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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Field Trip Options (by grade level)



Field Trip Options for Preschool - 8th Grade

Through Portland Parks Environmental Education


 

Find what you are looking for quickly...
Age or Grade Level Where to find the Field Trip Options
Toddler and Preschooler Option Click here for Private Ladybug Walk information
Kindergarten Optpions Click here for Kindergarten options
1st Grade Options Click here for 1st grade options
2nd Grade Options Click here for 2nd grade options
3rd Grade Options Click here for 3rd grade options
4th Grade Options Click here for 4th grade options
5th Grade Options Click here for 5th grade options
Middle School Options
(6-8 Grade)
Click here for Middle school options
High School and Adult We don’t have any pre-designed field trips for this age group,
but if you are looking for something specific, please call our
office at (503) 823-3601 or email enviroed@portlandoregon.gov
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions

 

Kindergarten Field Trips

Trees

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Any Season $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
Twigs, trunks, leaves… oh my! Join us for a guided hike dedicated to our tallest friends in the forest. But what does it take for a seed to grow into a giant? Who uses trees and for what reasons? Through games, imagination, and exploration, students observe the important roles trees play in the forest ecosystem.
Meets Next Generation Science Standards K-LS1-1, K-ESS3-1, and K-ESS3-3.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) The parts of a tree on both broadleaf and conifers.

2) Trees need water, sun, nutrients, and space to grow. 

3) Forest animals use trees for food and shelter.

4) Kindergarteners can reduce their impact on trees by using less paper towels, and by using both sides of paper. 

Suggested Locations:  Any forested natural area (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Corvids

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Any Season $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
These bossy birds are around us most of the time, but we generally ignore them! Maybe we shouldn't, however, because they are actually in a constant state of observation and adaptation to a very complicated, built environment. Through observation, games, and activities, students will learn the characteristics and behaviors of this common bird family and test their "corvid" cognition as they become smart and sassy scavengers.
Meets Next Generation Science Standards K-LS1-1 and K-ESS3-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Corvids need food, water, shelter and space to survive.                   

2) Corvids are a family of birds that include crows, ravens, and magpies.                          

3) Corvids are smart and have developed special strategies for living in urban areas, like imitation and observation.                                         

4) Corvids are problem-solvers and use experimentation to succeed at a challenging task.                                                                                           

Suggested Locations:  We can help pick a park near you!  (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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First Grade Field Trips

Plants

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Spring $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
Come and study the plants that creep along the ground or wind up to the tops of trees. How have they come to blanket the earth in green? On the hike, students will join the race for sunlight and water while studying individual techniques that plants use to compete.
Meets Next Generation Science Standard 1-LS3-1.  

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Seeds need soil, water, sun, and space to grow.

2) A healthy forest has a forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, canopy, and emergent trees.

3) Animals and humans use plants for food and shelter.                   

4) Young plants often have similar characteristics to the older ones, but stems, leaves, and bark change over time.

Suggested Locations:  We can help pick a park near you!  (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Amphibians

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Most are born with gills and only later grows lungs --amphibians are magical! In this lesson, students explore terrestrial and aquatic habitats since most amphibians move between the two. Search for frogs, newts, and salamanders while learning what exactly sets amphibians apart from their reptile cousins.
Meets Next Generation Science Standard 1-LS3-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most Amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Most amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water, and part of their life cycle on land.                                                                                    

3) Amphibians' skin is smooth and moist, while reptiles are dry and have scales for skin.

4) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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Second Grade Field Trips

Pollinators

Program cost per student
Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours April-May $6.50/student $4/student $3/student
Pollination is not just the work of busy bees, though they are the best dancers! Many species help pollinate and, whether they intended to do so or not, everyone benefits from their help. Why is pollination so important to the rest of us? With the help of a few games and activities, students will learn how pollination happens and why it must happen. 
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 2-LS2-2 and 2-LS4-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Many plants depend on animals to help spread their pollen to reproduce and grow new plants.

2) Plants pollinate through wind dispersal, and through animals including bees, birds, bats, ants, beetles, butterflies and moths.

3) Plants attract pollinators through scent and color. Different scents and colors attract different kinds of pollinators.

