Laurel Haven Programs
Our programs are unique and customized to the size, grade level, available time, and makeup of your group. They are also practical, field based, and experiential. Penn State faculty and staff conduct these programs with numerous partnering agencies and volunteers. Pennsylvania's Environment and Ecology standards guide our program planning. Programs can be scheduled by emailing Penn State Extension - Centre County, (CentreExt@psu.edu), with "Laurel Haven" in the subject line, or by calling 814-355-4897.
Below are some general descriptions of programs we have developed in the past few years. These can be adapted and modified to meet your specific needs.
Forest Resources Education: Woodland Connections
This program is for educators interested in leading successful investigations in the forest environment with your students. This course will teach you about the forest resources of Pennsylvania, and ways to connect youth to the natural world. This session is also perfect for school in-service days or weekends, and educators will receive PDE Act 48 credits for the number of hours in training. At Woodland Connections you will... learn about: Pennsylvania Forest History, Tree Identification and Growth, Forest Science and Management, Forest Ecology, The Benefits of Forests, Natural Resources and Youth Curriculum.
This session will strengthen teacher's knowledge and understanding about watersheds, the water cycle, groundwater, water-flow, water quality and hydrology, as well as, better prepare teacher's to teach to the Environment and Ecology standards. We will perform hands-on water quality assessments in a local stream and learn how to identify indicator species and begin to understand what they are telling us about water quality. This session is perfect for school in-service days or weekends, and educators will receive PDE Act 48 credits for the number of hours in training.
The programs outlined below are simply a guide. We can mix and match or customize programs to meet your educational needs. Don’t see what you need? Just ask, we may still be able to help! The activities are available for youth grades 1-8 with an emphasis on the elementary school levels. Small class sizes, 50 or less, work best for the size of our facilities.
All About Trees
This program uses a number of hands-on and experiential based activities to introduce youth to the important roles trees serve in our everyday lives. The important functions trees provide us including; clean air, wood products, wildlife habitat, and unspoiled water will be stressed. Students will be introduced to the concept of trees having value for wood products as they learn how to measure the wood volume in a tree. Activities emphasizing tree identification, anatomy, and growth are also covered.
The Junior Forest Steward Program offers youth (ages 8-12 years old) an opportunity to learn about the forests of Pennsylvania and the important concept of forest stewardship. Pennsylvania youth often know very little about the forests and natural areas that cover the state and this educational initiative can get kids excited about and interested in Penn’s Woods.
Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
The goal of this session is to provide youth with an integrated knowledge of natural resources and our dependence on them. We will explore: where our natural resources come from, how they are used, the difference between resources that are renewable and those that are not, how resources are distributed and the role of recycling, composting, and waste management in our society.
Watershed and Water Quality Explorations
This program offering features watershed ecology and the connection between the health of the land and consequently the health of the water. We will look at the water chemistry and the macro- invertebrate populations in both the stream and pond environments and learn what they are telling us about land and water health.
Through numerous inquiry-based activities youth will explore white-tailed deer biology and forest ecology. Lessons focus on the impact of deer on the forest ecosystem. By studying deer biology and deer interactions with their habitat, youth will gain a better appreciation for the animal as well as the importance of deer population control. Youth will understand that an over-abundance of deer can have significant negative impacts on forest ecosystems.
Wildlife is All Around Us
Activities under this program will introduce youth to the major groups of wildlife: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Youth will explore animal adaptations and predator prey relationships and learn about the essential components of wildlife habitat and how wildlife interact with each other through food webs. Lastly, the concepts surrounding threatened, endangered, and extinct will be introduced.