Children holding a science project

STEP Georgia Program Offerings

Student Programs

Kindergarten (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Audubon Jr. Explorers

Lab Study: Earth Materials Investigation
Field Study: Life Cycles Detectives
Eco-Hike: Animal Detectives Hike

A hands-on, classroom activity will focus on making predictions, observing, and sorting with every day materials.  An eco-hike will involve an exploration of the natural world while looking for clues left behind by mother nature.  Another outdoor experience will take them on a scavenger hunt to find “life cycle clues” to an animal they are tracking!

GA Science Standards of Excellence: SKE2.b, SKE2.c, SKP1.a, SKP1.c

PROGRAM THEME: “GOOD-NATURED” Detectives

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Nature Observers 
Eco-Hike: Scavenger Hunt

Students will go on a hike to observe the wonders of nature and the world around them. While on the hike, students will collect items to be used in their Field Study lesson where they will use scientific tools to observe, measure, and sort their collected items. In the Lab Study, students will discover how their items are used by critters and people in their daily lives.

GA Science Standards of Excellence: SCE2.C, SCP1.A, SCP1.B, SCP1.C, SCL1.A, SCL1.B, SCL2.A, SCL2.C


1st Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Here we GROW Again!

Lab Study: Our Leafy Friends
Field Study: Exploration: Soil Pit
Eco-Hike: Adventures with Stickman

Students will learn just how important soil is to plant life in this soil and plant combination program! Students will use science process skills and tools to discover different earth materials that make up what we call dirt, and conduct investigations to determine how water affects the land . A study of plant parts, a seed dissection, and a trip through a soil tunnel will help students understand the relationships between soil and plants. They will go on an adventure with Stickman and make some great observations of the world around them!

GA Science Standards of Excellence:  S1L1a, S1L1b, S1L1c

Program Theme: Green Things

Lab Study: Our Leafy Friends
Field Study: Adopt-a Tree
Eco-Hike: Adventures with Stickman

Students will dive head first into all that is green and blooming!  Through observation, investigation, and experimentation, students will gain a better understanding of the structures, functions, and life cycles of plants.   Students will “adopt” of their very own tree, using technology and measurement tools to make observations!  Students will classify plant parts and crawl through a soil tunnel to see what may be growing/living underground.  They will go on an adventure with Stickman and make some great observations of the world around them!

GA Science Standards of Excellence:  S1L1a, S1L1b, Math:  MGSE1.MD.1, MGSE1.MD.2,  MGSE1.G.1

Program Theme: Mother Nature’s Math

Lab Study: Gee, I’m a Tree!
Field Study: EnviroMath
Eco-Hike: Follow the Math Trail

Through the use of natural objects, students will explore basic geometry, measurement, and number concepts while honing their skills in engineering, observing, and classifying!The students will participate in an immersive nature hike that will open their eyes to math in the real-world.

SC Science Performance Indicators: 1.MDA.1/1.MDA.2


2nd Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center Only)

Program Theme: Life Cycling

Lab Study: Plant Power!
Field Study: Life Cycle Detectives
Eco-Hike: Bingo Scavenger Hunt

Students will learn the amazing engineering behind seed dispersal and pollination!  They will plant their own seeds to take back to school as an ongoing science experiment.  Students will discover how living things miraculously cycle through life, beginning with a scavenger hunt, and then collaborate with a hands-on classifying and sequencing activity to determine the life cycle of a mystery organism.  A life cycle hike will enhance understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of each organism’s life journey! 

GA Science Standards of Excellence: S2L1a, S2L1b, S2L1c

Program Theme: Arthropod Adventure & Pollinator Parade (Silver Bluff Audubon)

Lab Study: Pill Bugs vs Butterflies
Field Study: Migration Game
Eco-Hike: Arthropod Hunt

Get up close and personal with insects and other arthropods! Students will participate in a pill bug investigation, play a pollinator game as they learn about monarch migration, and collect creepy crawlies on an eco-hike.

GA Science Standards of Excellence: S2L1.a, S2L1.b, S2L1.c


3rd Grade (Silver Bluff Audubon Center or SRS)

Program Theme: Earth Beneath Our Feet

Lab Study: CSI: Soil
Field Study: Archaeology Dig
Exploration: Soil Pit

There is so much going on just below our feet!  Investigations of soil types and properties will be used to help students solve a mystery of a missing bike. . Students will participate in an Archaeology Adventure with Jessica Phillips, an Archaeologist from SRS. Finally, students will go on an eco-hike to identify soil types in the Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary forest.

