ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Center for Wildlife's mission extends to educating our community about wildlife ecology, human impacts on wildlife and critical ecosystems, and stewardship in a region facing intense pressure from development and population growth.

 

Our education and outreach programs offer an opportunity for Project WILD educators, live animal ambassadors, hands-on materials, and displays to foster the natural connection between people and wildlife, inspiring the conservationist within. 

Center for Wildlife’s exciting team of live, non-releasable wildlife “ambassadors” trained for presentation to audiences and our Environmental Educators offer a unique opportunity to bring lessons to life and see local wildlife up close and personal.

All of our educational programs are able to be conducted virtually and in-person to fit the needs of your schools, library or organization!

Check out our educational program offerings below.

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To book a program, click on the "book now" button,

or call our Education and Outreach team at 207.361.1400 ext. 105

We look forward to hearing from you!

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New England Natives

Focusing on animals that live in Maine, we will provide an in-depth introduction to the unique differences between raptors, reptiles, and mammals.  Do snakes have fur?  Do rabbits have scales?  Are birds "cold-blooded"?  Why do opossums have pouches?  How do each of these animal groups adapt to our changing seasons?  Using our amazing non-releasable animal ambassadors and interactive displays, the answers to these and other questions will be revealed.  This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.  

*Please note that our mammals cannot travel off-site due to COVID-19 but can be visited here at the Center.

Grade Levels: Adaptable to All Ages

NGSS: 

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. 

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Birds of Prey: Our Talon-ted Friends

What is the difference between a hawk and a falcon?  Do we have vultures in Maine?  What is our smallest owl? What is our largest hawk?  Where do they live?  Using our amazing live non-releasable bird ambassadors, posters, and hands-on materials, we will discuss the kinds of birds of prey found in Maine, their habitats, habits, place in the food chain, and why we need to protect them. This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.

Grade Levels: Adaptable to All Ages

NGSS: 

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. 

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Owls: Silent Hunters of the Night

Our beautiful non-releasable owl ambassadors show off their adaptations for night hunting.  Learn about the variety of New England species, their habitats, diets, calls, and tips on how to spot them in the wild.  Educators will also focus on their importance in balancing prey populations, current challenges, and how to help. Using our amazing non-releasable animal ambassadors and interactive displays, the phenomenal adaptations of owls will be explored and discovered.  This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.  

Grade Levels: Adaptable to All Ages

NGSS: 

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. 

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Amazing Adaptations

Native wildlife have amazing adaptations they use to survive extreme cold, heat, wind and other elements. With assistance from our live, non-releasable raptor, reptile and mammal ambassadors, we will examine the special tools for surviving the New England seasons such as an owl’s feathered talons or hibernation and migration. Educators will focus on seasonal wildlife and their adaptations as well as tips on spotting and helping local wildlife.

*Please note that our mammals cannot travel off-site due to COVID-19 but can be visited here at the Center.

Grade Levels: Adaptable to All Ages

NGSS: 

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

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Nature's Nightshift: Nocturnal Animals

Please note, this program is only offered virtually at this time.

 

A wonderful introduction to Maine’s creatures of the night.  How does a bat find thousands of tiny mosquitoes in the dark?  Why would an opossum choose to lumber around at night?  How does a porcupine defend himself against a predator? How can an owl see its way through the forest?  Wild animals continue their hard work, even as we sleep.  Using live animals and hands-on materials we will answer these questions and find out how nocturnal mammals utilize all of their senses to find food and shelter at night.  Our beautiful live non-releasable animal ambassadors will also demonstrate some unique adaptations these animals have to be observed up close.

Grade Levels: K-12

NGSS: 

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity. 

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Scavengers: Nature's Cleanup Crew

Please note, this program is only offered virtually at this time.

 

When it comes to food, most animals think that fresh is best, but not so with our wild scavengers. Often seen as gross and mean, our scavengers play an incredibly important role in the breakdown of dead plants and animals, and leave their habitat cleaner and more beautiful than they found it. Our educators and non-releasable scavenger ambassadors will bust many of the most common myths and misconceptions about these beautiful, misunderstood wild friends.

Grade Levels: 2-12

NGSS: 

MS-LS2-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

3-LS4-2: Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.     

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Nature As My Muse

Throughout the history of humans, we have been inspired by nature. For younger learners, our Nature As My Muse program offers the opportunity to use the Center for Wildlife’s live animal ambassadors as the inspiration for a drawing or art project while learning about concepts such as camouflage! For older students, we can explore concepts of biomimicry and the history of how we have been inspired by nature. Students of all ages love using our animal ambassadors as live models for their artwork, and this program can be adapted to any artistic medium.

 

Grade Levels: Adaptable to All Ages

NGSS: 

1-LS1-1: Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

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Habitat Hunt

New England’s forest and fields, woods and waters, are all beautiful–but who lives there?  During this program we’ll explore the ecosystems of New England and meet some of the animals that make their homes here. We’ll also learn how wildlife use their habitats and connect to the rest of the ecosystem as part of a food web! This program is a great way to introduce learners of all ages to the basic concepts of ecology.

 

Grade Levels: 2nd-8th 

NGSS: 

2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. 

5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

5-PS3-1: Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, and motion and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.

MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.  

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CFW Field Trip

Come and visit us at the Center for Wildlife! During this fully guided field trip, students can meet all of our non-releasable animal ambassadors and explore the interactive exhibits in our nature center. Then, join our educators for either a nature walk or a workshop on wildlife rehabilitation. 

 

Grade Levels: K-12