NEW: Winter Ecology!
8-week session for homeschool (or virtually schooled) students ages 6-12!
Tuesdays, January 5-February 23 | 1:00pm-3:00pm
This “semester” will be a deep dive into discovering how forest ecosystems adapt and function in the winter season. We will use the forest as our classroom as we explore how animals and plants function and survive in the harsh winter months. We'll cover a variety of ecological and geological topics, including seed dispersal and seed banks, hibernation and torpor, mammal tracking, winter tree features, snow ecology and the winter feeding habits of birds.
Investigations will be active engagements outdoors, including hiking and active modeling, while also learning and employing the real methods and tools biologists use in the field.
As a bonus, we will “tap” into one of the sweetest sources of winter fuel and learn the age-old process of how humans make syrup. Each day will include lots of active time (and no screens!) both built into the lessons and while hiking through the forest.
Programs will be held outdoors on our beautiful 152 acre property in the Highlands region of northern New Jersey. Our outdoor facilities are ideally suited to outdoor learning, and include a picnic grove, recreation field, covered pavilion, fire circle, hiking trails, raingarden, butterfly garden and a brook.
Curriculum activities will include:
- Learn about our resident and winter bird species by creating a variety of feeders and monitoring their feeding behaviors each week
- Discover the beauty of leafless trees and the unique features of their twigs, buds, and bark by learning how to use a dichotomous key
- Observe the smaller details while learning about animal tracking, using signs like scat, tracks, chew marks, nests, and other mammal indicators
- Explore what happens in aquatic ecosystems when the temperatures drop by searching for stream invertebrates and observing their adaptations under a microscope
- Take advantage of one of the most fun parts of the forest in the winter - tapping sugar maples and learning the process of creating maple syrup!
COVID-19 Health & Safety Precautions
We are following all recommended federal, state and local guidelines to help keep our participants and their families and friends safe.
We have also implemented specific safety measures tailored to our site:
- Small group size (max 14)
- Daily health and temperature checks conducted at drop-off
- Masks MUST be worn by all program attendees & staff (not optional)
- Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible
- Program is held outdoors, except for restroom breaks
- Outdoor "warming station" with heater will be setup in the pavilion, to reduce the need to go indoors
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting protocols for restrooms
- HEPA filter air purifiers in the indoor classrooms, in case we need to take shelter (unexpected inclement weather or an emergency)
- Led by Senior Educator/Naturalist Sarah Crosby and trained adult Weis staff
- Lead staff are CPR/AED and First Aid certified
- Educator to student ratio of 1:8 or lower provides a safe and attentive environment
DATES & TIMES
- 8 weekly sessions on Tuesdays; from January 5 - February 23; 1:00pm-3:00pm
- This is a DROP-OFF class. Our staff will meet you at the parking area near our outer gate to check your child(ren) in; please review COVID-19 guidelines for check in details
PRICE (per student)
$205 - Standard Rate
$190 - Siblings Rate (each sibling)
$175 - CURRENT New Weis Center Member Rate*
*Members at the "Supporter" level ($75 and up) are eligible for discounts on homeschool programs
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS
- If we must cancel due extreme weather, you will be notified and that day will be rescheduled at the end of the 8-week session
- A $25 processing fee applies to ALL refunds**
- Due to the high demand and small group size, we cannot offer partial refunds if you miss a week. Full 8-week session refunds will only be available if we can fill your spot, with the exception** noted below
- **Exception: FULL refunds (no processing fee) for cancellations due to COVID-19 related exposure or illness
- Refunds due to major illness and/or family emergency will be considered on a case-by-case basis
> We reserve the right to remove any child without refund due to unacceptable behavior, and to reschedule or change programs as needed.