GA Standards of Excellence:  S3E1b, S3E1c

Program Theme: Feathered Friends

Lab Study: Feathered Taxidermy
Field Study: Bird Beak Buffet (Game)
Eco-Hike: Evidence of Birds Hike

Students will enter the fantastic world of our feathered friends found right here in their own backyards!  Through careful observations of taxidermy birds, students will infer behavior, diet and habitat based on their body structures.  Next, students will use models to investigate how different bird beaks help them survive. This wildlife adventure will conclude with students going where the birds go; becoming animal detectives hunting for birds and the clues they leave in the forest.

GA Science Standards of Excellence: S3L1a, S3L1b, S3L1c

PROGRAM THEME: ENGINEERING INSECTS

Lab Study: Ninja Skills Unlimited
Field Study: Build-A-Bug
Eco-Hike: Insect Hunt

Students will investigate the ninja skills of insects and discover how to compare them to their own abilities. They will learn about the anatomy of an insect and special adaptations of certain insects. Students will then go on a scavenger hunt to gather materials to engineer their own anatomically correct insect. During the eco-hike, students will have their own exploration time with nets, collection containers, and guide books!

GA Science Standards of Excellence: S3L1.b, S3L1.c


4th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Water World (2 classes per day)

Lab Study: Pondering Life
Field Study: Water Cycle (Game)
Eco-Hike: Weather Station

Students will investigate the water cycle and the role it plays on earth.  Students will be immersed in the movement of water through simulation activities.  Students will determine water quality through macro-invertebrate collection at a pond on site. Finally, students will take a short hike and visit our weather station.

GA Standards of Excellence:  S4E3a, S4E3b, S4La, S4L1b

PROGRAM THEME: ECO-VENTURE

An ECOSYSTEM Expedition

Join us on an extended eco-hike adventure! Students will participate in standards-based STEAM environmental activities including observations of biotic and abiotic factors of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Students will discover the diverse roles that organisms play in the different ecosystems as well as the flow of energy that exists in each. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe walking shoes.

GA Standards of Excellence: S4L1.a, S4L1.b, S4L1.c, S4L1.d


5th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Dazzling Diversity

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Animal Detectives
Eco-Hike: BINGO Scavenger Hunt

Students will immerse themselves in the diversity of organisms that live in their own backyard!  Close-up investigations of native taxidermy and live animals will allow for observation and inference of just how each critter is adapted to its individual habitat.  Students will become detectives, using good observations and inferencing, to figure out the species of animal they are tracking.  An eco-hike in the forest will provide dazzling examples of diversity. 

GA Standards of Excellence:  S5L1a


6th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Water, Water Everywhere (2 classes per day)

Lab Study: We All Live Downstream
Field Study: Pondering Life

Students will investigate the wonderful world of water through macro-invertebrate collection of a local pond. In addition, watershed modeling and problem-solving will enhance student understanding of the land-water-human connection. 

GA Standards of Excellence:  S6E3a, S6E3b, S6E6b


7th-8th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: It’s a Tough World!

Lab Study: Critter Taxidermy
Field Study: Territorial Dispute (Game)
Eco-Hike: Forest Assessment Hike

Through a game of survival, students will begin to answer real-life questions about how different species are able to adapt to a natural disaster.  Interaction with taxidermy animals, using a dichotomous key, students will investigate adaptations that allow for survival of the individual and the stability of the species.  Finally, students will collect data as they hike to determine aspects of 2 different forests and how the differences can mean life or death for a species.

GA Standards of Excellence:  S7L1a, S7L4c, S7L4d


9th-12th Grade (SRS or Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Program Theme: Wet World (2 classes per day)

Lab Study: We All Live Downstream (Advanced)
Field Study: Pondering Life (Advanced)

On our blue planet, humans play a vital role in the protection and preservation of our watery resources.  Students will learn more about these effects through experimenting with human behaviors that influences the location, quality and quantity of water within a watershed. Biological analysis will reveal the quality of a local pond.

