If you are a parent or coordinator to Homeschool students, Environmental Volunteers invites you to participate in our monthly hands-on science programs at our EcoCenter in Palo Alto.
Our programs are specifically designed for homeschool learners from ages 6-11 who are interested in natural sciences. Discover our special interactive program with lessons about marine ecology, forest and foothills ecology, water conservation, power generation, and more!
Docents will lead students through fun, hands-on educational activities, and students will have the opportunity to ask questions and explore topics at their own pace.
When: First and Third Friday of every month, October-May
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
First Friday Location: The EV EcoCenter (see map)
2560 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Third Friday Location (NEW!): The EV South Bay Center (see map)
1210 Homestead Rd
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Program Fee*: $8 per child, per session
Registration/Payment Deadline: 2 weeks before each session.
*A $3/session discount is given for families that register and pay for more than 3 sessions at once.
NOTE: Due to restricted space, these activities are intended to be drop-off programs. Except where noted below, parents should generally not plan on staying during the programs.
NEW for 2018/2019:
We are excited to announce a new location for our Homeschool Fridays program. Starting in October for the 2018/2019 school year, our First Friday series will take place at the Palo Alto EcoCenter as usual, but our Third Friday series will take place at our South Bay location, near Santa Clara University. We will also be including some off-site field trips this year. Families are welcome to sign up for any/all of the sessions that are of interest to them, regardless of location or date. Registration is Now Open!
Calendar for 2018-2019 School Year:
October 5 (Palo Alto) and October 19 (Santa Clara) – Investigation and Snoop: Students, acting as scientists participating in field research, will explore the environment around them while learning skills related to observation, communication and data collection. While this activity is drawn from our programs for younger students, children of all ages will have an opportunity to gain experience exploring the world around them in a manner that is appropriate to their age level.
November 2 (Palo Alto) and November 16 (Santa Clara) – All About Birds: Students explore the wide variety of birds that are typically found in our local neighborhoods. They’ll learn about the adaptations and unique features of bird beaks, feet, and feathers that help these beautiful animals thrive.
December 7 (Palo Alto) and January 18 (Santa Clara) – Foothills Ecology: Students will learn about the variety of habitats that can be found in the California foothills from grasslands to redwood forests. They will learn about all of the animals that live in these environments and how they interact with each other, including the banana slug, the dusky footed woodrat and the acorn woodpecker.
February 1 (Palo Alto) – Adaptations – Baylands Ecology: Students will learn about how the adaptations of Baylands animals and plants have adapted to live in this brackish environment.
February 15 (off-site) – Foothills Ecology Field Trip at Stevens Creek Park (see map): Our trained volunteers will guide the children on a nature hike through the grasslands and woodlands of Stevens Creek County Park to explore the plant communities of the area, look for evidence of animals passing by, and discover the stories told through the local ecology and geology. A few adult chaperones will be needed.
March 1 (Palo Alto) – Baylands Ecology Field Trip at Palo Alto Baylands: Our trained volunteers will guide the children on a nature hike through the Palo Alto Baylands to explore the plant communities of the area, look for evidence of animals passing by, and discover the stories told through the local ecology and hydrology. A few adult chaperones will be needed.
March 15 (Santa Clara) – Early California Indians – an Environmental Approach: Explore how Early California Indians lived gently on the planet while they were hunting, gathering food like acorns, making tools, twisting grasses for everything from twine to boats, and even playing games. Please notify the EV when registering for this program if your child(ren) has nut allergies.
April 5 (Palo Alto) and April 19 (Santa Clara) – Earthquake Geology: Students will explore how earthquake movement creates the land patterns they see in this area, map the San Andreas Fault, and design their own earthquake safe structures.
May 3 (Palo Alto) – Water Science & Conservation Field Trip at Palo Alto Baylands: Our trained volunteers will guide the children on a more focused hike through the Palo Alto Baylands to explore how the animals and plants depend on, and adapt to, the unique hydrology of this habitat. They will be introduced to scientific sampling techniques and field data collection. While this field trip is drawn from our programs for older students, children of all ages will have an opportunity to practice scientific data collection in a manner that is appropriate to their age level. A few adult chaperones will be requested.
May 17 (off-site) – Earthquake Geology Field Trip at Los Trancos OSP (see map). Note the different time (10:00AM-12:00PM): Our trained volunteers will guide the children on a nature hike along the Monte Bello and Los Trancos earthquake trails, exploring the geologic earthquake-related features that make the San Francisco Bay Area such a unique place to live. A few adult chaperones will be needed.