Secondary, ages 12 – 14

kids backs

The Homeschool program at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is a science and project based education program designed for students grades 2 to 8 (aged 7 – 13 years). Each program combines indoor and outdoor activities with a take home project at the end of every session. Students are encouraged to interact with their instructor on projects. At the beginning of every session, students will share their project.

Both elementary programs are a 2 year curriculum, while the secondary program is a 3 year curriculum. Because of this, your child is guaranteed to learn different science topics no matter what year they are in the program.

The sessions run every second Thursday of the month from 9:00am – 11:30am. Parents are encouraged to accompany their child. Please be aware that any accompanying sibling not enrolled in the program may distract from the students’ learning experience.  If you have any questions, please contact Family Programs Manager Jim Hyatt at 414-352-2880 x138.

To register for programs call the front desk at 414-352-2880 between 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Secondary Programs, Ages 12 – 14


September 10, 2015
Historically, much of southeastern Wisconsin’s landscape was prairie. Students learn what defines a prairie, it’s native plants, and animals. Outside, we’ll hike in the prairie and learn to identify various prairie plants. We’ll also sweep net for invertebrates that call this landscape home.

October 8, 2015
Predator/Prey Relationships
We discuss this unique relationship between animals. Students then act out a large outdoor game as parts of the food chain. Some animals climb up the food pyramid, while some do not. We will finish by discussing the role that reproduction plays in bringing the food chain back to its pyramid shape.

November 12, 2015
American Indians Part 1: History
We discuss the many tribes in Wisconsin, and how they came to be in our state. Much of the state’s history is intertwined with American Indian culture. On our way to the beach, we discuss how the names of our cities, streets, and bodies of water are American Indian words. On the beach we will create effigy mounds and discuss their symbolism. Students will also make a craft using American Indian tools.


December 10, 2015
Students learn what geology is and why this branch of science is significant to our future. We will then hike down to the beach and discover the various minerals and fossils offered by our shoreline.

January 14, 2016
Animal Tracking
Students learn not just tracks, but other clues, like tree markings, scat, and the shelters that animals have left behind. We will use all of these pieces to put together the puzzle that is, “What animal did this?” Please dress for the weather as much of this class is outside. Snowshoes will be provided if needed.

February 11, 2016
Snow, sleet, rain, cold temperatures, hot temperatures. This is just some of the weather hazards we deal with in Wisconsin. Students learn about some of the state’s natural disasters resulting from our unpredictable weather. We hike along the Center’s ravines to observe damage that weather has done to habitats.


March 10, 2016
Raptors/Sky Hunters
Get up close with some of the Center’s birds of prey. Students learn the special adaptations of these marvelous creatures that allow them to be top predators.

April 14, 2016
Fungus and lichens
Students learn the differences between a fungus and a lichen. They will be amazed at how many there are and how close they’ve been to us all along. We will then venture forth on a fungus and lichen discovery hike. We end the day by sampling some cooked fungus.

May 12, 2016
Land management
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center’s property has always been shaped by its inhabitants, whether bison 200 years ago, horses 100 years ago, and humans now. The goal for the last 45 years has been to bring the land back to its pre-1900’s condition. In this class, students will learn the history of the Center’s land management projects. We then venture out to participate in one of the Center’s current projects (garlic mustard, trail chipping). Students will learn concepts such as invasive species, introduced species, succession.