JOCASSEE WILD OUTDOOR EDUCATION FOR YOUTH
FIELD TRIPS FOR GRADES 4-6:
4th, 5th, and 6th grade field trips are designed to bring students into the Jocassee Gorges - by way of Lake Jocassee - to conduct hands-on investigations and make place-based connections to classroom curriculum in a real world setting.
Lake Jocassee field trips are structured to SC State Standards.
These experiences are designed to be a full day field trip, with four hours on Lake Jocassee.
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.
4th-6th grade Field Trips with Suggested Companion Classroom Experiences
DId you know that the Jocassee Gorges are home to the fastest animal on the planet? The animal with the best sense of smell on earth? The tree with the largest leaves in North America? And the deepest lake in South Carolina? The Jocassee Gorges can be an extreme environment for animals and plants to live in. From rushing mountain streams, to high cliff faces and to hot, dry rock faces animals must have special adaptations to survive here. We will look for some of the best survivors in this environment and examine how they do it.
Companion Classroom Experience: Super Survival Powers, Black Bear Necessities
The Jocassee Gorges receive more rain than anywhere else east of the Mississippi River. In fact, this area is actually considered a temperate rainforest, second only to the Pacific Northwest in rainfall for the continental United States. So what is a temperate rainforest and what can we expect to find here? We will look at how our mountains interact with the water cycle to produce lots of rain. We will also go on a search for evidence of our rainforest climate.
Companion Classroom Experience: If I Were the Wind
If These Mountains Could Talk
If these mountains could talk, what would they tell us? Would they tell us how they got here? What would they tell us about the people who have been here and what they did while they were here? What stories will they tell about us? The Cherokee called the rocks the ‘story keepers’. As part of one of the oldest chain of mountains on the planet, these rocks have witnessed over a billion years of history unfold. From the days of continental plates drifting and colliding, to the days they reached so high they could touch the clouds. If these mountains could talk, maybe they would tell us tales of dinosaurs and past climate shifts that reset our planet. They would certainly tell us tales of the people who came here because the rivers had carved through the rock creating the perfect valley for abundant life. Join us as we learn to read the stories the rocks of our mountains have to tell us.
Companion Classroom Experience: Life on A Rock
The Giving Trees
The forests of the Jocassee Gorges provide the foundation for much of the life that thrives here. It is no wonder that the Cherokee called the trees “the givers”. Not only do trees provide food and shelter for humans and animals, but they also provide many valuable ecosystem services. Journey back in time with us as we examine the forests of old when the American Chestnut was king and then travel into our present day forests to see what trees are here now and how they serve this ecological community. We will go through the process of identifying, measuring and biologically assessing a tree for its value. Of course, we will also be checking out the aesthetic value of our trees as we sit in the company of our trees and enjoy a nice warm cup of white pine needle tea.
Companion Classroom Experience: All You Need is a Tree
The Weather of Our Climate
The Jocassee Gorges are a part of the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. Over time, this wall of mountains has provided a buffer for plants and animals as they have faced shifts in both weather and climate. After collecting weather data, we will use historic records to compare today’s weather patterns with patterns from the recent past. We will also take a look at how this topography has protected some plants that are present here today, like the Oconee Bell, as remnants of the glacial era. Finally, we will examine if and how effective these mountains might be as a buffer in the face of future climate changes.
Companion Classroom Experience: Nature’s Calendar
Survivor: Jocassee Gorges Edition
How does a fern from the cloud forests of Mexico survive in the mountains of South Carolina? How can a plant make food without sunlight? How does an organism survive on a rock face that can reach 120 degrees fahrenheit? In this place of rich topography and abundant rainfall, the Jocassee Gorges are full of countless habitats and microhabitats. Each of these spaces is home to organisms that have developed special structures to survive and reproduce in their specific environment. Team up with us to discover how plants and animals survive in these unique conditions.
Companion Classroom Experience: Some Like it Hot
PLEASE CALL (864) 280-5501 FOR CLASS PRICING ON THESE FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCES!
All programs are structured to emphasize personal safety and woodland ethics.
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