Mini School Programs

Our student-driven mini research programs engage students in individual steps of the scientific method. We come to your classroom, conduct the program virtually or host students for a field day near your school or at our field sites in the Lake Tahoe area to allow them to strengthen their connection to the ecosystems around them. In addition to delivering increased academic confidence, better social skills, and building science and language skills, all of our programs give students experience using all of the fundamental science skills laid out in the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) as well as several NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts.

Mini programs start at $250 per class, and Field Days are $50 per student for 20 or more students. Multiple class volume discounts are available. Financial aid is available to low-income schools.

Programs can be conducted on the following topics: biology, environmental science, chemistry, life science, weather, or earth science. 

Program Focus

Program Focus

All of our programs challenge students to apply fundamental science skills to real-world scenarios through the process of scientific research. Each mini program focuses on one step of the scientific method related to your chosen topic: question asking, scientific literacy, or data analysis. Field days encapsulate all of the steps in a short research project. 

Question Asking

The process of science comes alive through student curiosity and asking questions. Students are guided through writing a testable research question and hypothesis. Students use grade level appropriate scientific papers as evidence to support their claims. Students will leave this session with a refined version of a research question and hypothesis and an understanding of how to come up with testable scientific questions. 

SEPs: Asking questions and defining problems. Planning and carrying out investigations. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. 

Scientific Literacy

Science is an iterative process that relies on previous knowledge. Being able to discern information backed by scientific research to support claims can be challenging. Students learn how to search for scientific literature, tell the difference between scientific evidence, opinion, and anecdotal evidence. By the end of this session, students will leave with the ability to find scientific articles about a scientific topic. 

SEPs: Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Analyzing and interpreting data.

Data Analysis

Students analyze and graph a condensed scientific dataset. Middle school students focus on data summarization (averages) and graphing skills. High school students learn basic statistics (linear regression or t-test) to test a hypothesis and make graphs. A facilitated student discussion reviews the implications of their findings.

SEPs: Analyzing and interpreting data. Using mathematics and computational thinking. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Field Day

Students spend a day out in the field learning about the scientific tools that scientists use to answer questions. Full day programs will run through a short research project where students gain hands-on experience collecting data at a field site near your school or on location in the Tahoe area. At the end of the day students will briefly analyze their data and discuss results. *Students bring their own lunch, snacks, and water.*

SEPs: Planning and carrying out investigations. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Analyzing and interpreting data.