Our Children’s Forest School Programs are conducted by trained educators and naturalists representing partner agencies at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Programs focus on learning about the stewardship of the Lake Superior region through grade-appropriate educational activities.
Programs are available by advance reservation only, on a first-come first-serve basis. For reservations or information, please contact Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 open enrollment for Children’s Forest School Programs are from 9 am – 12 noon on the following dates:
April 9, 13, 16, 20, 23
May 7, 9, 11, 14, 21
June 4, 5, 7, 8
(Note: Lake Superior Estuary Ed-Venture Programs for students age 12 and above may be scheduled from June-September. Please see program description below for more details.)
Classes are welcome to have lunch at the Center with advance notice. Please see the listing of Self-Directed Experiences below for information on additional educational activities to round out your day at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.
All programs are correlated to Wisconsin Academic Standards, and designed to provide relevance for multi-cultural audiences. Programs are produced in part, under grants provided by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board and the Wisconsin Coastal Management. Copies of the complete Lake Superior Stewardship K-12 Curriculum are available at the University of Wisconsin web site.
Length: 2 hrs. Group Size: Max. 45 students. Cost: Free
Students become aware of life on the forest floor and forest plant and animal diversity, while learning how people work together to make and keep forests healthy for wildlife and for us. This program features the Center’s Puppet Theater to introduce students to a wonderland of woodland critters and the interconnectedness of the woodland ecosystem.
Length: 3 hrs. Group Size: Max. 45 students. Cost: Free. These programs can be customized for the group’s grade level and special interests.
Students will discover the diversity of native plants of the northern forest, meadow, and wetland habitats, while becoming aware of the negative impacts of invasive, non-native plants. A discovery walk through forest, wetland, and meadow habitats with a hands-on stewardship activity will motivate further learning and appreciation of plant, animal and habitat diversity.
Learning about honored traditions of hunting, fishing, gathering, and making all things needed from the earth provides the background students need to begin to understand treaty rights on ceded lands. Through videos, artifacts, crafts, foods, and Ojibwe language, students will gain cultural awareness and understand the importance of learning and living respectfully with the earth and with each other.
Voyageurs, fishermen, loggers, miners– all were lured here by seemingly endless resources. Railroads and ships transported this region’s lumber and iron ore to a growing country while bringing in new people and cultures from the east and from across the ocean. Some were hoping to farm the cutover -- all looking for a new life. Students study this rich cultural history while pondering impacts on Native people and the lessons learned about sustainability of the region’s resources.
Much of the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center's property, like other northern rural areas, was cleared of its valuable timber a century ago, drained, and left in a worn-out, low-value, weedy condition. What can we do to heal the land? Students will learn first hand how trees, wetlands, and native plants can be returned to the land. They will learn how rehabing these lands can increase wildlife diversity, value to people, and benefits to streams, estuaries, and Lake Superior itself! Students will participate in a hands-on habitat rehab project and should come dressed for outdoor learning (old long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sneakers are recommended)!
Length: 2.5 hrs. Group Size: 6-12 participants. Cost: $10.00 each. Minimum age: 12 years. Offered: June-September. Advance Registration Required. Groups will receive a pre-trip packet upon making their reservation.
For reservations or information please contact Cathy Techtman at 715-685-2671 or e-mail email@example.com.
Join us on-the-water in safe, double-seater kayaks, on the sheltered Fish Creek and Whittlesey Creek Estuaries. Experience the beauty and ecology of Lake Superior's freshwater estuaries. Learn how the area's geology, culture, and history have shaped these unique coastal wetlands. Programs may be customized to meet special interests. These on-the-water experiences may be combined with an indoor Center experience for a longer program or to accommodate larger groups. Minimum age: 12 years. Offered: June—September. No experience needed, all equipment provided. Groups will receive a pre-trip packet upon making their reservation. For reservations or information please contact Cathy Techtman at 715-685-2671 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voyageur brigades that transported furs and trade goods had to function as a team in order to survive Lake Superior's challenges. This unique program uses our safe double-seater kayaks, together with leadership development games and challenges, to build your group's teamwork skills while enjoying paddling fun. This on-land and on-the-water program is conducted in the sheltered Fish Creek Estuary. For reservations or information please contact Cathy Techtman at 715-685-2671 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Science Saturday programs focus on a different science-based topic and taught by a science specialist. The programs engage children and the public in hands-on activities related to different fields of science and present paths to pursue careers related to the topics presented. Limit of 30 people for public program, unless otherwise noted. November—May. For reservations or information, please contact Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 Science Saturday Programs:
Paleontology & Archaeology: The Study of Ancient Life (dinosaurs) and Early Human Life
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
