K-12 School Groups

Students from Cristo Rey High School view aquatic invertebrates captured in a dipnet sample.

We are often asked if we have programs or activities for K-12 school groups. The answer is YES! We are excited to start offering customizable educational programs and activities for grades K-12.

All programs typically include a tour of the Wetlands that provides a brief history of the park, common wildlife sighted, discussion of past and ongoing research, and a walk out onto our famous boardwalks. We are happy to adjust the tour based on group interest and age level and will often highlight certain site features based on the group or organization visiting. If you’d like to request that we gear our tour towards specific content, please let us know.

Visiting groups can also choose from a list or “menu” of educational programs to add-on to their field trip. We currently have several mix and match 30-minute and 1 hour program options. Our research and outreach coordinator, Krystal Pocock, will help you identify relevant programs and schedule your visit based on your preferences and requests. Please see below for our current program offering. We are happy to share applicable learning standards and a full activity description of the programs below upon request.

Please note that there is a charge of $5/student for tours and wetland programming. This fee helps cover the cost of consumables and staff time, ultimately allowing us to continue creating incredible, hands-on experiences for youth! If you would like to sponsor programming for a student or class, please reach out to Krystal Pocock at pocock.20@osu.edu.

If you would like to schedule a tour and/or programming for your group, please fill out our interest survey. Krystal will follow up with you directly to confirm availability and schedule your experience.


30-minute programs (designed for grades K-3, but can be adapted for other ages):

Food Webs – Students will learn how energy moves between organisms and how to organize a food web.

Life Cycles – Students will explore life cycles of common organisms and learn about different life stages. At the end of the program, students will be able to correctly organize life cycles of various organisms.

Bug Adaptations – Students will learn about insect adaptations and why they are (or aren’t!) beneficial to survival. The program will be concluded by inviting students to create their own bug.

1-hour programs (designed for grades 9-12, but some can be adapted for younger students):

Invasive Investigators – Students will learn what it means for a species to be considered “invasive”. Students will put their skills to the test by practicing invasive species identification outdoors and will end the program with a fun identification game.

Interesting Interactions – Students will explore different relationships commonly found in nature and will complete a nature journaling experience that uses all of their senses.

Magnificent Macroinvertebrates – Students will learn what a macroinvertebrate is and why they are often used as indicators of water quality. Students will conduct their own macroinvertebrate sampling and gain experience with identification.

Build a Habitat – Students will learn what various organisms need to build shelter/refuge and how the requirements of one organism could be completely different from another. This program will conclude with students crafting their own habitat to take home.


We are always developing new programs and ORWRP staff would love to incorporate your feedback. If you have suggestions for future offerings or elements to add to our current programming, please send us an email at water@osu.edu.