School Programs

The Friends of Dyken Pond announce a pilot Field Trip Scholarship Program 2014.  Scholarships are available to schools within Rensselaer County for field trip fees and bus transportation costs.

Click here for Field Trip Scholarship Guidelines: Field Trip Scholarship Information

Click here for Field Trip Scholarship Application: Field Trip Scholarship Application

 

Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

Group Program List

The following descriptions are a brief outline of possible program formats and content. All classes can be tailored to fit different age groups, unless otherwise noted. We will select age-appropriate activities that will spark curiosity in the natural world. Please contact the Center for more details and to customize a program to fit your study unit.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Adopted by 14 states already since their release in 2013, the NGSS is the result of a collaboration by a number of organizations including the National Research Council, National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as education leaders from 26 states. These standards are based on research of the most effective way to teach science. They raise the quality of student learning through a focus on critical thinking and primary investigation. NGSS favors depth of understanding and application of content over quantity of knowledge gained. This instills within students a skillset that can then be applied to new content for more effective learning and comprehension. NGSS does not represent a curriculum but instead student performance expectations. This is where our programs align with the standards as we are not teaching students “about” science, but teaching them to “do” science. We are currently working on modifying our programs to ensure full alignment with the practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts of NGSS. For NGSS targeted disciplines for any of our programs please contact the center.

Standards addressed by all Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center Programs:

  • Core Disciplines: Life Sciences, Earth & Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology & Applications of Science (Click for a more detailed description.)

New York State Learning Standards: Each program meets New York State Learning standards in a variety of content areas. All lessons address the standards listed in the following section; additional standards covered by specific lessons are noted in the lesson descriptions. Other core curriculum specific standards may be incorporated to meet your unit goals if desired.

Standards addressed by all Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center Programs:

  • Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences, Standard 2:   A Safe and Healthy Environment.
  • Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 4:   Science.
  • English Language Arts, Standard 4:   Language for Social Interaction

 

Fee:  $3 per student, minimum charge $20 per group. No charge for chaperones with school groups. Please contact the Center for more program details.

Contact Information:

Lisa Hoyt, Director

Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

475 Dyken Pond Road

Cropseyville, New York 12052

(518) 658-2055

dykenpond@dykenpond.org

 

Program Descriptions:

Interpretive Hike

Description: Explore the ecology of the area through seasonal interpretation. Choose a focus for the hike from history, wildflowers, land use practice, wildlife, general ecology or topic of your choice. 

Pond Study

Description: Collect, identify and compare insects and amphibians using aquatic sampling nets. Discover some of the complex interactions that exist in the aquatic ecosystem. This program can be designed to focus on lifecycles, animal adaptations, aquatic ecology, water quality or topic of your choice. For older students we provide pond-sampling equipment and microscopes to compare water quality in lakes, ponds and wetlands.

Five Senses Adventure

Description: Students will develop a sensory interest in nature while on an interpretive hike that uses the outdoors as a teaching catalyst.  Using their five senses students will develop observational skills and acquire comfort and awareness within an outdoor setting.

Life Cycles

Description: Explore plant and animal life cycles. Program may include a pond study and/or an interpretive hike. Depending on the season and your preference, emphasis will be placed on amphibians, pond insects or plants native to Rensselaer County.

Soils & Composting

Description: Students will act as a chef to “cook” up a batch of soil and realize soil is composed of many things, including living organisms, and understand that time is important in the formation of soil. Students will then observe life under logs as field scientists and how to identify underground creatures and some of their unique adaptations.  Students are introduced to the concept of decomposition and how it relates to composting.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 1:    Analysis, Inquiry, and Design

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 6:   Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Forestry

Description: Compare deciduous and coniferous communities found at Dyken Pond Center; using an increment borer, collect basic information on the growth patterns of trees. Other measuring tools may be used to collect data on height and diameter of trees. All data collected will be interpreted by students.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 3:   Mathematics

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 6:   Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 7:   Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

English Language Arts, Standard 1:   Language for Information and Understanding

Botany

Description: Identify parts of a plant and their function. Individual plants will be identified and the concept of plant communities explored.  Hike through forest, bog, and swamp habitats.  Learn why one plant community is different from another.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Social Studies, Standard 3:   Geography

Wildlife

Description: Choose a general theme of animal adaptations, classification, identification, habitats, or behavior to be addressed during an interpretive hike. You may also choose to study one animal in particular including bats, birds, beavers, or another of your interest.

Birds

Description: Through games and activities learn about bird adaptations and discover “what makes a bird a bird”. Use binoculars and recordings to learn how to identify birds by their field markings and calls.

Food Chains

Description: Students will learn about an aquatic or forest food chain and how energy flows throughout an ecosystem. Depending on the instructor’s preference, the activities may include an interpretive hike, or pond study.

Insects

Description: Capture, identify and release forest, field and/or pond insects. Study insect adaptations and learn why they are so important to all life on the planet. Optional: Students will begin a nature journal with illustrations of the insects they study.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

The Arts, Standard 1: Creating, Performing and Participating in the Arts

History of New York State – Grades 4 and Up

Description: Based on discovering evidence found on an interpretive hike, determine how Dyken Pond Center was used in the past and by whom. Evidence will reveal past farming, logging and Native American uses.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Social Studies, Standard 1:   History of the United States and New York

Social Studies, Standard 3:   Geography

Map and Compass – Grades 5 and up

Description: Begin by reviewing how to use a compass in an open field. Divide into small exploratory teams to meet the challenge of bushwhacking and trail hiking with a map and compass.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 3:   Mathematics

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 7:   Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Social Studies, Standard 3:   Geography

Acid Rain and Aquatic Ecology – Grades 6 and Up

Description: Perform experiments to analyze the water quality of Dyken Pond or compare the differences in water ecology between a lake, pond, and wetland. Sampling equipment may include a plankton net, secchi disc, thermometers, benthic sampler, microscopes, dissolved oxygen test and pH test. Data will be collected and interpreted.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 1:    Analysis, Inquiry, and Design

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 6:   Interconnectedness: Common Themes

Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Standard 7:   Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Social Studies, Standard 3:   Geography

English Language Arts, Standard 1:   Language for Information and Understanding

Geology – Grades 6 and up

Description: Find evidence of glaciation on an outdoor hike. Learn of the formation of the Rensselaer Plateau while you discover the geology and soils of the area. Study and identify different rock samples through various testing methods.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Social Studies, Standard 1:   History of the United States and New York

Social Studies, Standard 3:   Geography

Teamwork and Team Play – Grades 6 and up

Description: Groups participate in a series of adventure games and activities that create situations that challenge the abilities of the group to collectively solve problems.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences, Standard 1:   Personal Health and Fitness

Aldo Leopold Education Project – Grades 7 and Up

Description: Excerpts will be read in advance from Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac. This program will combine excellent literary prose with an interactive activity and discussion of land ethics and conservation.

Additional New York State Learning Standards:

Social Studies, Standard 1:   History of the United States and New York

English Language Arts, Standard 1:   Language for Information and Understanding

English Language Arts, Standard 3:   Language for Critical Analysis and evaluation.