Field Trips

High School

High School

Look at a forest. Do you see something still and quiet, or an ecosystem in constant flux? Working in teams in forested plots, students identify tree species and estimate their ages. By pooling and analyzing their data, they are able to make inferences about the history of the forest, and predictions about its future composition. This leads to an evaluation of the health of our suburban forests and the role of humans in managing them.

Standards:

Science and Engineering Practices
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-2),(HS-LS4-4)
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (HS-LS4-5)

Core Disciplinary Ideas
A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (HS-LS2-2),(HS-LS2-6)

Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem. Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. Thus sustaining biodiversity so that ecosystem functioning and productivity are maintained is essential to supporting and enhancing life on Earth. Sustaining biodiversity also aids humanity by preserving landscapes of recreational or inspirational value. (secondary to HS-LS2-7)

Cross-cutting Concepts
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (HSLS4-1), (HS-LS4-3)
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4),(HS-LS4-5)

Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-4)

Who is awake when you are asleep? Using pictorial data from Teatown’s trail cameras, analyze and compare the daily habits of opossums, squirrels and deer. Learn the distinction between nocturnal, diurnal and crepuscular animals, and discuss the relationship between their behaviors and their role in the ecosystem. Finish by hiking out onto Teatown’s preserve and setting your own motion-detecting camera. Several weeks later, your class will receive its original data in the form of pictures from the camera you set in the woods.

Standards:

Science and Engineering Practices
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4)
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (HS-LS4-5)

Disciplinary Core Ideas
Ecosystems have carrying capacities, which are limits to the numbers of organisms and populations they can support. (HS-LS2-1), (HS-LS2-2)
Carrying capacity results from the availability of biotic and abiotic factors and from challenges such as predation, competition, and disease. (HS-LS2-1), (HSLS2-2)

A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (HS-LS2-2), (HS-LS2-6)

Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem. (HS-LS2-7)

Crosscutting Concepts
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-3)
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4), (HS-LS4-5)

Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-4)

Explore the physical, biological and chemical characteristics of Bailey Brook to understand the stream as a freshwater ecosystem. Meet the macroinvertebrates living in the stream, take temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, observe how trees shade and filter the water. Make the connections to our larger ecosystem, recognizing the importance of healthy streams to all of us in the Hudson Valley watershed.

Standards:

Science and Engineering Practices
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4)
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (HS-LS4-5)

Disciplinary Core Ideas
A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (HS-LS2-2), (HS-LS2-6)

Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem. (HS-LS2-7)

Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. Thus sustaining biodiversity so that ecosystem functioning and productivity are maintained is essential to supporting and enhancing life on Earth. Sustaining biodiversity also aids humanity by preserving landscapes of recreational or inspirational value. (secondary to HS-LS2-7)

Crosscutting Concepts
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (HSLS4-1),(HS-LS4-3)
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. (HS-LS4-2),(HS-LS4-4),(HS-LS4-5)

Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-4)

What’s living in your backyard? Live animals, mounts and bones will be used in this lively program about the species found in the lower Hudson Valley. Concepts such as biodiversity, population dynamics, habitat fragmentation, adaptation and conservation are introduced. Through encounters with our animal ambassadors, students will find out why some animals struggle to survive in our suburban environment, while others thrive and multiply. They will leave with an appreciation of the diverse life that surrounds us, and some ways to live in better harmony with wildlife.

Standards:

Science and Engineering Practices
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4)
Evaluate the evidence behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (HS-LS4-5)

Core Disciplinary Ideas
A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (HS-LS2-2), (HS-LS2-6)

Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem. (HS-LS2-7)

Natural selection leads to adaptation. (HS-LS4-3), (HS-LS4-4)

Adaptation also means that the distribution of traits in a population can change when conditions change. (HS-LS4-3)

Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometimes the extinction–of some species. (HS-LS4-5)

Species become extinct because they can no longer survive and reproduce in their altered environment. (HS-LS4-5)

Crosscutting Concepts
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-3)
Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. (HS-LS4-2), (HS-LS4-4), (HS-LS4-5)

Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific knowledge is based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and they will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS4-1), (HS-LS4-4)

The sap that rises in the maple tree in late winter has been a local food source since indigenous people lived in these woods. It also invites us to think about phenology, the study of seasonal change. In this program, students are introduced to the science of phenology and its relationship to a changing climate. By interacting with maps and charts, they learn the sugar maple’s yearly cycle and compare its range with the range of other trees in New York’s forests. Using USDA data and forecasts to make inferences, they predict how global warming may affect the maple sugar industry in New York. Students finish with a tour and a sample of the Teatown sugaring process.

Standards:

Science and Engineering Practices
Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (HS-LS1-1)
 
Core Disciplinary Ideas
Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life. (HS-LS1-1)
Anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species. (HS-LS2-7)
Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change.
Cross-Cutting Concepts
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.