The Challenger Seven and Alexander Deussen Learning Centers have a variety of environmental programs available to children in our schools, community centers and summer camps. Our free programs reach out to our communities to raise environmental awareness through educational opportunities. Hands-on experience is available through our Traveling Naturalist, Polliwog Club, after-school programs, field trips and Discovery Camp. Eco-friendly environmental awareness programs and events such as Earth Day and Fall Kids Fish Fest are hosted at our facilities each year to introduce our constituents to nature.
We want to share program news and upcoming events with our schools and supporters so they can take full advantage of these unique opportunities.
For more than 25 years, our Environmental Education Program has brought innovative, hands-on learning experiences in natural sciences to Harris County Precinct One youth. Our unique programs bring classroom lessons to life through up close field investigations into the ecosystems and wildlife of the Texas Gulf Coast. Our Challenger Seven & Alexander Deussen Learning Centers offer the perfect atmosphere for a variety of educational outdoor programs. Participants are sure to come home with a host of new and exciting experiences to share with their family and friends.
Discovery Camp, a Harris County Precinct One summertime endeavor, serves youth who participate in recreation centers in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. It’s designed to continue learning experiences during the summer months.
Discovery Camp enables youth to participate in activities such as nature hikes, animal programs, crafts and games that develop their natural curiosity and inquiry. They learn to identify and understand wildlife, habitats and conservation ideas. Discovery Camp also helps them to recognize the roles that plants, animals and people play in an ecosystem.
In order to measure the camp’s educational value, each child is given a quiz, both upon arrival and at the day’s end. This allows the naturalists to evaluate how much academic growth the children accomplish throughout the day.
The goal of the Traveling Naturalist Program is to establish an understanding of the natural world and its inhabitants. Children learn to appreciate nature and their environment by interacting with exotic and native animals. Our unique programs are designed to enhance the curriculum of science and biology classes in schools and recreation centers across Harris County. Each time our naturalists visit your school or recreational center, they will present a 45-minute educational program of your choosing that will include live animals.
Polliwog Club brings an interactive approach to teaching environmental and zoological concepts through children’s literature, songs, crafts, and hands-on time with our unique animals. Through partnerships with public libraries, day cares, elementary schools, and other early childhood development centers within Harris County Precinct One, the program is offered as a series of classes with a curriculum designed to reinforce concepts taught in the previous session.
Our Junior Naturalist Program is a bi-monthly after-school program designed to reach out to children who participate in local recreational centers within Harris County Precinct One during the school year. It is designed to bring the wonders of nature and the outdoors into a “classroom” environment in order to enhance the children’s curiosity and excitement for the world around them.
Participating centers receive a series of program topics designed around a common theme. With each lesson, our naturalists supply each center with applicable activities in the form of games, booklets, puzzles, and/or arts and crafts to help reinforce the concepts taught and previous visits.