How do you tell the difference between a dinosaur bone and a cow bone? Touch real T-Rex and other dinosaur bones! Make a dino cast to take home. Take part in a dino dig. Explore past human life and learn how people lived and survived here for thousands of years. Dig and discover human artifacts from the past. Fee: $1.00 suggested donation for materials. Grades K - 2. For information or to register please call Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail email@example.com; or Dr. Mary Gruhl at 414-202-4862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Botany Bouquet: The Study of Plants
Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
What do honey, dyes, perfume, toothpaste, and baseball bats have in common? Use magnifying lenses, microscopes, chromatography, and simple chemical tests to investigate the insides of plants, flowers, seeds, and fruit. Be ready to paint with flowers! Fee: $1.00 suggested donation for materials. Grades 3 & up. For information or to register please call Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail email@example.com; or Dr. Mary Gruhl at 414-202-4862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limnology: The Study of Water
Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
How many water molecules are in a drop of water? Why is clean water important to humans? Discover how water makes a difference to all life on the planet. Explore the pond at the Visitor Center! Fee: $1.00 suggested donation for materials. Grades 3 & up. For information or to register please call Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail email@example.com; or Dr. Mary Gruhl at 414-202-4862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Genealogy Programs For information on genealogy programs sponsored by the Wisconsin State Historical Society, please call 685-2647 or e-mail email@example.com
Seeking a self-directed educational experience? We offer the following resources:
Center Exhibit Hall Engaging, interactive exhibits interpret the impact of geology, history, and culture on the Lake Superior region yesterday and today. Exhibit Hall "Eye Spy" and Scavenger Hunts are available for extra fun!
Video Programs: The Center hosts a variety of engaging video shows and traveling exhibits throughout the year, which are also integrated into educational program offerings for groups. Specific video requests may be arranged for your group by contacting our information desk at 715-685-9983 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. A selected list of favorite movie titles are as follows:
Wolves 40 min.
Discover the world of wolves by plane, helicopter, on foot and through time. Meet the pack and find out what really goes on in the wolf world where family members play, hunt, travel, howl, and struggle to survive. Find out why wolf populations are making news and discover the ancient link between buffalo herds and wolves. Enjoy with the whole family! Also available for purchase in the Center’s gift store!
People of the Forest 25 min.
Heighten your interest in the Ojibwa culture. This film follows the daily life and adventures of a young Ojibwa girl as she explains her culture’s traditional ways. A movie for the whole family!
Bears 40 min.
Experience a fascinating encounter with one of nature’s most inspiring and misunderstood creatures. From a past steeped in mythology to a future shrouded in uncertainty, this film contains stunning footage of bears in their full glory in varied natural habitats. Watch black bears, grizzlies, and polar bears as they struggle to raise their cubs and survive in an increasingly human-dominated world. Also available for purchase in the Center’s gift store!
Lost in the Woods 30 min.
A new life was born in the woods. He slept alone in the tall grass. Was he lost? The animals of the forest want to know. Watch as live video is combined with photography, music, and voice to tell the story of the award-winning children’s book. Children of all ages will enjoy this tale of trust, patience, and waiting for your time. Also available for purchase in the Center’s gift store!
Paddle to the Sea 30 min.
Based on Holling C. Holling’s beloved Caldecott-awarded children’s book, this film follows the adventures of a tiny, wood-carved canoe with a Native American man carved into its seat as it forges its own path from Lake Superior through the Great Lakes and down to the Atlantic Ocean. Buoyed by beautiful photography and a sense of true wonder about the sun, Earth, and water. An unforgettable tribute to the forces of the natural world, as well as a thrilling journey across the waves and rapids of North America.
Interpretive Trails- Learn while you stroll on the Center’s easy to walk 3/4 mile nature trail or the new Aldo Leopold Trail. Interpretive signs and guide book. Spots for reflection and relaxation.
Nature’s Discovery Area- Hands-on discovery area, just off the Center’s nature trail, includes a beaver lodge, sandbox, and an area to explore for critters.
Native Garden Walk– Plantings of native flowers & herbs are identified by name and use. Get some great natural landscaping ideas!
Special Events, Hosted Exhibits- There's always something new at the Center! We host a wide variety of special events, guest lectures, and special exhibits throughout the year. To find out what's new and what's coming next, please contact Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or e-mail email@example.com.
Interpretive programs offered July—August focusing on the region’s natural and cultural history. Keep watching our web site to see what's coming!
We host special events and special exhibits throughout the year. To see the current schedule, pease see our events page.
These items are available at the Front Desk for use at the Center. For more information, availability and reservations please call 715-685-9983 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Binoculars:Be sure to get in on great bird watching at the Center!
Activity Backpacks: Our FUN-packs contain everything you need to have an educational exploration on a variety of fun topics during your stay at the Center.
Snowshoes: Give snowshoeing a try on the Center's trail systems!