Suggested Locations:  A nearby Portland Park!
(Lesson is designed for an urban nature setting - click here to find a Portland Park near you!)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 30 students (schools supply 4-5 adult chaperones)
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Geology

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours Any Season $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Oregon has seen some of the largest lava flows to have ever occurred anywhere on Earth, making it a perfect landscape to talk about geology. Come act out the eruptions, flows, and floods that make up Portland's timeline all while standing atop an actual cinder cone volcano. This lesson is an adventure into the past while posing questions about the future!  Meets Next Generation Science Standards 2-ESS1-1 and 2-ESS2-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Oregon's topography was greatly impacted long ago by volcanoes, lava flows, sediment deposits, and huge floods.

2) Water erodes rock over time.

3) Three types of volcanoes in the Portland area are Cinder Cones, Shield Volcanoes, and Stratovolcanoes.

4) Portland Parks design park paths and public areas to slow/prevent wind, water, and humans from causing erosion.

Suggested Locations:  Mount Tabor, Powell Butte, Marshall Park
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Intro to Herpetology

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Once an active floodplain, Oaks Bottom was home to a myriad of bird and animal species. But a desire for growth and development filled in the wetland and forced many of the species to scuttle off and find new resources. But thanks to many years of active restoration and protection, the wildlife refuge is again home to a variety of interesting and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Through careful observation and guided exploration, students will have a chance to meet these frogs, salamanders and snakes up close and discover what makes them so special.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Most amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water, and part of their life cycle on land.                                                                                    

3) Amphibians' skin is smooth and moist, while reptiles are dry and have scales for skin.

4) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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Third Grade Field Trips

Habitats

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Any Season $6.50/student $4/student $3/student
Do you know what habitat you're a part of? For all critters, even us humans, where we choose to live says a lot about what we need to thrive. Students observe the creatures that have chosen to make the local park their habitat, and how they've adapted to live there. Come think like an animal and maybe you'll discover one hiding in plain sight!
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 3-LS4-3 and 3-LS4-4.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Habitats provide food, water, and shelter for animals.

2) Plants and animals adapt to their environment to become better suited to survive.

3) Portland Parks restores and protects habitats in three primary ways: species removal, native plantings, fencing of sensitive areas.

Suggested Locations:  A nearby Portland Park! 
(Lesson is designed for an urban nature setting - click here to find a Portland Park near you!)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 30 students (schools supply 4-5 adult chaperones)
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Seeds

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Oct-Dec $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
When you’re rooted to the ground, dispersing your seeds is no easy task. Some plants let gravity do all the work, while others eject their seeds with explosive force! So why are some seeds designed to cling to fur while others are hidden inside delicious fruits? During this lesson, students track down the different dispersal methods used by plants within the park and record their findings. Which technique is winning in this space and why?
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, and 3-LS4-2.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Seeds need space and must travel away from their parent plant to grow.                                                                                                         

2) Plants spread their seed by many dispersal methods including wind, water, animals, and bursting.

3) The dominant method of seed dispersal observed during the field trip, and a hypothesis as to why that method is successful in that habitat.

Suggested Locations:  We can help pick a park near you! (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Intro to Herpetology

Program cost per student
Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Once an active floodplain, Oaks Bottom was home to a myriad of bird and animal species. But a desire for growth and development filled in the wetland and forced many of the species to scuttle off and find new resources. But thanks to many years of active restoration and protection, the wildlife refuge is again home to a variety of interesting and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Through careful observation and guided exploration, students will have a chance to meet these frogs, salamanders and snakes up close and discover what makes them so special.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Most amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water, and part of their life cycle on land.                                                                                    

3) Amphibians' skin is smooth and moist, while reptiles are dry and have scales for skin.

4) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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Fourth Grade Field Trips

Geology

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours Any Season $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
The history of our planet is far older than us, so we can only understand its past by observing the present. In this geological inquiry, students will break open their own specimen to learn about the ways rocks carry history. What can Mt. Tabor teach us about future natural hazards?
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 4-ESS1-1 and 4-ESS2-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) The three classes of rocks we find are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

2) Scientists use specific language to describe and identify rocks. (Luster, fracture, breakage, streak color)

3) Rocks and minerals found in our Portland Parks give us clues to the events that took place in the past.

4) Impacts of erosion can happen quickly or over a long period of time and can be caused by humans or natural phenomena

Suggested Locations:  Mount Tabor, Powell Butte, Marshall Park
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Animal Senses

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Any Season $6.50/student $4/student $3/student
Tuning into our own senses helps us understand what it's like to be a wild animal. After all - we are animals too! Learn all about animal senses by focusing on animals found in your neighborhood park! Students will make observations about the park, look for signs of animals, and determine what types of animals might live there. Through games and activities, students will learn about the different senses park animals use to survive, and will explore how human activity might disturb the use of those senses (noise pollution, light pollution, etc).
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) All animals use their senses to make decisions.  

