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School Programs

Program Requests

Clearwater Nature center offers curriculum-related programs for school groups as well as Community Outreach programs held at your location. For program reservations and inquiries, please email or call 301-297-4575 and speak to our Senior Administrative Aide, Karen Marshall.

All programs held at Clearwater Nature Center include an outdoor component that can be modified for inclement weather. Please dress accordingly. Our auditorium can accommodate 60 people; larger groups can be divided.

There is no fee for walk-in visitors and self guided tours except during special events. Walk-in groups are encouraged to call first as we may have other large groups visiting.

School Programs (most programs can be modified for all grade levels)

Live Animal Show (Pre-K & up)
Using a variety of live animals, students will enjoy a hands-on learning experience as they discover where the animals live, what they eat, how they move, how they adapt to survive, and much more. The Live Animal Show is our most versatile program and can be adapted to focus on a specific animal population and/or topic (e.g. reptiles, birds of prey, habitats).
Dinosaurs and Fossils (K & up)
Travel back in time to discover the secrets of prehistoric life. Investigate prehistoric plans and animals using visual aids, fossils, games and hands-on activities.
Insects (Grades 2-8)
Explore the world of insects and how they benefit the environment with a special focus on life cycles and metamorphosis for older grades. Make scientific observations using multimedia, visual aids, and specimens. Includes a hike to search for insects.
Rocks & More Rocks (Grades 2-8)
Classify rocks by their properties: size, weight, color, texture, and shape. A hands-on presentation examines nature's building blocks and explores how these natural resources are used.
Vivacious Vertebrates (Grades 2-8)
Using multimedia, visual aids, and live animals, explore the characteristics and habitats of vertebrates: mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and amphibians. Focus will be on the adaptations for survival: locomotion, diet, body coverings, communications, reproduction, migration, hibernation, and dormancy.
Wetlands and the Bay (Grades 2-8)
Focus on various wetlands, their functions and their importance to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Hike along the creek or lake and discuss the water cycle, watersheds, pollution, erosion, and other factors affecting wetlands. Use charts, nets, and trays to study live aquatic animals and plants.  On-site programs from May-October include a wetland hike, weather permitting. Students should wear old clothes and shoes that can get wet. For off-site or off-season programs, an interactive wetland activity is included.
Plants & Photosynthesis (Grades 2-8)
This is a grade appropriate exploration program with an emphasis on plant structure, functions, characteristics, and reproduction. Learn the importance of green plants and energy flow, the process of photosynthesis, and the respiration cycle. Students will hike to an area to study biotic and abiotic features of forest ecosystems using visual aids, multimedia, and measuring tools. Team up and play a competitive game.
Indians of Southern Maryland (Grades 4-8)

Examine artifacts and tools to learn about historical Eastern Woodland Indian cultures and how they used natural resources. Multimedia and outdoor activities included.

Lifecycles (Pre-K-2nd)

Designed for younger children; this program utilizes dynamic movement, props, and songs to help students learn about the lifecycles of plants, insects, and amphibians.

Sensory Hike (Pre-K & up)

Take a hike! Visit the nature center for a guided interpretive hike focused on experiencing nature through the senses. Availability subject to change based on weather. 

Animal Behavior (Grades 2 & Up)
  • Adaptations: Learn about some of the more creative ways animals use camouflage, mimicry, autotomy, and other adaptations in both offensive and defensive ways through an interactive presentation.  Meet some of the nature center's resident tricksters up close.
  • Courtship: Join a naturalist for an interactive presentation on different courtship displays in the animal kingdom and get to meet some of the nature center's resident show-offs. A craft can be added on for an additional fee. 
Nature Fact or Fiction (Grades 2-8)

We've all heard that toads cause warts, that mother birds will smell you and abandon their young if you touch them, and bathing in tomato juice will get rid of a skunky stench.  Find out the truth behind these and other nature anecdotes in our fun, interactive program.


Programs presented at Clearwater Nature Center (minimum 10 people)
  • $2 per person for Prince George's and Montgomery County schools.
  • $3 per person for schools in all other counties.
  • An optional craft can be requested for an additional $1 per person.
Programs presented at your location (minimum 25 people)
  • $3 per person for Prince George's and Montgomery County schools.
  • $4 per person for schools in all other counties.
  • Craft option is not available.
  • Live Animal Shows: special rates for large groups may apply. Please inquire for details.

Bus Parking

All buses are required to park in either of the two side parking lots - even when loading or unloading passengers. Buses are not permitted to park in or block the upper lot.