ANS School Programs

Nature-based learning for schools in Maryland and D.C.

Audubon Naturalist Society's Environmental Science programs for ages K-8 are designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Curriculum 2.0 Standards as well as Maryland Green School certification components.

Programs highlight human impacts, ecological systems, and watersheds through hands-on activities both in the classroom and at our beautiful 40-acre Woodend Sanctuary just inside the beltway in Chevy Chase, MD. Programs are also available in Spanish.

Choose between Field Trips to our Woodend Sanctuary or bringing a Naturalist to your classroom!

Elementary School

Visit Monday-Friday at our 40-acre Woodend Sanctuary
8940 Jones Mill Rd. in Chevy Chase, MD.

Discovery Hunt

While on a nature walk full of opportunities for sensory exploration, students will look under logs, listen for birds and feel tree bark as they explore biodiversity and observe creatures in their natural habitats.

Life Cycles

Students will investigate seasonal life cycles of animals and insects. They will also learn about complete vs. incomplete metamorphosis and evolutionary advantages of hereditary traits for creatures on the sanctuary.


Students will explore our ecosystems by classifying animals into groups, learning about animal needs, adaptations and survival. During a hike, students will find many forest, meadow and pond creatures.

Compost and Decomposers

Students will dig through soil to examine insects and worms that live in this micro-habitat. Students will also learn the importance of decomposition and compost in our nutrient cycle.

Learning Garden

Discover the seasonal wonders in our garden through an exploration of senses with plants, soil, microbes, seeds, insects, and more! The program can be tailored for your group.

Stream Study

Students will learn about the health of local streams through data collected at Woodend Sanctuary or at your school. They will perform water quality tests and search for macroinvertebrates in the stream. (1.5 hours)

Middle School

Geology and Rocks

Students will venture into plate tectonics and rock processes and learn how fast or slow geological events form different rocks. They will become geologists researching rock formations in our area then walk down to our creek and use their new skills to identify rocks on site.

Weed Warriors

Students will learn how non-native weeds impact local ecosystems and how to identify key invasive species. They will also be introduced to removal and control strategies for invasives. Students will apply their learning by helping with removal of one species of non-native weeds.

Stream Friends

Students will learn about human impacts on local watersheds. They will also work together to collect trash from stream banks in the vicinity of Woodend Sanctuary while also learning to sample "Creek Critters" (benthic macroinvertebrates) that indicate water quality.

Elementary School

Save on travel fees by inviting one of
our naturalists to your school.

Wonderful Worms

Students will explore the anatomy and role of these amazing decomposers and become a scientist by experimenting on their preferred habitat conditions.


Students will learn where paper comes from along with the impact of using trees vs. recycled materials. They will also explore ways to reduce paper waste at school and at home. Plus, students will get hands-on experience making their own paper from old newsprint.

Green Cleaners

Students will learn about pollution from harmful cleaning chemicals and commit to a healthier environment by making their own eco-friendly desk cleaners.


Students will investigate the "science of garbage" in this look at what your school throws away every day. They will construct a trash timeline and survey to reduce waste and promote clean water.


Students will study the human impacts on water quality and how we affect the Chesapeake Bay by investigating water flows through a watershed model.

Geology and Rocks

Become a geologist while exploring rock formations and using the Mohs scale to identify different minerals. (Best for Grade 2 and above)

Middle School

Weather and Climate

Students will learn to distinguish between weather and climate. They will also measure weather variables and how they are used to forecast weather. Additionally, students will investigate the role of greenhouse gases and water in energy transfer from the sun to different places on our planet.

Litter Busters

Using our "Trash Timeline," students will learn the importance of recycling and biodegradable materials. The group will identify strategies for reducing waste at school and at home and work together to remove litter from their schoolyard.

Micro Odyssey

Observe the fascinating world of unseen creatures as you learn microscopy techniques to observe plant structures, animals, and microbes.

Questions? Contact