GA Standards of Excellence:  SEV1a, SEV1c, SEV1d, SEV1e


Advanced High School/College Level (Silver Bluff Audubon Center)

Wetlands: Home to More than Mosquitoes (Spring only)

Lab: The Land Through Time
Field: Soil Studies
Eco-Hike: Wetland Mitigation

Students will experience a hands-on, up-close encounter with wetlands to learn of the importance of the misunderstood ecosystem and the role that it plays in wildlife and plant diversity. Land use changes through time. Students will learn how to use dated maps to calculate land area, percentages of types of land coverage, and run off. Students will then be immersed in the history of Silver Bluff Audubon, learning about the land’s uses throughout history while viewing SBA maps from different time periods. They will learn about Silver Bluff’s wetland mitigation project and visit the site where the project is taking place. They will learn how to take soil samples and through color and texture, deduce whether the site is, or has ever been, the site of a wetland. Possible career paths will be introduced throughout the program: conservation scientist, botanist, environmental engineer, hydrologist, biologist, environmental scientist.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SEC1.a, SEC1.b, SEC1.c, SEC2.a, SEC2.b, SEC2.c, SEC3.a, SEC3.b, SEC3.c, SEC3.d, SEC3.e, SEC5.a, SEC5.c, SEC5.d, SEV4.a, SB5.a, SB5.c, SZ5

Birds, Burning, and Bottomlands, the Three B's of Bird-Friendly Forestry

Field: Habitat Assessment: Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
Field: Habitat Assessment: Swainson’s Warbler

Students will learn the history and importance of the Longleaf Pine and its unique community in the Southeast, with an emphasis on the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker and threatened Bachman’s Sparrow. Using forestry tools, students will assess two different forest habitats to determine suitability for these birds. A trip to the “island” will allow the students to learn about and utilize a different assessment tool to find the best habitat for the Swainson’s Warbler. Career paths will be addressed throughout the day: forestry, wildlife biology, ecology.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SEC1.a, SEC1.b, SEC1.c, SEC2.a, SEC2.b, SEC2.c, SEC3.a, SEC3.b, SEC3.c, SEC3.d, SEC3.e, SEC5.a, SEC5.c, SEC5.d, SEV4.a, SB5.a, SB5.c, SZ5

How Healthy Is Your Watershed?

Lab: We All Live Downstream
Field: Pondering Life

Using biotic and abiotic testing techniques, students will assess the health of a watershed, its effects on birds and other wildlife, and ways to be good stewards of our water resources. At a pond on Silver Bluff Audubon property, students will use dip nets to collect macro-invertebrates, identify them with field guides and dichotomous keys, and assign each organism a pollution tolerance score. From their data and results, they will determine the health of the pond. In a lab setting, students will use chemical testing to pinpoint pollutants in water, infer from maps the probable causes, and brainstorm various solutions. Career paths will be addressed throughout the day: limnology, hydrology, ecology, chemistry, marine biology.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SEC1.a, SEC1.b, SEC1.c, SEC5.c, SEC3.d SEC5.c, SEC3.d,, SB5.a, SB5.d, SZ5

“Motus” Operandi: Decoding the Story of Migration

Lab: Migrating with Motus
Field: Mission Migration
Eco-Hike: Evidence of Birds Hike

Students will be introduced to the Motus Wildlife Tracking System through an interactive classroom demonstration, learning of its use in facilitating research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory birds. Particularly during fall and spring migration periods, students will take binoculars and field guides on an informative hike with one of our volunteer birders to observe migrants to Silver Bluff Audubon and determine the importance of sanctuaries such as this one to migration flyways. Students will participate in a migration simulation and explore the challenges faced by migratory birds. Careers will be discussed throughout the day: conservation sciences, biology, ornithology, ecology.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SEC1.a, SEC1.b, SEC1.c, SEC5.c, SEC3.d, SEV4.a, SZ4.a, SZ5.a, SZ5b, SZ5.c.

*Optional: Open-ended field experience

Design and guide your own program experience using the varied locations that Silver Bluff Audubon has to offer! The 3,400 acres has ponds, forests, wetlands, and the Savannah River! You can develop your own field experience with the support of our staff and supplemental tools.

Simply choose this option on the reservation request form, and indicate your topic interests and preferences in locations.

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