4th, 5th, and 6th grade field trips are designed to bring students into the Jocassee Gorges - by way of Lake Jocasee - to conduct hands-on investigations and make place-based connections to classroom curriculum in a real world setting.

These experiences are designed to be a full day field trip, with four hours on Lake Jocassee. 

**One classroom experience is included with, and precedes, each field trip to Lake Jocassee.

Lake Jocassee field trips and classroom experiences are structured to SC State Standards.

Max group size is 25, including teachers and chaperones. Life jackets are provided.


Field trips are supplemented by funds raised by the Jocassee Wild Outdoor Education fund, a non-profit 501(c)3.



 Students are encouraged to experience the Jocassee Gorges in person, but first, let us bring them to your school! 
We offer a wide variety of programs which have been written with SC State standards in mind. 
Each program is approximately one hour. 
**Each Lake Jocassee field trip includes one classroom experience.
Max group size is 25.



FOURTH GRADE - Black Bear Necessities
This class will immerse students in the world of American Black Bears. Students will investigate what it takes to grow the American Black Bear from less than a pound to 400 pounds or more. Students will learn fun facts about black bears, discover how they are adapted to survive in our mountains and play a game to see if they could survive in the world of bears. (Standard 4.P.4: 4.P.4B. Standard 4.L.5: 4.L.5A.3, 4.L.5A.4, 4.L.5B.1 4.L.5B.3)


FOURTH GRADE - Nature's Calendar  

Phenology is the science that measures the life cycles of plants. Students will use develop keen observation skills to use phenology to discover how to read nature’s calendar. They will look at the stages of plant development, make a phenology wheel and discover what the phenological signs of their birthday are. Students will also learn how they can participate as citizen scientists that uses phenology to detect climate change in a project called Budburst. (Standard 4.S.1: 4.S.1A.1 , 4.S.1A.2, 4.S.1A.3, 4.S.1A.4, 4.S.1A.6  Standard 4.L.5: 4.L.5A.2 4.L.5A.4, 4.L.5B.2)


FOURTH GRADE - Super Survival Powers  

Do animals and plants have super powers? In the wild world it is survival of the fittest. Students will investigate ways some of our local wildlife survives by using their super adaptation powers. They will test out their super hearing with an echolocation game. Students will then design their own organism adaptations to help them survive in a harsh environment! (Standard 4.S.1: 4.S.1B.1 Standard 4.P.4: 4.P.4B., Standard 4.L.5: 4.L.5B.1, 4.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.3)


FIFTH GRADE - All You Need is a Tree

Part 1: The Cherokee called trees “The Givers’, and no wonder! Trees provide homes, food and resources to organisms all over earth. They provide shade to humans, hold soil in place and captivate us with their beauty. Students will adopt their very own tree and then investigate the complex web of relationships that are centered around their tree. 

Part 2: Students will examine items to decide if they are a tree product or not. They will learn that many everyday items we use are gifts of trees. They will finish by writing their very own poet ’tree’ to express their gratitude.  (Standard 1.E.4: 1.E.4B.1 Standard 1.L.5:, 1.L.5A.1, 1.L.5B.1 1.L.5B.3, Standard 5.L.4: 5.L.4A., 5.L.4B. 5.L.4B.15.L.4B.2 5.L.4B.3, 5.L.4B.4) 


FIFTH GRADE - Life on a Rock

Imagine being a living organism floating through air and space and when you land, you find yourself on a martian landscape. No worries, you will make the best of it since you can get what you need from the sunshine and the air. Join us as we examine the ability of an organism like lichen to transform non-living rocks into living forests. We will use loupes to make detailed observations of this bizarre world and then use these observations to create a wonder map of life. (Standard 5.S.1: 5.S.1A.1,5.S.1A.2  Standard 5.L.4: 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.35.L.4B.4 )


FIFTH GRADE - Tall Drink of Water

Part 1: We turn on our water faucets everyday to brush our teeth, drink water, and wash up. Where does this water come from and will it always be there? Students will take a look at how much freshwater is available on the entire earth. Then they will zoom in to our local watershed. They will examine how non-point and point source pollution happens and how it affects our watershed.

Part 2: We extend the lesson above by giving the students their very own piece of land and unlimited resources. Students will work collaboratively to decide how to develop the land and determine if they have made the right choices when they see the effects of their development on their local neighbors and watershed. (SC Standards: 5.E.3, 5.E.3A, 5.E.3A.1, 5.E.3B, 5.E.3B.3, 5.E.3B.4


SIXTH GRADE - If I Were the  Wind

What is wind? How can we prove that it is there? We will use Aldo Leopold's writing "If I Were the Wind" as an anchor for a wind investigation. Students will look for evidence of the wind and think about how they can prove it is there. They will collaborate in small groups to determine how to make a device to measure wind speed and direction. They will look at what wind tells us about weather patterns.

(Standard: 6.S.1A.1, 6.S.1A.2, 6.S.1A.3, 6.S.1A.4, 6.S.1A.5, 6.S.1A.6, 6.S.1A.7, 6.S.1A.8, 6.S.1B.1, Standard: 6.E.2,  6.E.2B., 6.E.2B.1)


SIXTH GRADE - Some Like It Hot

Part 1: What is the state of matter? And why does it matter? Can we change it anyways? Students will explore ways heat can change matter by heating up a yummy camp snack.

Part 2: Students investigate what it means to be endothermic and ectothermic organisms.  Students will adopt a hungry thermometer lizard. They will look for ways to keep their thermometer lizards not too hot or not too cold as they are helping them forage for food. Students will look at ways organisms use adaptations and behaviors to regulate temperature. (Standard 6.L.4:  6.L.4A., 6.L.4A.1, 6.L.4B., 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.3, 6.L.4B.5)


ALL GRADE LEVELS - Nature Journaling

One of the best ways to truly notice the world around us is to journal. Students will be given their own personal journals and begin their journey of journaling. For inspiration, they will  take a look at the pages from some of history’s best nature journals. They will also be learning to make careful observations, collect specific scientific data and ask good questions. They will be guided in techniques for making the process meaningful and simple. At the end of the program they will take their journals home with them so they can continue the process.

**extra program fee of $4 per student, includes take home journal and pencil


ALL GRADE LEVELS - Nature's Mysteries

Nature is full of opportunities for investigating its mysteries. Students will participate in guided investigations and use their detective skills to explore some of these mysteries. They will hone good observation skills so that they can develop scientific arguments based on evidence collected in the field. They will communicate the mysteries they discovered and the possible solutions to their peers. 

(This class is all about using scientific inquiry in the field and meets Science and Engineering Practices standards for all grade levels.)





All programs are structured to emphasize personal safety and woodland ethics.




Phone: 864-280-5502