The Discovery Center Class Summaries
A note to our teachers:
All of our classes can be adjusted to suit your students specific age range, competence and needs.
Animal Mania: (Pre – 6th)
You may select one or all of the following animals groups; Keep in mind that the more groups selected, the more general the lesson due to time constraints. These classes can also be tailored to whichever animal group your class is currently working on. For example, classes focusing on habitats such as the ocean, rainforests, or grasslands, on animal groups such as reptiles, bats, spiders, or on food webs and animal populations.
Animal Mania: Vertebrates
- Mammals: Can you tell what different mammals “do for a living” just by looking at their skeleton, skulls, and teeth? Know exactly what to look for in our class dedicated to mammals. Class includes a wide variety of skins, skulls, and other bio facts.
- Reptiles and Amphibians: Do you know the differences between reptiles and amphibians? It’s easy to spot the differences once you’ve been to our class! Includes several live animals as part of the presentation.
- Fish: Get hands on learning at this class dedicated to studying fish as we pass around fish skeletons and talk about their characteristics. Class includes live animals as part of the presentation.
- Birds: Do you know how much we can learn, just by looking at a bird’s beak and feet? What can a bird’s wingspan tell us? Come unlock the secrets of your favorite sky voyagers. Class includes live animals as part of presentation.
- General Invertebrates: From Sponges and up; learn about the many animals that do not have a backbone in this class. Real specimens of each group are a part of this class as well as several live animals, including crayfish, insects spiders and worms.
- Insects and Spiders: Explore the world of invertebrates as we take a closer look at insects and arachnids in this “hands on” class. We will discover what it means to be an invertebrate and learn the differences between our six and eight legged friends. Children will get a chance to meet some live critters. This interactive class is a great way to get kids excited about “bugs!”
We utilize our Walden Pond and education animals to explore a pond or riparian ecosystem in this enjoyable class. We take a look at how ponds are created and learn about the creatures and plants that live there. Discover who eats whom in the food chain and what job each animal has in its environment. Class includes live animals as part of the presentation.
Dino-Mite: (Pre – 6th)
Join us as we use fossils and models to go back in time when pre-historic creatures ruled the Earth! Learn about these amazing animals and how they differ from the reptiles alive today. We’ll talk about hatching from an egg, digesting food and much, much more! Students will even get a chance to dig up some cow bones like a real paleontologist would do and run the length of some of the longest dinosaurs in a dinosaur race!
Blood, Guts, and Eyeballs: (4th & up)
Just when kids think they’ve heard it all when it comes to health, this class adds excitement and hands on projects that spark their interest like never before! We will have a real pig heart, lungs, liver, and eyeballs with for children to observe and learn anatomy firsthand. They will discover how important our lungs, heart, and blood are as we emphasize the effects and importance of clean air quality and why we need to keep those parts healthy.
Rim of Fire: (2nd-6th)
Learn what makes the earth shake, rattle and roll as we discover the dynamics of earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics in this exciting class! Well even set off our own model volcanoes to see the difference between explosive volcanoes and those that ooze!
Weird Science: (Pre – 6th)
Learn the fun and excitement of chemistry in this cool class! It’s all about rapid chemical reactions and the states of matter! Solids, liquids and gases have one thing in common - matter! We’ll mix up some science with different things such as dry ice, glue, baking soda and vinegar. We will make chain molecules of flubber that students can take home, and also do acid based reactions to blow up balloons. Uncover the reality of how matter changes from state to state!
To Infinity and Beyond: (2nd – 6th)
In this fun and exciting class, students will learn about the movement of air around objects, the difference between lift and thrust, and how some objects can fly. They will get to design, create, and launch their own 2-liter bottle mini water rockets.
Rock of Ages: (2nd – 6th)
This class covers how rocks and minerals are formed and the differences between them. Students will learn about sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks, volcanoes, weathering, fossilization, the hardness scale, and more through our hands on class. With many beautiful samples of rocks and minerals to reference and discuss!
Frankenstein’s Lab: (1st – 6th)
Students will get charge up about science in this hair-raising class. First we explore the properties of magnets through hands on group experimentation; we defy the law of gravity using magnetic properties! We then come full circle while learning about electricity, and positive and negative charges. We utilize our Van Der Graff generator as we discover static electricity. We finish with a little bit of chemistry by discussing non-Newtonian fluids like Oobleck, a concoction made of corn starch and water. Students will be shocked with how much they learn while having fun!
A Day in the Life: (1st – 6th)
The Yokuts, Monos and Miwok were the dominant people of the Central Valley foothills and mountains years and years ago. The history and daily life of these local tribes will be explored through interactive activities like acorn grinding. Students will be able to see what the Native Americans used for everyday items through the use of our extensive Native American collection, including basketry, arrowheads, hairbrushes, blankets, clothing, and cooking items! Our park is filled with many of the plants and trees that the indigenous peoples used years ago.
StarLab: (2nd – 6th)
Join us in our famous StarLab portable planetarium as we explore the stars as we know them today and learn about how ancient cultures viewed the stars through a variety of star myths from Greek, Egyptian and Native American cultures. Finally, we will take a look at the solar system and galaxy we call home, emphasizing the differences in the relative sizes and positions of the planets and objects therein.