a wagon ride. Students will complete one activity before and the other after a thirty-minute lunch break. The day typically runs from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Day Program Activities

Farm Animals and Wild Animals (Traditional HBF Program)
Students will experience our small 1950’s era working family farm and learn where their food comes from. Students will connect the animals they meet and the plants they observe to their survival needs and also connect them to the variety of products we use in our daily lives. They will explore the barnyard and pastures, meet goats, chickens, cow, and sheep, and connect food and fiber to their plant and animal sources. Students will also explore the forest, swamp, and marsh habitats between Hard Bargain Farm and the Potomac River and learn how to identify the habitat needs of the diverse wildlife that lives in these different ecosystems. Students will hike and take a wagon ride during their time on the farm.

 


 

 

Birds Up Close
Students will use our extensive taxidermied bird collection to learn how to locate and identify our local birds. Taking what they have learned about bird features, students will locate and make observations of birds in different ecosystems on our farm along the Potomac River. Through investigation of forest, marsh, and swamp habitats, students will examine how the availability and quality of resources in an ecosystem will affect the populations of organisms that live there, as well as how humans have impacted the area, particularly in changes to habitat quality. They will learn how the landscape has changed over time and how this may have affected the animal populations that live and migrate through here. They will also investigate weathering and how communities have created solutions to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. Students will take a wagon ride between activities.
Standards: Supports NGSS MS-LS1-4, MS-LS2-1 MS-LS2-4, MS-ESS2-4, and MS-ESS3-3.
Time: 3-4 hour program Max Students: 40
No additional notes for this program

 

 

Canoe Exploration
Students will explore Piscataway Creek by canoe, comparing the diversity and structures of plants and animals in different wetland habitats, and learn how changes to physical and biological components of an ecosystem affect the populations of that ecosystem. Also, students will hike to and along the Potomac River making observations of the wildlife that lives in different ecosystems. Through investigation, students will examine how the availability and quality of resources in an ecosystem will affect the populations of organisms that live there, as well as make conclusions on how humans impact the area, particularly in changes to water quality. They will also investigate weathering and the positive human impact of our Living Shore Line, the infrastructure that prevents the erosion of our shoreline. Students will hike and take a wagon ride throughout the day.
Standards: Supports NGSS MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-3, MS-ESS2-4, and MS-ESS3-3.
Time: 4 hour program Max Students: 30
Note: Only offered in late spring through early fall. Water + air temp must be 120° F. An additional $250 fee applies to this class.

 

 

Down to Earth
Students will learn to be gardeners and scientists in this exploration of the soil and plants around the Hard Bargain Farm Children’s Garden. Students will be given the tools to set up investigations about the pollinators and decomposers who reside in or visit the Children’s Garden and they will compare their results to what other students have observed in different seasons. Students will also be given tools and guidance to plant and harvest food according to the seasons. Students will model different ways humans have changed the land and test how water affects or is affected by these changes. Students will learn hands-on ways to identify the different types of soil and how they might have developed in this place over time. By the end of this class, students will describe food webs they observed and participated in, as well as the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy in this vibrant ecosystem. Students will ride the wagon to and from some activities.
Standards: Supports NGSS MS-LS1-6, MS-LS2-1, MS- LS2-3, MS-ESS3-3 and MS-ESS3-4.
Time: 3-4 hour program Max Students: 40
Note: Offered March – November

 

 

Fish Adaptations
Students will investigate the structural adaptations fish have developed to survive in different habitats and how both genetic and environmental factors have influenced this development. Students will dissect fish to investigate what they ate and analyze how changes to food sources in the environment could affect a population or change interactions across ecosystems. Students will also take a wagon ride to the Potomac River to make observations about the larger habitat.
Standards: Supports NGSS MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-1, and MS-LS2-2.
Time: 3-4 hour program Max Students: 25
Note: An additional $150 fee applies to this class

 

 

Rivers in Action
Students will develop a hands-on model of how human land use can be affected by natural hazards, especially how the power of water can change and shape the land. They will test their predictions about different types of weather events over time, as well as human impact and mitigation strategies. Students will take a wagon ride and hike to explore the forest, swamp, and marsh trails between Hard Bargain Farm and the Potomac River, connecting observations of the models made to the land and water they can see in real life. Students will investigate how the availability and quality of resources in an ecosystem will affect the populations of organisms that live there, as well as how humans have impacted the area, particularly in changes to water quality. They will also investigate weathering and how communities have created solutions like our Living Shore Line, the infrastructure that prevents the erosion of our shoreline, to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Standards: Supports NGSS MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-4, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS3-3, and MS-ESS3-4.
Time: 3-4 hour program Max Students: 40
Note: An additional $50 fee applies to this class

 

 

Overnight Program Activities Overview

Day 1 of the program consists of two classes, each group of 10 to 15 students will do both classes: one in the morning and the other in the afternoon after a Trash-free lunch. The day typically runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm, followed by a Wagon Ride to the Potomac River (weather permitting).

Day 2 of the program begins at 8:00am in the barnyard for Cow Milking and Antique Tools or Children’s Garden. We will be in the garden during the warmer weather and the Antique Tools Class will be taught during the colder months.  The students will participate in a role playing activity, Who Polluted the Potomac?,  that reveals students’ connection to the environment of the Potomac River.

Fees: please call 301-292-5665 or e-mail the program manager at [email protected].

Scheduling: For information about scheduling visit our scheduling page or call 301-292-5665.