Nature School offers nature education programs that complement online school programs, parent led homeschooling, and child directed learning for grades 2- 5th. Although we are not a formal school, enrollment follows the Corvallis public school calendar.  Our goal is to provide:

  • small class sizes;
  • experienced educators;
  • mixed age groups in a place-based learning environment;
  • nature based content across the curriculum (math, reading, writing, geography, art); and
  • child-centered learning practices designed to meet state level standards, as well as national sustainability standards.

Monday & Wednesdays 1:00 – 3:00 PM ($160/month @ $20/class)

NEW THIS YEAR! Student lead science and inquiry projects with an investigative approach to engage students to ask questions & problem solve using hands-on activities that challenge students to make observations and hypothesize through both verbal and written communication

Outdoor exploration to identify study areas for phonology & citizen science projects: Each student will have a special area/plot in the park to track and observe seasonal changes on a monthly basis and will participate in the following activities:

  • Record findings in a field journal using drawing, written descriptions, poems, charts, graphs, keywords, date, weather conditions, rain temperature (at their individually appropriate level).
  • Create studies, solve mysteries or design experiments.
  • Investigate plant & animal species and soil types (biotic/abiotic components).

Guided Entomology Research Topic: Moth larva use of oak galls

  • Create statistical charts and analysis of life inside Oregon white Oak galls
  • Review (from past NS classes) & collect additional data of an undocumented adaptation found in Lepidoptera species.
  • Class will raise caterpillars and observe metamorphosis to confirm moth species present.

Local Ecology Science Investigation Student Choice Options:.

  • River rocks: Local earth science volcanoes and plate tectonics.
  • River flow: Local creeks & wetlands; rain; water cycles; atmosphere; and/or clouds.
  • Native, endangered, and invasive species: Add geography, ecology and a cultural component.
  • Local wildlife, food, ecology, connections and habitat

Questions?  Contact Instructor Meika Vingelen (meika@corvallisenvironmentalcenter, 541 758-6198) class mentor who will guide and expose students to local ecology using a diversity of games, projects, art, physics, chemistry, geology and more!

*We also offer a NaturePlay (Tu/Th) afternoon class (12:30-3:30) for ages 4-6.  NatureSchool students that are age 6 are eligible for a 4-day a week option ($400/month). Visit our NaturePlay webpage for more detail and registration.