The Rio Brazos Chapter offers the public a variety of opportunities for learning about nature and Texas natural landscapes, expanding knowledge about natural resource ecology and management, and enjoying the outdoors. We host outdoor learning events throughout the year. These events are free, suitable for all ages, and fun! One of the more popular services we offer is nature-related educational activities for public, private, and home schools. Also, we can set up and staff an exhibit, including touch table, for community events. And, we can provide speakers to give presentations about the Master Naturalist program or special nature-related topics at meetings of community and civic organizations. Please let us know what we can do to help you and our communities learn about and enjoy nature.
Opportunities for youth education
Information for public and private school teachers
The chapter’s Education Committee develops and maintains a collection of learning materials for use by members to assist teachers, camp hosts, and others in enhancing children’s knowledge about wildlife, birds, insects, plants and trees, rocks and fossils, soils, and more. In addition, members can lead nature walks, field investigations, and citizen science activities.
Our volunteers have a variety of presentations that focus on different parts of the natural world. We develop content linked to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) when possible. Presentations may be tailored to number of students, grade level(s), and lesson time available. Our most popular programs have general topics based on grade level with individual activities or lessons. Multiple activities and lessons for a single session are tied together under the general topic. Some of these activities are suitable and/or designed for outdoors. We offer many of our outdoor educational activities at Acton Nature Center. If you would like your program at ANC, please check Policies and Tips for Field Trips at Acton Nature Center.
Nature-related educational topics and themes include (but are not limited to):
- Animals in Our Backyard.
- Habitats in Our Backyard.
- Nature hikes: Bird Bingo, Tree Bingo, Nature Bingo, Habitat Bingo.
- Monarch Butterfly programs: Migration, life cycle, tagging, habitats, butterfly symmetry, pollination, ecosystem and environmental Jenga games, puddlers (water sources), and more.
- Earth Day programs: Earth in a Bottle; land, water, and air ecosystems.
- Bird programs: Bird blind habitat, bird games, bird beak adaptations.
- How to attract birds and butterflies to your backyard.
- Insect programs: What is an insect? Insect pollinators, native bees, “Don’t Be Dinner” (how insects avoid being eaten).
- Plant People: Grow a “grasshead” mini-garden with personality.
- Mammals: What is a mammal? Mammal tracks, mammal skulls, and adaptations.
- Rocks, fossils, and soils.
Additional topics may be available or customized to meet your need – just ask!
Submit the Education Assistance Request Form to request nature-related educational assistance in the classroom or with a field trip. You may also contact Valerie Taber email@example.com for more information. Please try to submit assistance requests as far in advance of your anticipated need as possible (we suggest 3 months). We need adequate time to line up volunteers and assemble materials and may not be able to meet your need on short notice.
Information for home schools
The chapter’s Education Committee hosts a homeschool science program at Acton Nature Center on the first Friday of each month from September through May. Classes are 2-3 hours long and cover nature-related topics, including rocks and soils (Earth science); wildlife, plants, and insects (bioscience); and the night sky (astronomy).
To learn more about and/or participate in this program, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and contact information.
Opportunities for the community and public education
The chapter has a booth featuring a backdrop and a touch table. The backdrop shows features of nature – birds, butterflies, rocks, flowers, reptiles – and things we do – conducting training classes, teaching children, interacting with people at public events, putting up bird boxes, leading nature walks, maintaining butterfly gardens, and more. The touch table holds a variety of items from nature — seeds, insect specimens, animal skulls, fossils, and more — that spark interest and prompt questions and stories. Chapter members staff the booth, providing information and answering questions about the chapter and the Texas Master Naturalist program. The chapter welcomes opportunities to provide outreach with our booth at community events.
Some of our chapter members can give presentations about the Texas Master Naturalist program or special nature-related topics at meetings of community and civic organizations and groups. Limited services are available now, and we are working on expanding our capacity to provide speakers on a range of topics. Depending on the topic and time frame, we may be able to customize a presentation for your group, so please ask.
Contact Tessa Chenoa Ownbey email@example.com or 817-366-3126 about having a Texas Master Naturalist speak at your meeting or event.