This hands-on exhibit opened in September and closes January 5, 2018 | FREE
This rich and inviting interactive exhibit is inspired by the Harvard classic A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilizationby science writer John Perlin. It sheds new light on the history of the use of wood throughout the world, on forest products (from paper to life-saving pharmaceuticals) and on the relationship between forests and the benefits of trees.
Brookside Nature Center provides a variety of programs and experiences for students of all ages. Our goal is to excite students through experiential environmental education programs, developing along the way a sense of responsibility towards our natural and historical resources.
In support of K-12 environmental literacy graduation requirements, Brookside Nature Center and other Montgomery County Parks Nature Centers will be waiving the $6/student fee for all K-12 students in Montgomery County attending programs that meet these requirements. They are marked with an asterisk*. (There is a $1.00 surcharge for puppet shows.)
For other programs, students are charged $6 for a one-hour program. To encourage chaperones to help we allow one chaperone free for every 5 students grades K-12, and one free chaperone for every four PreK students. Additional chaperones will be charged the program rate.
Some programs have an additional material fee.
*Seasons and Senses: On a hike to different habitats, students learn what makes weather and interpret different elements of weather like sun, wind, precipitation and clouds and discover how weather affects plants, animals, people and the landscape we live in. Offered September – December and March – June.
*Exploring Living Things: Habitats All living creatures need food, water, shelter, and space. Students will investigate the four elements of a good habitat. Find out how human beings affect and are affected by natural habitats. Learn what we can do to protect the ‘homes’ of our wildlife neighbors. Explore several outdoor habitats and look for signs of the animals that live there. Offered September – October and April – June.
*Earth Materials: In this program students will explore the rocks, soil, and minerals found in area surrounding the nature center. Learn about what’s hidden under your feet and identify and classify rocks and earth materials such as sand, silt, and soil by their physical properties. Through outdoor exploration, find out the importance of earth materials to people, plant, and animals. Learn how geology affects the shape of hills, valleys, and water features. Offered September – October and April – June. Recommended for Grades 3 & up.
*Adaptations and Survival: Students will be introduced to the animals who live in the local habitats to learn about their adaptations allowing them to survive. Teachers can choose to focus on Insects (Recommended for Grades 1-3) or Vertebrates (Recommended for Grades 1 & up). Offered September – October and May – June
*Pond & Stream: What’s a pond? What’s a stream? And, who lives there? This program introduces younger students to aquatic habitats. Recommended for Grades K-2 Offered September-October and May-June
*Ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay: This full morning program offers students the chance to explore the aquatic habitats of Brookside Nature Center: Students will observe physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of the watershed to better understand how they function. Offered September – October and May – June. Recommended for Grades 4 & up.
Early Settlers: Students will experience the daily life activities of early settlers and identify ways in which they adapted to and influenced their local and regional environment. As part of this program each student will make their own candle.There is an additional materials fee charge for this program. Recommended for Grades 3 & up.
Native Ways: Students will experience the daily life of Eastern Woodland Indians as they lived in our area over 1,000 years ago. We will explore where they found shelter, how they prepared food, what they wore, and children’s roles. We’ll discover the importance of certain plants and animals, and how deeply the Woodland Indians were connected to the natural world. Learn how they obtained tools, clothing and food from plants, animals, bones and stones. Offered September – November and March – June. Recommended for Grades 3 & up.
Apple Cider Pressing: Join us in this one-hour program as we put the squeeze on some apples! Learn the history of apples in America. Discover the art of cider making and try a taste of this traditional American drink. This program offered in October only. There is an additional $2/student material fee for this program.
Maple Sugaring – In this program, students will learn how early settlers learned how to make Maple Syrup from the Native Americans. Students will be taken through the sweet process from photosynthesis to tasting real maple syrup. This program is offered from late January to the end of February. Recommended for PreK & up.