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Explore Your Favorite Parks
+ Play and Learn in Nature
+ Earn Badges!

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The Ecologist School

When we take families out into nature, or train guides to take their own communities outdoors, the Ecologist School lessons provide the answer to “what do we do now that we’re outside?” The Ecologist School is an informal science education program that allows people to earn badges in 16 branches of science by learning and playing in nature together. The lessons in the guidebook are intended for all ages all together, encouraging curiosity that naturally leads to learning. Each lesson includes a Science Seed that contains all the information you need to know! You don’t need to be a scientist to use the Ecologist School!

earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Get Your Own Program

FIN offers customized Park Environmental Education Projects (PEEP) for schools, parks, preserves, nature centers, and green spaces of all kinds. Work with us to create your own place-specific Ecologist School pocket guide to bring an environmental education program to your community.

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