Classes We Offer2018-08-02T12:10:36+00:00

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Classes We Offer

The Barrier Island Environmental Education Program offers over 40 different classes to meet the needs of your students. We have divided them by time into one and two hour classes and evening classes.

Human Impact

How can magnifying glasses, earthworms and chocolate chips teach students about energy, renewable and non-renewable resources, recycling and composting? Sign up for Human Impact to find out! In addition, students will learn how plants and animals become in danger of extinction, how to help with the problem, and how all species are important to us.

Marine Mammal Madness

Students will primarily learn about Bottlenose Dolphins of the South Carolina coast.  The class begins inside, playing educational games and learning more about marine mammals in general and dolphins in particular; then we end the class on the beach, looking for dolphins in the estuary.  The class focuses on: dolphin physiology, marine mammal endangered species, and dolphin conservation efforts.  After this class students will have a good understanding of why these animals are so special and deserve our conservation efforts.

Seining

Offered in the Fall and Spring
A hand held seine net is used to collect estuary life like fish, shellfish, and jellyfish from our beach.  Groups work together to pull the net through the surf to catch animals.  Topics include fish physiology, adaptations, feeding habits, tidal movements, and population fluctuations.

Entomology

Often overlooked, insects and other arthropods provide us with easily accessible animals to look at, while in the process of investigating their niche in the ecosystem. This class covers life cycles, adaptations, and relationships to similar groups of animals.  This class is often paired with Pondering Life, since a lot of the animals found in the pond are also arthropods.  Students use sweep nets to catch insects.

Entymology

Pondering Life

Fresh Water Ecology
This class deals with the natural and chemical components of the pond community.  During class, students use nets to take samples from a fresh water pond,  and they identify pond species.  Included are studies of fish, insect larvae, algae, water plants, and other organisms.

Sharks

What is the fastest shark?  What is the biggest shark?  How are sharks like metal detectors?  Come to this class to have all of your sharks questions answered.  Find out why sharks are such incredible fish.  Learn why sharks aren’t so scary and why they are great to have around!

It Skinks

Reptiles and Amphibians
This class covers similarities and differences between Reptiles and Amphibians, the basic physiology of both groups and then specific details of groups like frogs/toad/salamanders, venomous/non-venomous snakes, tortoises/terrapins/sea turtles, alligators/crocodiles.  During class, we will bring out specific animals for the students to study in detail by touching or holding them.  No, there are no venomous snakes in the classroom.  Yes, the students will get to touch an alligator!

Lost and Found

Orienteering
This class will introduce students to orienteering.   The use of a compass and the recognition of environment are skills that will be taught.  Students will be given a compass and their job is to follow the clues (which contain several riddles to cement their learning from other classes at Barrier Island) to the buried treasure.

Orienteering

Paws

Animal Tracking
This class deals with animal habitats, behaviors, and adaptations.  Students are asked to determine behavior and habitats of animals by examining their tracks.  Some tracks investigated may be deer, fox, bobcat, raccoon, birds and more.  Preserved animal parts are used for hands-on learning.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Dig

All about Sea Turtles
In this class, students learn about the life cycle of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the role of the Turtle Patrol.  The students may even get to go out on the beach to find and relocate a (model of a) turtle nest.  During Turtle season, the students may be lucky enough to see a real nest or site.

Scales and Tails

(offered in the winter as the indoor version of Seining)
Study of Fish
Explore our Aquarium and see what strange adaptations fish can have.  Students will have an opportunity to understand more about anadromous fishes, schooling, feeding habits, fish antifreeze and life in a weightless environment.  Each fish species has certain physical characteristics that give us insight into the niche the fish has in the ecosystem.  We will give students the opportunity to learn these key characteristics and then put them into practice while observing the many species we have in our aquarium.

Wings & Things

Bird Life
With the use of binoculars and preserved bird parts (wings, skulls, feet, etc.) students learn about bird habitats, adaptations, behavior, migration, flocking, and nesting.   The beach and forest environments may be visited.

Woodstalk

Learning About the Forest
March through our maritime forest investigating an array of plants and animals. Also, learn some history of the growth and development of the maritime forest while experiencing it first-hand.

Let’s Sea

Beach, Dunes, and Salt Marsh Ecology
This class is a two mile hike along the beach, sand dunes, and salt marsh trails.  Topics include tides, beach zones, barrier island formation, plants and animals and the relationships between each habitat.  This is the famous mudpit class that you may have heard about.  What better way to reward the students for listening attentively and learing so much about key ecosystems on this barrier island, than to let them get ridiculously muddy at the end of it!
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Need-A-Friend

Team building challenge course
This two hour class emphasizes teamwork, cooperation, and communication.  Students learn how to work together in order to accomplish various challenging obstacles.