2) Human impact can disturb/impact animal senses (noise pollution, light pollution, etc) but sometimes animals adapt to the built world and use it to their advantage.

3) Every animal has certain senses that are highly developed and others that are less developed.                                                                         

4) To make up for senses that are less developed, every animal has adaptations that help it survive better in its surroundings.

 

Suggested Locations:  A nearby Portland Park! 
(Lesson is designed for an urban nature setting - click here to find a Portland Park near you!)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 30 students (schools supply 4-5 adult chaperones)
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Intro to Herpetology

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Once an active floodplain, Oaks Bottom was home to a myriad of bird and animal species. But a desire for growth and development filled in the wetland and forced many of the species to scuttle off and find new resources. But thanks to many years of active restoration and protection, the wildlife refuge is again home to a variety of interesting and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Through careful observation and guided exploration, students will have a chance to meet these frogs, salamanders and snakes up close and discover what makes them so special.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Most amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water, and part of their life cycle on land.                                                                                    

3) Amphibians' skin is smooth and moist, while reptiles are dry and have scales for skin.

4) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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Fifth Grade Field Trips

Decomposers

Program cost per student
Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Nov-Mar $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
Meet the forest's FBI - Fungus, Bacteria, and Invertebrates, that is! These often-times hidden organisms do all the dirty work of changing dead plants and animals back into nutritious soil that sets the stage for new growth. Through hiking, exploration, and up-close observation, students will find different types of decomposers and start to put together the story of the forest around them. Decomposers are mostly sheltered from our view, and yet they play one of the most important roles in the natural world.
Meets Next Generation Science Standard 5-LS2-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Decomposition is the process where dead plants and animals are broken down by organisms into nutrients and organic matter.                                     

2) The primary decomposers are bacteria and fungi, but insects, worms, and larger scavengers help decomposition happen. 

3) Forests of the Pacific Northwest are full of different species of fungi, molds, mildews, bacteria, and invertebrates that turn dead organic matter back into nutritious soil.

4) The organic material on the forest floor is directly related to the trees, shrubs, and plants above it. Different organic matter attracts different decomposers.

 

Suggested Locations:  Any forested natural area (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Birds, Energy and Technology

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Spring $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student
How do birds impact the community of living organisms? And how do the communities around them impact the birds? Every bird has a habitat, a niche, and a relationship to both the plant and animal kingdom. Come along on a mini bird expedition, where students learn to use actual tools and technology to document where birds live, what they eat, and how they survive.
Meets Next Generation Science Standards 5-PS3-1, 5-LS2-1, and 5-ESS3-1.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Learning the parts of the bird and how to describe each one can help us identify the species, sex, and age.                                                   

2) Observing bird behavior in a scientific way can help with bird identification.

3) Birds must take in enough calories each day to support their body type, activity level, and energy needed to survive.

4) Birds rely on producers to survive, either as a primary consumer or a secondary consumer.

Suggested Locations:  We can help pick a park near you! (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Intro to Herpetology

Program cost per student
Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Once an active floodplain, Oaks Bottom was home to a myriad of bird and animal species. But a desire for growth and development filled in the wetland and forced many of the species to scuttle off and find new resources. But thanks to many years of active restoration and protection, the wildlife refuge is again home to a variety of interesting and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Through careful observation and guided exploration, students will have a chance to meet these frogs, salamanders and snakes up close and discover what makes them so special.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Most amphibians spend part of their life cycle in water, and part of their life cycle on land.                                                                                    

3) Amphibians' skin is smooth and moist, while reptiles are dry and have scales for skin.

4) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

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Middle School Field Trips (6-8 Grade)

Native and Invasive Plants

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours Any Season $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Many plants are introduced to our Pacific Northwest forests, and much of the time they reside alongside our native plants without issue. But one plant in particular - English Ivy - has come to thrive in our forest to such a degree that it can out-compete most of the plants around it. In this two-hour lesson in both education and stewardship, students will look closely at the characteristics of native and invasive plants, trying to discover through applied math, journaling, and discussion why ivy ends up so successful. *This field trip contains a stewardship component.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Invasive species disrupt the function of the watershed.

