Discovery Program (Grades 6 to 12)


Students explore the natural world through hands-on, inquiry-based activities, designed to intrigue and inspire while meeting benchmarks of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Guided activities incorporate the use of GPS technology, maps and compasses as students navigate the Garden to find the activity stations. Take advantage of our complementary pre- and post-visit materials which will enhance the student's experience and retention of information learned during the field study.

Program Costs and Registration:

Field Studies Brochure 2012-2013

To view and print the Field Studies
Brochure; please click here.

  • $8 per participating student
  • Maximum of 60 students
  • One adult is required per ten students; no additional adults allowed
  • Payment must be received upon arrival
  • Accessible to students with special needs
  • For scheduling, please call 305.663.8094 or email
  • Tour dates fill rapidly, make reservations early
  • Discovery program policies and directions

Biomimicry-Designed by Nature, Tuesdays
Grades 6-8: How are deserts plants adapted to conserve and store water? How does recycling take place in a rainforst? Students will explore the answers to these questions as they learn about the adaptations and functions of desert and rainforest ecosystems. Based on their observations, students will create their own nature-inspired inventions and reflect on how they as individuals can reduce their resource consumption.

Grades 9-12: Students will use a systems thinking approach to learn about a variety of ecological functions in desert and rainforest ecosystems. Based on their observation of several ecological principles, students will work together in groups to design a water harvesting system and trash to treasure upcycling ideas. Students will reflect on how their discoveries in nature can be applied to both their individual activities, as well as to large-scale technology, to promote environmental sustainability
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, Biomimicry *
Pre/Post Visit Lessons, Grades 6-8
Pre/Post Visit Lessons, Grades 9-12

Symbiosis-Butterflies and Plants, Wednesdays
Grades 6-8: Students will investigate the interdependent relationship between butterflies and plants as they rotate through activity stations, each representing a stage in the insect life cycle. Through inquiry-based activities and direct observation, students will learn about the life stages of a butterfly, the importance of host and nectar plants, and how to identify several South Florida native plants and butterflies.

Grades 9-12:
What do butterfly populations need to survive in a changing environment? Students will address this question as they learn about butterfly behavior, pollinator preference and the important relationship between butterflies and their habitat. Applying ecological concepts learned, students will create their own design of a native butterfly garden and reflect on what they can do to help conserve native butterfly populations.
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, Symbiosis * 
Pre/Post Visit Lessons, Grades 6-12

Biodiversity: Cultivating Healthy Ecosystems, Fridays
Grades 6-8:
Students will take an up-close look at some of the living and non-living features of ecosystems and discover various ways in which living beings contribute to the health of ecosystems. Using scientific methods and tools, students will learn how to measure biodiversity and record their observations. Critical thinking skills will be employed to brainstorm innovative solutions that promote biodiversity and conservation.  

Grades 9-12: Students will investigate the concepts of species richness and species interactions as they relate to ecosystem health. Using the same methods and technology that scientists use, students will explore various methods to monitor and measure biodiversity. Students will use critical-thinking skills to brainstorm innovative solutions to promote biodiversity, conservation and sustainability.
Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, Biodiversity
Pre/Post  Visit Lessons, Grades 6-12

updated 08/2014

* updated standards coming soon!