Alternative Field Studies Committee 

K-12 Grade Programming

Our mission is to provide high-quality, accessible science education resources that are designed to support all variations of student learning and adapted to meet the current constraints imposed upon our educators by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alternative Field Study Committee (AFSC) is a group of environmental organizations local to the Reno, Nevada metropolitan-area, who are committed to supporting environmental education opportunities for K-12th grade students. This committee has banded together to provide education opportunities that are catered to meet the unique new constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These free resources are designed with teachers in mind, to support both their distance and in-classroom learners with little-to-no amendments needed. Programs follow Next Generation Science and Common Core standards. Though these programs are designed for teachers and students in the public school system, they are also great resources for homeschool families, private school teachers, and youth-education programs as well. Each program comes equipped with 3 resources: a pre-lesson component (educational video, PPT, story, or activity that orients the learner to the concepts), the lesson itself, and a post-lesson component (which serves as a homework assignment or cool-down activity to wrap-up student learning and assist in measuring student comprehension).

Use the form at the bottom of this page to request any programs.

Elementary School

Grades 3-5

NGSS 

3-LS4, 4-LS1, 4-ESS1, 5-ESS2

The evolution of birds and their unique adaptations. In our video, we show real birds in an outdoor setting to encourage students to go outside and observe birds on their own. We discuss various examples of specific adaptations that our local birds have.

Grades 3-5

NGSS 

1-LS3-1 & 3-LS1-1

The difference between complete and incomplete metamorphosis, the various stages of metamorphosis, and the types of organisms that metamorphose. They classify organisms based on their process of metamorphosis, as well as drawing out the stages of metamorphosis for different animals. 

Hydrology

Grades 3-5

NGSS 

3-LSA-3

Students will be able to understand and evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interaction in ecosystems maintains relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable condition but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

Birds and their Adaptations

Metamorphosis

Fossils

Grades 4-5

NGSS

4-ESS1, 5-ESS2.A,

This module will discuss the creation of fossils and why they are important for our study of the history of life on Earth. It will also discuss extinction, evolution, and natural selection.

Grades K-2

NGSS 

NGSS 1-ESS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, & 1-PS4-2

Students discuss patterns in the night sky based in their own experiences and learn the different phases of the moon and how what we observe is a product of our perspective. Throughout this lesson plan, students sharpen their pattern-finding skills, are introduced to perspective, and actively explore geometry through subjects such as physics and art

Leaves and Photosynthesis

Grades 4-5

NGSS

NGSS 1-ESS1-1, K-2-ETS1-2, & 1-PS4-2

This module will discuss the characteristics of different types of leaves, why these differences exist, why leaves change colors, and photosynthesis.

Lunar Cycle

Snow Science

Grades K

NGSS

K-ESS2-1, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-2.

This snow science lesson will introduce early elementary school students (grades K-2) to snow as a type of weather, a part of winter, and a time when specific winter activities occur. Through projects, discussions, stories, and games, students will learn about when snow falls, why snow falls, and what they should do when it happens.

Animal Adaptations

Grades K-2

NGSS

2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-2, 1-LS1-1,

K-LS1-1

This lesson teaches students about the different physical and behavioral adaptations animals
and humans have that help them survive in their environment. Students will think creatively and
critically about real and imaginary organisms’, as well as humans, to correctly demonstrate
understanding of the relationship between adaptations and environment.

Middle School

Snow Science Series

Albedo and the Global Ice Pack

Grades 4-8

NGSS 

MS-PS3-4 & MS-ESS2-2

The snow science series introduces students to phases of the water cycle, the different types of snow and ice, and the geometry of snowflakes. This program shows how climate change affects ice and albedo through studying real climate data.

Grades 4-8

NGSS 

MS-ESS3-5, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS3-1

The snow science series introduces students to phases of the water cycle, the different types of snow and ice, and the geometry of snowflakes. In this program, students will become eco-warriors and create activism materials in the form of signs and speeches, a letter to a politician, or a plan for making their classroom or home use fewer fossil fuels and plastics.

Snow Science Series

Snowflakes

Grades 4-8

NGSS 

MS-PS1-1 & MS-ESS2-5

The snow science series introduces students to phases of the water cycle, the different types of snow and ice, and the geometry of snowflakes. In this program, students will learn about the radial symmetry of snowflakes and use their skills to design their own. 

Snow Science Series

Climate Change Activism

Snow Science Series

Albedo and the Global Ice Pack

Grades 4-8

NGSS 

MS-PS3-4 & MS-ESS2-2

The snow science series introduces students to phases of the water cycle, the different types of snow and ice, and the geometry of snowflakes. In this program, students will learn about animal adaptations and put their skills to the test by identifying winter adaptations of various species.

Snow Science Series

Snow and Ice

Grades 4-8

NGSS 

MS-ESS3-5, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS3-1

The snow science series introduces students to phases of the water cycle, the different types of snow and ice, and the geometry of snowflakes. In this program, students will learn about the molecular structure of water and ice crystals in order to construct an accurate model. They will learn the differences in density between water and ice and will use their scientific skills to hypothesize the answer to various comprehension questions.

Animal Migrations

Grades 6-8

NGSS 

MS-PS1-1 & MS-ESS2-5

This program illuminates the amazing lives of migratory animals. Students will decide where various animals spend their summers and winters based on each animal’s attributes. Students will then provide solutions to various problems caused by human activity. Finally, students will build their own compass to understand how animals use the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate around the globe.

Snow Science Series

Winter Adaptations

Beavers

Grades 6-8

NGSS 

MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-3, MS-LS2-4, MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-4

In this lesson, students will learn about ecosystem engineers, keystone species, and
biomimicry by analyzing the ecology and biology of the Beaver (Castor canadensis).

High School

Understanding Our Watershed

NGSS 

HS-ESS2-2 & HS-LS2-7

This program informs students about ecological watersheds and their importance. Students will use tools to construct their own model of the Truckee River Watershed. They will then use geographical data to analyze the features of a watershed, the flow of water, and the variation in watersheds across the United States. Students will wrap up the program by evaluating a real-world problem that is happening in our local watershed and determining a viable solution.  

Grades 9-12

Alternative Field Studies Lesson Request Form

Which program(s) woud you like to request?

For any other questions, email outreach@greatbasin-os.org

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© 2020 by Great Basin Outdoor School

1000 Bible Way #53, Reno, NV 89502

Contact: 775.324.0936