2019-2020 STEP GA Program Offerings/Descriptions

Kindergarten (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Audubon Jr. Explorers

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Our Leafy Friends
Eco-Hike: Animal Detectives Hike

Students will make observations of taxidermy animals using their senses and simple tools. A hands-on classifying activity will focus on plant parts, and crawling through a soil tunnel students will see what grows underground. After examining a germinating plant seed, they will plant some seeds to take home. An eco-hike will involve an exploration of the natural world while looking for clues that animals live at the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary. GA Science Standards of Excellence: SKL1a, SKL1b, SKL2a, SKL2b

1st Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Green-Dirt

Lab Study: Our Leafy Friends
Field Study: Exploration: Soil Pit
Eco-Hike: Scavenger Hunt

Students will learn just how important soil is to plant life in this soil and plant combination program! Students will use science process skills and tools to discover different earth materials that make up what we call dirt, planting seeds to begin an experiment back at school. A study of plant parts, a seed dissection, and a trip through a soil tunnel will help students understand the relationships between soil and plants. A hike in the forest will get students up close with plants that survive in the soil of the forest. GA Science Standards of Excellence: S1L1a, S1L1b, S1L1c

Program Theme: Green Things

Lab Study: Our Leafy Friends
Field Study: Adopt-a Tree
Eco-Hike: Adventures with Stickman

Students will dive head long into all that is green and blooming! Through observation, investigation, and experimentation, students will gain a better understanding of the structures, functions, and life cycles of plants. Students will "adopt" of their very own tree, using technology and measurement tools to make observations! Students will classify plant parts and crawl through a soil tunnel to see what may be growing underground. An eco-hike, in the forest with Stick Man, will get them to think critically about their surroundings. GA Science Standards of Excellence: S1L1a, S1L1b, Math: MGSE1.MD.1, MGSE1.MD.2, MGSE1.G.1 2nd Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Life Cycling

Lab Study: Cycling with Plants
Field Study: Animal Detectives
Eco-Hike: Stages Scavenger Hunt

Students will learn the amazing engineering behind seed dispersal and pollination! They will plant their own seeds to take back to school as an ongoing science experiment. Students will discover how living things miraculously cycle through life, beginning with a scavenger hunt, and then collaborate with a hands-on classifying and sequencing activity to determine the life cycle of a mystery organism. A life cycle hike will enhance understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of each organism's life journey! GA Science Standards of Excellence: S2L1a, S2L1b, S2L1c

3rd Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center or SRS)

Program Theme: Eco-Venture ( SBA only; 2 groups per day)

Field Study: Wild Words
Field Study: Wet Wonders
Eco-Hike: Hidden in Plain Sight

Join us on an extended eco-hike adventure, participating in standards-based STEAM environmental activities including observations of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along the way. The hike covers 2 miles and will take about 2 ½ hours. Along the way students will make careful observations of their environment looking for critters hidden in plain sight, discovering the wonders of a wetland, and using wild words to describe their surroundings. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe walking shoes. GA Standards of Excellence: S3L1a, S3L1b, S3L1c

Program Theme: Earth Beneath Our Feet

Lab Study: CSI: Soil
Field Study: Archaeology Adventure
Eco-Hike: Soil Pit Exploration

There is so much going on just below our feet! Investigations of soil types and properties will be used to help students solve a mystery of a missing bike. . Students will participate in an Archaeology Adventure with Dr. Chris Moore, an Archaeologist from SRS. Finally, students will go on an eco-hike to identify soil types in the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary forest. GA Standards of Excellence: S3E1b, S3E1c

Program Theme: Feathered Friends

Lab Study: Feathered Taxidermy
Field Study: Bird Beak Buffet
Eco-Hike: Evidence of Birds Hike

Students will enter the fantastic world of our feathered friends found right here in their own backyards! Through careful observations of taxidermy birds, students will infer behavior, diet and habitat based on their body structures. Next, students will use models to investigate how different bird beaks help them survive. This wildlife adventure will conclude with students going where the birds go; becoming animal detectives hunting for birds and the clues they leave in the forest. GA Science Standards of Excellence: S3L1a, S3L1b, S3L1c

