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Program Information for Schools New to River Bend

Over 14,000 school students visit River Bend each year for an outdoor extension of their classroom curriculum. Our unique setting and talented naturalists can bring virtually any nature or outdoor topic to life. 

What can we do for you? Call us at 507.332.7151 or email Amber Brossard.

Programs at River Bend

  • Winter Fun
  • A Sense of the Season
  • Sugar Bush: Then & Now
  • Basic Compass
  • Orienteering
  • Water Quality
  • The Scientific Method Question Hike
  • Science of Sliding

Programs at your School

  • Fur, feathers, & scales
  • See how they grow
  • Catch me if you can!
  • Out in the wild
  • What clan am I in?
  • Nature's recyclers
  • Measure it all


School Programs

More About Programs at River Bend

  • Winter Fun Winter Fun Let your kids discover how much fun winter can be! With both snowshoes and kicksleds on hand, River Bend is ready to let students hit the landscape under any conditions. What better way is there to venture into nature's winter wonderland to search for signs of wildlife? Use towards completion of standards focusing on cultural history, personal resource management, living systems, and physical education. Generally appropriate for first grade and above, we even have a special sled for students with special mobility needs. Click the photo to see our curriculum page.
  • A Sense of the Season A Sense of the Season River Bend's prairie, wetlands, and Big Woods are great to explore any time of the year to study animal signs, adaptations, homes & habitats, tracking, and other aspects of nature. We can tailor a program for any age group or biome of interest. Check give us a call to find out more.
  • Sugar Bush: Then & Now Sugar Bush: Then & Now Head for River Bend's sugar bush in search of nature's sweet bounty learning about trees along the way. Your students will visit a teepee in the forest and learn earlier methods of making maple syrup. Students will select trees, set taps, collect sap and learn how to boil it down to the finished product - maple syrup. Focuses on cultural history, plant life cycles, math, and tree biology. For all grade levels. Only available during mid to late March. Length 1 1/12 hours. Click the photo to visit our curriculum page.
  • Basic Compass Basic Compass Become proficient with a compass on RBNC's courses which run through our woods and prairie. A naturalist will start students off with detailed instructions on the parts of a compass and techniques for proper use including how to count paces. Focuses on problem solving, recording data, mathematics, and physical education. For 5th grade and up. Available year round. 2 hours. Cost $8.50 per student (includes all supplies). Click the picture to visit our curriculum page.
  • Orienteering Orienteering Once your students have mastered using a compass on our basic courses they are ready for the next step. True orienteering includes using an orienteering map to plot a route with a compass and then reaching the location across varied terrain. Students must be competent in using a compass. Focuses on problem solving, mathematics, map skills, and physical education. For 6th grade and up. Available year round. 2 hours. Cost $8.50 per student (includes use of maps and compasses).
  • Water Quality Water Quality Water quality is a key environmental issue. This program will have students collect water samples and test for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, phosphates, and nitrates to determine the quality of pond and river water. An additional 1/2 hour can be added to include collecting and identifying macro-invertebrates as another method of assessing quality. Focuses on scientific inquiry, water cycle, math and measuring, and human impacts on the environment. For 5th grade and up. Available spring and fall. Basic program 1 1/2 hours $7.50 per student. With macro-invertebrates 2 hours, $10.50 per student.
  • The Scientific Method Question Hike The Scientific Method Question Hike Develop the questioning techniques necessary for scientific thinking while exploring RBNC's 10 miles of trails. Students will hike and explore to inspire questions about the natural world. Creating an in-depth question can be as much fun as finding the answer. Students will take their questions and form them into hypotheses. Focuses on scientific inquiry, observation skills, and critical thinking. For 3rd grade and up. Available year round. 1 1/2 hours. Cost $6.50 per student.
  • Science of Sledding Science of Sledding Why can you slide in nylon snow pants but not jeans? Students will use scientific inquiry to pose questions and experiment to seek answers to how things slide. Investigating the roles of friction and water through using sleds, kick sleds and other materials will stimulate critical thinking in students. Focuses on scientific inquiry, weather, and the structure and properties of matter. For 2nd grade and up. Available in winter. 1 1/2 hours. Cost $6.50 per student.
  • What else would you like to try? What else would you like to try? Choose from any of our other school units or suggest a new one just for your class. Teacher training seminars and workshops are also available, as are weekend public programs and larger special events. Explore more of our curriculum by clicking on the photo.

« Our mission is to help people discover, enjoy, understand, and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us. »
   River Bend Nature Center a donor-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
PO Box 186, 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN 55021-0186 USA
 507.332.7151  |
©2017 River Bend Nature Center. Faribault, MN, USA.
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