Pondering Life/Entomology 

Fresh Water Invertebrate Ecology & Biology
This 2 hr combination allows for students to study the pond ecosystem and gain a grasp on key concepts like succession, abiotic/biotic, food web, decomposition, dependency on the sun, etc.  As part of this class, students get knee deep in the pond collecting animals with dip-nets.  This reinforces the idea of what an ecosystem is (a relationship between biotic and abiotic factors), and how all animals require food, water and shelter.  Students then get to use a dichotomous key to identify the invertebrates and vertebrates found by their classmates.  This then rolls smoothly into a more in-depth look into the physiology and life cycle patterns of invertebrates (primarily insects).  The students will see first-hand how different insects are adapted for different roles or niches in the environment, and how some have aquatic larval forms that then matamorph into adult flying insects.  The lesson wraps up with another hunt for insects, this time with butterfly nets, with the aim of catching some of the numerous colorful dragonflies to look at more closely.

Woodstalk + Wild Wetlands 

Maritime Forest  &  Wetland Ecology
Students will learn first hand what makes a forest near the sea different from other forests and the importance of natural wetlands.   Appreciation and understanding of the interrelationships in nature are emphasized. A comparison of trees illustrates their similarities and differences. Students will learn what factors make up a wetland and will participate in activities highlighting the crucial roles that wetlands play in an ecosystem.   Students learn what wetlands look, feel, and smell like as they explore a salt marsh and freshwater slough.  Other exercises may deal with food webs, habitats, and adaptations.

Pondering Life

Fresh Water Ecology
This class deals with the natural and chemical components of the pond community.  During class, students use nets to take samples from a fresh water pond,  and they identify pond species.  Included are studies of fish, insect larvae, algae, water plants, and other organisms.

Water Moccasin Swamp Trail

Forest and Swamp Ecology
A maritime forest is a special place, and this is a rare opportunity for you and your students.  During a two mile hike through the woods and over our swamp boardwalk, students will learn what makes a forest near the sea different from other forests.  Appreciation and understanding of the interrelationships in nature is emphasized.  A comparison of trees illustrates their similarities and differences. Other exercises may deal with food webs, habitats, and adaptations.

Woodstalk + Claws 

Forest Ecology and Crabbing
(Offered in the Fall and Spring)
This combination class is a two hour adventure down Crab Dock Road.  Students learn about the characteristics of a maritime forest and the types of plants and animals that live there.  Later, students try to catch crabs using baited crab lines.  Discussion includes commercial crabbing, the importance of crabbing to Native Americans, and respect for crabs as living animals.

Seining

Salt Water Life Exploration
(Offered in the Fall and Spring)
A hand held seine net is used to collect estuary life like fish, shellfish, and jellyfish from our beach.  Groups work together to pull the net through the surf to catch animals.  Topics can include adaptations, feeding habits, tidal movements, and population fluctuations. The difference between this class and the one hour seining class is that we will have more time for everyone to pull the net several times, a more in-depth look at our Aquarium, and a closer look at sharks.

Challenge

Group Challenge Games
In groups, students are presented with problems that require mental and/or physical solutions in a fun and supportive setting. The challenges involve both problem solving and teamwork.
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Dance

Swing Your Partner
Line dances such as the Virginia Reel (Barrier Island style) and the Electric Slide are featured. These are simple dances that are easy to learn;  the majority of the time is spent dancing, not teaching.

Night Walk

Offered During EST only
This activity is a walk through the forest or on the beach using our “night eyes.”  Sensory awareness, searching for animals, and overcoming fear of the dark are emphasized.

Campfire

Stories, Songs, and Fun
This activity gets the kids singing and laughing, and is a nice end to the day. On clear nights, astronomy may be included.

Environmental Hearing 

Available as a 45 or 90 minute session
This activity involves a simulated town meeting in which a hypothetical situation is presented to the students. Groups of students are assigned a role which they must defend considering its economic, social, and environmental impacts. This is an activity that helps students to look at both sides of an issue.

Astronomy

Learn about the Night Sky (Offered during EST only)
Learn the night sky and find out some new facts about stars, planets, moons, meteors, satellites and folklore.

Games

Tag! You’re It!
This activity involves Non-Competitive, group oriented games. These fun ice breakers are designed to be fun, and to tire excited students before bed with lots of activity.

Talent Night

Done during weeklong stays only
Here is your groups chance to demonstrate their talents. Groups of students and adults prepare and present acts, skits, songs, or whatever!