BERNARDS TWP. – Somerset County Park Commission’s Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge is designed to make nature learning engaging for children inside and outside the classroom with naturalists professionals who present science topics using a hands-on approach.
Topics range from discovering and identifying animal tracks to discussing the process of maple syrup production. The programs are suitable for children from kindergarten to high school.
“It’s a great way for kids to gain an appreciation for nature and start respecting the environment,” said Geoffrey Soriano, secretary-director of the Park Commission. “These accredited programs make learning about nature interesting through a recreational learning experience.”
The EEC will create and adapt programs according to the needs of educators for classrooms and field trips. All programs meet N,J standards. Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Classroom programs include: “Whose Track Is That?” where children will learn to identify animals by their tracks; “Maple Sugaring,” which gives attendees a glimpse into the secret life inside a maple tree; “Amazing Adaptations”, which explains how animals adapt and survive in their habitat; and “Basically Bugs”, which investigates the creepy life of insects.
Fun excursion programs include: “Who Lives in a Pond”, where children will learn about the unique pond life and food chain; “Sensory Sleuths”, when children discover nature through their five senses while walking; “Let it Rot”, where an EEC naturalist explains the process of recycling and decomposition and how animals and species contribute to this process; and “Aquatic Habitat Math,” which gives children the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a field scientist by collecting data, identifying species and recording sightings.
These are just a few of the programs offered by CEE.
For more information, call Kurt Bender at (908) 722-1200, ext. 5332, or email [email protected]