Virtual Programs

Virtual Lessons & Programs

Curricula-aligned live virtual lessons to supplement in-class student learning

 

The Alice Ferguson Foundation has more than 60 years of experience leading and engaging students in engaged science learning. We are excited to bring you more than 15 robust online programs. With the guidance of our experienced team of educators, students can learn about animal adaptations, investigate water quality through the identification of pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates, understand and identifying invasive plant species, find out how runoff and pollution impact their communities, and more.

While virtual, these programs focus heavily on student observation and critical thinking: Students learning from home will be able to identify wiggly macroinvertebrates by counting the number of legs or tails they have, zoom into the tiny teeth of a fish during dissection, and discuss the details of a leaf or flower of an invasive plant. Most importantly, our team of experienced educators will draw vital connections between the science they are teaching and real-world lessons and implications of the content students are learning.

Screen fatigue is real, so our programs combine a mixture of team building, engaging activities, and live field experiences. 

Cost:

  • $15 per student for the 3-hour virtual program (with a maximum of 30 kids per class)
  • $100 for the 30 to 60 minute virtual program (with a maximum of 30 kids per class)
  • Please contact us for additional rates. Certain schools may be eligible for a discount.

 

Click here to schedule your virtual field trip.

 


 

3-Hour Live Virtual Field Trips

Standards-based 3-hour virtual field trips

 

Title: Watershed Warriors

Program: What does it take to become a watershed warrior? A little understanding, compassion, and willingness to take action when we see problems in our environment! In this field trip, students will learn about the watershed and how our individual actions impact the natural world, good and bad. Students will use their creativity to come up with solutions to the issues we observe.

Ages: All

Grade level bands: K-12

Time:  3 Hour Program

____________________________

  Title: Fantastic Farmers

Program: What did you have for breakfast today? Students will take a deep dive into our food system and learn about the many years of ingenuity that it took to get their food to their plate. They will also participate in team building activities, learning through crafting, and even meet our barnyard animals.

Ages: All

Grade level bands: K-12

Time:  3 Hour Program

 

____________________________

Title: Habitat Detectives

Program: What is inside that ecosystem? Students will use the power of observation to make conclusions about two different habitats located on our 330-acre property. You never know what animal or plant you may see or hear during this live session. Students will take data they collect in the field and use it to make conclusions about the health of our habitats.

Ages: All

Grade level bands: K-12

Time:  3 Hour Program

____________________________

  Title: Crazy Critters

Program: What is with all the different animals? Students will take a deep dive into the world of the crazy critters in surrounding habitats – from animals who spend their life on land to ones that live deep in the Potomac River. Students will learn all about how animals have adapted to living in different ecosystems on earth. 

Ages: All

Grade level bands: K-12

Time:  3 Hour Program

____________________________

 

 

 

Click here to schedule your virtual field trip.

 


 

30-60 Minute Live Virtual Lesson

Choose from these 13 live virtual lessons and bring interactive learning to your classroom

 

Title: Birds Up Close

Program: Students will become birds as they experiment with the many ways birds use their adaptations to eat. Students will then use our extensive taxidermied bird collection to make scientific drawings to compare and contrast characteristics of the birds’ bodies and make a hypothesis about what type of habitat each bird would survive best in.

Grade level bands: K-5

____________________________

  Title: Garden & Pollinators

Program: Through a virtual visit to our garden, students will explore the process of how their food gets from the farm to their plates. Students will examine nature’s food growing helpers, the decomposers that help make our soil and the pollinators that help plants to ensure next years’ harvest. 

Grade level bands: Prek-3

____________________________

Title: Enviroscape

Program: An enviroscape models parts of a watershed such as rivers, mountains, and neighborhoods. Through a series of real life scenarios, students will make observations about the way water moves over land and identify sources of pollution. Students will then work in groups to brainstorm and implement ways to decrease the impacts of pollution on water quality.

Grade level bands: 2-5

____________________________

  Title: Fish Dissection (Seasonal)

Program: Students will investigate the structural adaptations that fish have developed to survive in different habitats. They will watch live as an educator performs a fish dissection on two different fish. Students will compare the adaptations of the two fish and draw conclusions about how each fish lives its life. Students will then compare the adaptations of the modern fish with fossilized fish.

Grade level bands: 6-8

____________________________

Title: Talking Trash

Program: Before joining this virtual lessons, students will journal about trash generated in their household to make inferences about lifestyle and consumer choices and determine how these choices have a lasting impact on their watershed. During the lesson, students will review their journals, identify and explain the sources of litter in our environment, and develop a solution for reducing the impacts of litter on the environment.

Grade level bands: 2-5

____________________________

  Title: Eco-Consultant

Program: Students will assess their personal impact and relationship with the natural world. This program includes one whole class visit and two small group follow ups. During the first visit, the lesson will focus on an overview of the project and what the students will be doing over the next week. Then, students complete their eco footprint assessment. Students will be split into small groups and given a meeting time with their eco consultant. In the first small group session students will discuss the results of their eco footprint and determine what change they will make over the next week and how they will log it. During the third small group meeting the students will present the change they made and how it impacted them over the week.

Grade level bands: 6-12

____________________________

Title: Fish Seining (Seasonal)

Program: Students will watch live as our educators use a net to sample fish from the Potomac River. Students will then examine the fish up close and identify them by observing their adaptations.

Grade level bands: 5-12

____________________________

  Title: Great Terrain Robbery (Erosion)

Program: Students will participate in an experiment demonstrating erosion on various different types of surfaces. Students will make a hypothesis and put it to the test as they make observations of the way water behaves as it runs over an impervious surface, bare soil, and vegetation.

Grade level bands: 2-8

____________________________

Title: Hero Wigglers (Worms)

Program: Students examine worms up close using our digital microscope. In the US, up to 40% of edible food is wasted. Using our worm bins students will investigate how worms help biodegrade food waste. Students will learn the parts of a worm and how worms help speed up the biodegradation process. Students will also learn how worm composting, or vermiculture, can help divert food waste from landfills. 

Grade level bands: K-5

____________________________

  Title: Discover Our Farm Animals

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, cows, and sheep, and connect food and fiber to their plant and animal sources.

Grade level bands: PreK-3

____________________________

Title: Macro-Invertebrate investigation

Program: Students will investigate the structural and behavioral adaptations of live macro invertebrates (macros). Using a digital microscope, students will examine the macros closely and identify them with the help of an identification key. Macros can act as biological indicators of the health of our waterways. Students will then analyze their data and make a determination about the water quality of the stream that the macros were collected from. 

Grade level bands: 5-8

____________________________

   
     

 

Click here to schedule your virtual lesson.