k-12 science


k-12 class

Outdoor Science Education Program (OSEP)

This elementary and middle school science program is the largest element of our outreach effort. Program goals include:

  • Provide an under-served student population with meaningful, hands-on science experiences
  • Give students exposure to scientific research
  • Provide students with exposure to scientists as role models, particularly women and minorities
  • Give highly motivated students the opportunity for in-depth study
  • Provide science education training to local teachers
  • Create a program with the local schools, not for them
  • Develop a model program that may be used at other field sites within the University of California's Natural Reserve System

To this end the current program at VESR has two primary components: The field trip component is the largest part of the program hosting approximately 2000 students per year from 4-8 schools in several different school districts. Field trips include a 2-3 hour hands-on, age-appropriate lesson. The regional schools and the Reserve teaching staff have aligned their curricula. Some typical lessons are ant ecology with ant tracking and food preference experiments; aquatic invertebrate identification and classification; introduction to forest mammals (with skulls and furs); and conifer identification and forest fire ecology. Many lessons include simulation games with graphing and data analysis. The schools provide transportation to and from the reserve, supervising teachers, and chaperones. This part of the program is offered through the generous support of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

We also offer a summer school program. Summer OSEP Class Schedule The reserve conducts one- and two-week summer classes for approximately 120 students (10 students per class) in grades 1-8. Younger students study habitats, insects, bats, or trees, while the older students may study life skills of early man, natural history, forest ecology, or art in nature. We employ up to 9 teachers for the program with a wide variety of specialties. The program is fully subscribed each year. This part of the program is self-supporting through fees charged to the students.

Each class needs a separate application, waiver and check made out to the UC Regents.
Applications are accepted by mail, fedex or may be driven to the SNARL Headquarters building. (Do not use certified mail)
We do not reserve space on the phone or by email.
You are welcome to call or email and check on class space availability. 805 893-5655