2) Many native plants in Oregon have deep root systems, reducing erosion and protecting watershed health. 

3) All plants compete for resources and space.                                            

4) Invasives such as English Ivy grow quickly with shallow roots, crowding out native plants and increasing erosion.

5) Ivy has certain characteristics, like year-round growth and late seed dispersal, that makes it resilient and able to out-compete many native plants in the same area.

Suggested Locations:  We can help find a park near you! (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Decomposers

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
1.5 hours Nov-Mar $6.50/student $5.50/student $4.50/student

Get up close and personal with the least talked about but incredibly important link of the food web: decomposers! Can you imagine a world without these creatures? In this lesson, students will observe the park habitat to answer the following questions: What kinds of decomposers live in our local forests and what services do they provide to the forest? How does that compare to other habitats? What would happen to a habitat if the decomposers weren't there?
Meets Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Decomposers help complete the nutrient cycle in a forest, and therefore are necessary in every habitat to keep it healthy.

2) As habitats change, decomposers adapt to the changes to get the resources they need. If they cannot adapt, they leave or die.

3) Decomposers are directly related to the living plants and animals in an ecosystem. As living things die, different decomposers thrive while others disappear.

4) Changes in the decomposer population impact the food chain.

Suggested Locations:  Any forested natural area (Click here to see some common options)
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

 

Amphibians

Program cost per student

Cost per student If >65% free/reduced lunch If >80% free/reduced lunch
2 hours March-May $8.00/student $7.00/student $6.00/student
Amphibians are a crucial indicator species - they are often the first animals to be impacted when a habitat's health declines. Students will learn why amphibians are so susceptible to changes in habitat health, as well as what problems amphibians most frequently face. We will take a close up look at a few local species of salamanders and frogs to investigate their habitat's health, and discuss how a loss of amphibians in Oaks Bottom would have a ripple effect on the rest of the species in the habitat.
Meets Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS1-4, MS-LS4-4.

Learning Outcomes - After the field trip, students should know:

1) Most amphibians go through a complete metamorphosis, but some give birth to young that are small versions of the adult.

2) Some amphibians are pond-breeding while others are terrestrial and live their entire lives in upland forest.

3) Amphibians can breathe through their skin, and are sensitive to toxins in the environment. They must be handled in a way that protects them from harm.

4) Amphibians are an "indicator" species, meaning they are sensitive to changes and toxins in their environment. Presence of a diverse selection of amphibians tells us the forest is healthy.                             

5) We have the power to protect amphibians through care and restoration.

Suggested Locations:  Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Naturalists Required: 1 naturalist per 15 students
Click here to see our online availability calendar!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What days are available for field trips?

Please check our availability calendar to see which days are still available for your group size.  The calendar gives an idea of how many naturalists are available to work with groups that day. The number of naturalists required to facilitate each field trip are listed in the Field Trip Options list below.

What if I have a small group?

Our minimum group size is twelve (12) participants. (We can accommodate groups smaller than 12 participants, but you will be charged the minimum rate.)

What if we want to have the educators visit our classroom before the field trip?

Classroom programs are offered in conjunction with outdoor field trips for an additional fee. With some field trips, having the ability to teach a class relevant information in an indoor space is beneficial. Classroom instruction is scheduled to take place within 1 week of the outdoor field trip and is calculated using an hourly rate. We charge $60 for the first hour and $20 for each additional hour. 

What do field trips cost?

Cost information for each field trips is listed below along with the topics, objectives, and suggested locations. 

We are a Title 1 School. Do you offer a discount?

Schools where 65% or more of the students receive free/reduced lunch and/or receive Federal Title 1 funds are eligible to receive a discount per student. Discounted costs are listed in the Field Trip Options list below.

What field trips do you offer and for what grades do you offer them?

We offer field trips for Preschool  – 8th grade. Each field trip is designed to be 1 ½ -2 hours long - except for our Private Preschool Ladybug Walks which are only one hour. Our goal is to teach experiential ecology to children and youth using a variety of engaging outdoor teaching methods. We use methods like inquiry, journaling, educational games, guided discovery, art, stories, songs, experimentation, and exploration to connect participants to the objectives of the lesson. Each lesson is designed with objectives that closely match common science units for each grade level and meet Next Generation Science Standards.

Still have questions? Please call/text or email our Coordinator for Environmental Education, Chrissy Larson, at (503) 823-1149 or chrissy.larson@portlandoregon.gov.