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Education Programs

In-person and Online Educational Opportunities Available

We have reached thousands of young people, inspiring curiosity, lifetime learning, and connection with the outdoors.

Education & Outreach

Located in the heart of Jacksonville, we believe that connecting kids with the many natural areas the first coast has to offer. Education and outreach are the foundation of establishing successful conservation programs and our aim is to get every kid outside we can! Every year, our education team attends events across the U.S. to help people connect with snakes and understand their important to our ecosystems. On average, our team reaches close to 50,000 people annually at several events, including the Claxton Rattlesnake Festival, Pasco County Rattlesnake Festival, the Florida Fire Festival, Lubee Bat Festival, Endangered Species Day and Party for the Planet at Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, and many more!

 

Through these outreach and education programs, our team works to dispel myths, teach people about the importance of rattlesnakes to our ecosystems, the potential for venom research to help save human lives, and help reduce conflict with wildlife. 

Classroom programs

We have many different education programs for kids, but one of our favorite things to do is visit local schools! We have hands on classroom activities and teach students about Florida ecosystems, how to get involved in STEM, and of course we bring ambassador animals like SNAKES and TORTOISES!

Presentations last 1-2 hours, but can be tailored to be longer or shorter. Our team of educators is also familiar with the State of Florida education requirements and can help teachers check off some of those required teaching items for the year!

Interested in our team coming out to visit? Contact us today to schedule a presentation!

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Classroom Progams
On-site Field Trips
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On-site Field Trips

Looking to join us in Jacksonville at our on-site location at the Tree Hill Nature Center? We have a variety of educational programs designed to meet Florida state educational standards for you to choose from. 

All of our on-site field trip programs will be about 2 hours in length and include admission to the nature center. Each program will be geared around a different theme, but will incorporate a hands-on classroom activity, an outdoor activity, and a chance to interact with one or more of our animal ambassadors. Contact us today to book your program

On-site Field Trip Options

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Students will distinguish different qualities in sound, learn more about how rattlesnakes are adapted to use sound, and build working models that demonstrate how sound is produced from vibrations!

Shake, Rattle, & Roll

Kindergarten

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Students will compare and contrast plants and animals by their characteristics and behaviors, investigate local habitats, and explore some of the ways that rattlesnakes - and all animals - depend on their environment.

Ecosystem Detectives

Kindergarten

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Students will discuss the five senses and learn that animals, including rattlesnakes, use their senses to communicate. Students will explore these concepts through observing animal behavior and differentiate between living and nonliving things in a hands on investigation.

Who Am I?

First Grade

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In this hands on activity, students will learn that rattlesnakes, like all animals and humans, have needs that must be met in order to survive. We will compare and contrast basic needs for survival, observe how animals interact with their environment, and build habitat models.

Survival Of the Fittest

Second Grade

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Students will learn to classify animals into major groups based on their characteristics, behaviors, and needs. We will observe vertebrates and invertebrates in their natural environment, hike through varied habitat, and sort each organism based on its attributes.

Classy Critters

Third Grade

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Students will follow along with the movements from real eastern diamondback rattlesnakes over a one year period through interactive storytelling to determine how animals and plants respond to changing seasons and other disturbances.

Rattlesnake Movements

Third Grade

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Students will follow the flow of energy from the sun as it is transferred along the food chain through producers to consumers. What do rattlesnakes eat? What eats rattlesnakes? How do these animals impact their environment through the food web?

The Food Web

Fourth Grade

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Students will discuss and observe unique adaptations that make rattlesnakes so successful in their environments. Students will explore how animals and plants are affected when changes occur and make important predictions on survivability.

I will Survive!

Fifth Grade

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Students will analyze and describe how rattlesnake cells compare to other plant and animal cells. They will also play a series of games to learn about the organizational structure of life and the components of a cell.

All Things Cells

Sixth Grade

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Students will discuss and observe unique adaptations that make rattlesnakes so successful in their environments. Students will explore how animals and plants are affected when changes occur and make important predictions on survivability.

Amazing Adaptations

Seventh Grade

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Students will observe a live timber rattlesnake and participate in an engaging outdoor activity where they create a habitat and determine what size population it can support. We will explore topics of mutualism, predation, parasitism, competition, and more.

Timber! Falling for you

Seventh Grade

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In this hands-on activity, students will compare & contrast how living organisms acquire energy needed for life processes through various metabolic pathways. We breathe, rattlesnakes breathe, do plants also breathe?

Rattlesnake Breath

Eighth Grade

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You were bitten by a venomous snake-how does the venom travel through your body? How do neurotoxins affect cell signal transmission across a synapse? Students will explore these topics and more through an outdoor snake bite reenactment activity. 

Envenomation Station

High School

Suburban Homes

Students will discuss and observe large scale environmental impacts resulting from human activity at urban forests. They will explore how these impacts affect rattlesnake populations, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes.

Urban Forests

High School

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stem station

Introducing The Rattlesnake Conservancy's newest education program, STEM Station: Science in the Great Outdoors!

Every month, our team of dedicated counselors and scientists will embark on a great adventure, leading children ages 8-13 through Florida's natural ecosystems. While on these adventures, children will have safe, meaningful interactions with native flora and fauna while taking part in activities that will expand their knowledge on the great outdoors and natural sciences.

Where?

These programs will take place in various parks and natural areas throughout Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. John's counties, including Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville, FL.

STEM Station

what to expect

  • One day, drop off program

  • May last anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on the session

  • Guided interpreted hikes through natural areas

  • Learning about native plants and wildlife

  • Collecting data and surveying landscapes

  •  Learning new wilderness skills

  • Making crafts from natural items

  • Meeting ambassador animals such as different reptiles, amphibians and mammals

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Reptile Encounters

Are you interested in getting an up close look at our ambassador animals? Join us for our animal encounter programs and meet our bearded dragon, nonvenomous snakes, and tortoise!

This family friendly program is about an hour in length and includes admission to the nature center. We will discuss various reptile groups, identification of important species,  key reptile terminology, and so much more. Animal Encounters are held most Saturdays at 12pm. Reserve your spot today!

Reptile Encounters
Homeschool Programs

Homeschool Programs

Whether you are looking for a virtual school option, field trip, or on-site learning program at co-op, our team of educators is here to help you with your kids' education needs. Our team recognizes the importance of homeschool programs, with some of our staff even homeschooling their own kids!

We are excited to offer the same exciting programs that we do for on-site schools, where students will get the chance to learn all about Florida ecosystems, working in the STEM field, and REPTILES! Contact us today to tell us about your student's interests and we will tailor an education program that can help you meet your teaching requirements for the year!

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Guided Nature Hikes
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Guided Nature Hikes

Are you looking for group or private guided tours in Florida's outdoors? We take students on exciting hikes to learn about our native ecosystems and discover the wildlife that lives there! Is your kid interested in frogs? snakes? lizards? or even birds? Some species are even best to see at night time, so reach out to our team to give your kids unique learning opportunity!

To setup your private or group guided hike, contact our education team today!

We also offer organized events through our STEM Station Program, which is hosted throughout the area at Tree Hill Nature Center, State Parks and Forests, and National Forests!

Educator Resources (Free)

Educator resources

Not in our area? No problem! Check out our growing Educator Resources page to find cool activities for kids! We have coloring books, informational posters, activities, and more!

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