3rd Grade Program

Use your senses to discover your local environment! 3rd Grade Students participate in a field trip program along the banks of Comanche Creek (fall) or Big Chico Creek (spring) where students are introduced to scientific investigation through the eyes of a pirate, learn about the culture of Native Californians, and explore the forest using senses other eyesight. The activities focus on 3rd grade science and social science content standards, including adaptation and habitat. Following one 50-minute class visit, students participate in field trip consisting of four 40-minute activity stations.

Partners: Mendocino National Forest (fall) and the City of Chico (spring)

Funders: Kids and Creeks Fundraising Efforts 

Location: Comanche Creek (fall) and Big Chico Creek (spring)

Focus Concepts: Investigation and Experimentation, Animal and plant adaptations for various habitats, Native American Cultural awareness

Field Trip Activities:

Station 1: Song. Each group writes a verse that will be sung as a part of a group song after lunch.

Station 2 : Meet – A – Tree. Students are introduced to the concept of creatures that are adapted to using other senses instead of their eyes. Meet-A-Tree blindfold activity is modeled and conducted. At conclusion, students share their experience.

Station 3: Scientific Investigation. Students standing on a bridge drop leaves and/or sticks into the water to determine where the flow of the creek is the fastest. This evolves into a scientific experiment, where the students drop three more objects into different parts of the creek (right side, left side, middle) and then record the time it takes for their object to reach a known point on the creek. Students conclude by creating a map of the creek that takes incorporates their data.

Station 4: Native American Station. Students are introduced to the culture of the native peoples of California, and learn how the Mechoopda and other tribes had to “adapt” to survive in northern California.

4th Grade 

Be a part of ongoing restoration efforts at Sycamore Grove!  Students will have the opportunity to enhance native plant habitat in Bidwell Park while at the same time learn about the native flora and fauna.  In addition, students will learn about the culture of Native Californians, and explore the forest canopy using binoculars to learn about the Park’s birds and their role in the ecosystem. The activities focus on 4th grade science and social science content standards, including food webs, food chains, and energy systems in the environment.  Following one 50-minute class visit, students participate in field trip consisting of four 40-minute activity stations.

Partners: The City of Chico and the Mechoopda Tribe

Funders:  Kids and Creeks Fundraising Efforts

Location:   Sycamore Grove at Bidwell Park, behind Caper Acres

Focus Concepts: Food chains and food webs, Producers-Consumers-Decomposers, Predator-Prey relationships, Scientific observation, Native American Cultural awareness

Field Trip Activities: 

Station 1:  Song.  Each group writes a verse that will be sung as a part of a group song after lunch.  “Wild Thing” or “Food Chain” are songs that relate to field trip themes.

Station 2 :  Bird Hike:  Students use binoculars to explore bird life in lower Bidwell Park, hike concepts focus on field trip themes, including ecosystem relations such as predator-prey and habitat. 

Station 3:  Non-native species removal.  Students learn about Vinca (periwinkle), its adaptations for survival, and its role in the park as a non-native, invasive species.  Students then work to remove vinca from select locations, as well as pull other non-natives, such as grass, from in and around native plantings in restoration areas.

Station 4:  Native American Station.  Students are introduced to the culture of the native peoples of California, and learn how the Mechoopda existed and interacted as a part of the ecosystem.

Clean Creeks in the Classroom

Chico students are stewards of their watershed, so it is important for them to have an understanding of what the Big Chico Creek watershed is all about.  What animals live here?  Where does the water come from, and where does it go?  What is our role in this ecosystem? Covering both 5th grade science standards as well as watershed and stormwater education concepts, 5th Grade Students participate in a field trip program at Verbena Fields along Lindo Channel (fall) and 5-Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park (spring).  Following two 50-minute class visits, students participate in four 40-minute stations: Macroinvertebrate collection and identification, Riparian Hike, and Pebble Count, and Haiku. 

Partners: City of Chico

Funders:  City of Chico Stormwater Education Program

Location: Verbena Fields along Lindo Channel (fall) and 5-Mile Recreation Area in Bidwell Park (spring)

Focus Concepts:  Watershed, Riparian Habitat, Scientific Investigation

Field Trip Activities:

Station 1:  Haiku at picnic benches.

Station 2 :  Macroinvertebrate collection and identification by creek.  Safety, respect for living creatures.  Students use small nets, yogurt containers to collect organisms, use laminated dichotomous key for identification.  Conclusion--Is this a healthy creek? 

Station 3:  Riparian Hike, with binoculars.  Students are introduced to the flora and fauna of the riparian zone.  Interactive activities at discretion of naturalist.  

Station 4:  Pebble Count. Students are introduced to salmon spawning habitat, and relation of salmon redd’s to pebble size (salmon dig a shallow hole in the creek bottom with their tails).  In pairs, students measure and record the size of pebbles following a transect.  Data from all students is consolidated, and students compare data to ideal salmon spawning conditions.

Science Enrichment Program

Kids and Creeks now offers week-long classroom-based science enrichment programs to support schools in covering state science standards.  100 minute, hands-on lessons are designed to be taught on 5 consecutive days, and include on field trip.  Presently, hands-on science programs have been developed for 5th and 8th grade students.  Upon request, Kids and Creeks will work with teachers and school administrators to develop standard-aligned programs for other grade levels as well.

Partners: Kids and Creeks partnered with Blue Oak Charter School in Spring 2012 to develop and implement this program.

Funders: This fee-based program is subsidized by Kids and Creeks fundraising efforts.

Focus Concepts: 

5th Grade: Rock Cycle, Photosynthesis, Cell Respiration, Digestive System, Electricity and Magnetism, Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter, Solar System, Seasons, Climate

8th Grade: Periodic Table, Newton’s Laws, Speed-Velocity-Acceleration, Chemical Reactions, Changes of State, Density

More information on acitivites to come.