4th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Water World (2 groups per day)

Lab Study: Water Cycle Game
Field Study: Pond Investigators
Eco-Hike: Ecosystems Hike

Students will investigate the water cycle and the role it plays on earth. Students will be immersed in the movement of water through simulation activities. Also, students will determine water quality through macro-invertebrate collection at a pond on site. Finally, students will hike to exercise their ecosystem vocabulary! GA Standards of Excellence: S4E3a, S4E3b, S4La, S4L1b

5th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Dazzling Diversity

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Animal Detectives
Eco-Hike: Diversity Hike

Students will immerse themselves into the dazzling diversity of organisms that live in their own backyard! Close-up investigations of native taxidermy and live animals will allow for observation and inference of just how each critter is adapted to its individual habitat. Students will also become nature explorers searching for a wide diversity of animals and their clues in the forest. An eco-hike in the forest will provide dazzling examples of diversity. GA Standards of Excellence: S5L1a

6th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Sparrow and the Woodpecker

Lab Study: Feathered Taxidermy
Field Study: Bird Beak Buffet
Eco-Hike: Forest Assessment Hike

Students will explore the challenges of avian survival. Through observation, inference and use of a dichotomous key, students will use taxidermy birds to investigate adaptations that allow for success of birds in diverse and changing environments. Students will engage in a game of survival to see if they have what it takes to endure a natural disaster! Finally, students will hike the area to investigate the habitat challenges and formulate strategies to help protect some of our most endangered native birds. GA Standards of Excellence: S7L4c, S7L1a, S7L5b

Program Theme: Water, Water Everywhere ( 2 groups per day)

Lab Study: We All Live Downstream
Field Study: Wet Wonders
Eco-Hike: Ecosystem Explorers

Students will investigate the wonderful world of water through macro-invertebrate collection of a local pond. In addition, watershed modeling and problem-solving will enhance student understanding of the land-water-human connection. Finally, students will compare aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems through observations made on an eco-hike. GA Standards of Excellence: S6E3a, S6E3b, S6E6b

7th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Survivor! (2 groups per day)

Lab Study: Bird Beak Buffet
Field Study: Wet Wonders
Eco-Hike: Forest Assessment Hike

Students will determine the quality of an aquatic ecosystem through observations, macro-invertebrate collection and data recording at a pond site. Also, they will participate in a simulation of population fluctuation during a natural hazard. Finally, students will collect data as they hike to determine the health of the forest. GA Standards of Excellence: S7L4a, S7L4b, S7L4c

Program Theme: It's a Tough World!

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Bird Beak Buffet
Eco-Hike: Forest Assessment Hike

Through a game of survival and interaction with taxidermy animals using a dichotomous key, students will investigate adaptations that allow for survival of the individual and the stability of the species. Finally, students will investigate, record data and conclude upon the health of forest soil and its inhabitants with an eco-hike and soil testing. GA Standards of Excellence: S7L1a, S7L4c, S7L4d

Program Theme: 3 DAY Project Based Learning – (SRS ONLY)

In this Project Based Learning Program, students will research and investigate two threatened bird species and develop a media campaign to communicate their plight. This program takes place over three days, the first two at SRS and the third at their school site with STEP instructors.

9th-12th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Wet World (2 groups per day)

Lab Study: We All Live Downstream (Advanced)
Field Study: Wet Wonders (Advanced)
Eco-Hike: Forest Assessment Hike

On our blue planet, humans play a vital role in the protection and preservation of our watery resources. Students will learn more about these effects through experimenting with human behaviors that influences the location, quality and quantity of water within a watershed. Biological analysis will reveal the quality of a local pond. Students will collaborate on an eco-hike to determine the diversity of a local forest ecosystem. GA Standards of Excellence: SEV1a, SEV1c, SEV1d, SEV1e