School Programs

If you are a teacher in Santa Clara or San Mateo counties, Environmental Volunteers can bring our science programs into your classroom. Our volunteers bring hands-on, standards-based learning stations focused on a specific subject area appropriate to your grade level (see below). Each program can be adapted to best support your students wherever they may be with the topic. Our program can give your new unit an exciting introduction, or you can conclude a unit with a fun break from the normal classroom routine!

Program Overview

Environmental Volunteers’ School Programs are designed to support the science standards for each grade. If you are interested in scheduling a school program with us, please read the Programs By Grade Level section below to learn more about the subject areas and activities available for your grade. If you have questions about a specific program, please contact our School Programs Manager, at or 650-493-8000 ext 339.

Programs By Grade Level >

Classroom Programs

Each class gets an individual program, which runs for 90 minutes, with a volunteer to student ratio of 1:8 or better.  The program begins with a brief introduction. Students then rotate between 3-4 stations for 15-20 minutes each, and then engage in a 10-15 minute wrap-up. We have over 100 learning stations with interactive activities such as games, experiments, demonstrations, and encounters with animal specimens.

Important: Each classroom program should be scheduled individually as one contiguous block of 90 minutes and should not be interrupted by recess or other breaks.

Field Trips

Field trips are 2 hours long and have a volunteer to student ratio of 1:8 or better. Our trained volunteers guide your students on a nature hike to explore the plant communities of the area, look for evidence of animals passing by, and discover the stories told through the local geology. Field trips are generally scheduled between 9:30am-11:30am, although there is some flexibility as needed. Please note: timing for Fitzgerald Marine Reserve field trips are determined by the tides, and can range from 8:30am-2:30pm depending on the specific date.

Important: At this time, field trips must be accompanied by a classroom program; we will post any updates and changes to this policy as soon as possible. The school is responsible for arranging appropriate transportation, and must provide 1 adult chaperone for each group of students.

Common Core and Science Standards

Each of our programs support the Common Core and either the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS PROGRAM) or the California State Education Science Standards (EV CLASSIC). Several programs have the option of going on a field trip to a local nature preserve as a pre- or post-classroom activity.

Programs By Grade Level

Kindergarten Programs 
Investigation (two-part program; participation in both is required)
All About Birds

1st Grade Programs 
Structure and Function*
Bird Traits

2nd Grade Programs
Water On The Move*

3rd Grade Programs 
Adaptations: Baylands*
Adaptations: Foothills*
Adaptations: Marine*
Weather and Climate (spring only)

4th Grade Programs 
Power Generation
Earthquake Geology*

5th Grade Programs
Human Impacts
Water Science and Conservation*
Marine Ecology*

6th Grade Programs
Earthquake Geology*
Marine Ecology*

*Programs marked with an asterisk have a field trip option available