Rock Springs provides a fun way to discover our natural and historical world in a relaxed setting. Hands-on, engaging activities offer an enjoyable learning experience for youth of all ages, and participants get up-close-and-personal with nature. These adventure experiences are designed to last approximately one hour.
Avian Ecology & Owl Pellet Dissection*
Learn the basics of avian ecology and the roles played in the food web. By dissection sterilized owl pellets, students will find bones and rebuild a skeleton and take it home. *additional fee of $1.75 per student
This activity is a good fit for younger kids. With guidance from the instructor the participants will create their very own creature with habits, diet, adaptations, and more that defines the creature's niche in its eco-system. After creation, a tournament is held to decide which creature is king of the habitat! This activity combines creativity with active learning.
Our GPS program provides an outside and active recreation period for all ages. Using Rock Springs GPS devices, participants will guide themselves around our facility to find the waypoints we have posted. This activity is a fun introduction to GPS units, and the usefulness they can provide.
Native American Games 1.0
Everyone had games they played growing up that they remember fondly; Native Americans were no different. N.A.G. gives youth an introduction to games that were played by Native Americans while simultaneously helping them prepare for challenges in everyday life, and developing life skills.
Native American Games 2.0
In addition to individual and small group games, Native Americans also played larger team games. Some of which, like Stickball, still exist today in modern forms (lacrosse). During this activity, we will encourage participants to join in on a game of shinny. A game that is similar to modern field hockey.
Nature Education Hike
This activity takes participants on an educational hike around camp. The program will introduce students to several eco-systems and the natural processes that allow them to exist. From our natural spring to our wooden creek bottom, we strive to help students see that there is more than meets the eye in nature!
Pioneer Crossings 1.0: Natural Material Rafts
Pioneers heading west had many challenges that are unknown to us today. Pioneer Crossing looks to challenge participants to think about the way life used to be, and the difficulties pioneers faced during their travels. Using natural materials they find, participants will construct miniature rafts. Once completed, the rafts will be tested for buoyance in our stream to determine its success!
Pioneer Crossings 2.0: Ferry Construction
A step up from pioneer crossing, ferry crossing promotes a higher level of engineering and teamwork in order to succeed. Groups will be provided material in which they use to make a miniature / medium scale ferries. Reflecting river crossings during the American expansion, we will push the ferries to the limit as we cross the "river" to determine their maximum loads.
Prairie Life (Formerly Prairie Learning Center)
Prairie Life is all about Kansas and Rock Springs animals. Participants will be given the opportunity to handle real animal furs, skulls, and even live specimens. This presents youth the chance to truly have a hands-on learning experience. Included is Rock Springs Jeopardy, a time for kids to show off their inner naturalist knowledge!
Power of Wind
Creativity and engineering are at the forefront in this activity. With sustainable energy on the rise, the participants will be given the chance to create their own wind turbine blade designs. Using trial and error along with problem solving, the youth will try and register as much voltage output as possible from their miniature turbines.
Rock Springs Mining Co.
Natural resources from mines are an essential part of modern society. However, mining must be done in a responsible manner. This indoor activity presents participants with a miniature land area (chocolate chip cookies) in which they must mine out the ore while minimizing costs that come from ecological harm. Will their mine turn a profit? Will their ecosystem be kept intact? It's all up to the participants!
S.O.S. (Save our Soil)
Using hands on models and experimentation, S.O.S takes a look at soil erosion and conservation. The activity challenges participants to preserve their field and landscape to the best of their ability while learning about real life soil conservation practices!
Stream Study 1.0: Exploration & Discovery
Stream study lets kids be kids in an educational setting! Youth are given the opportunity to wade in Rock Springs creeks and discover the hidden aquatic life. The main focus of this offering is macroinvertebrates such as mayflies, damselflies, and caddisflies. However, the capture of crawdads and orange throat darters is a common occurrence as well! Closed toe shoes that can get wet are required.
Stream Study 2.0: Micro Odyssey
Micro Odyssey dives deeper into stream life and the ecosystem. This program provides participants the opportunity to identify forms of microscopic life from water sources around camp using magnifying glasses and microscopes. In addition, participants will learn more about how the stream and the surrounding ecosystem are intertwined.
Nothing is better than when science and water activities combine. Here participants to build and customize 2 liter water bottle rockets. The youth will try and maximize their rockets lift and altitude. Then we'll take it to the next level, and test your teamwork skills. Divided into groups, participants will have a guided launch contest. Adjusting water pressure and launch angles - try to be the first ones to land your rocket in the landing zone.
Rock Springs is looking for a few good Crime Scene Investigators for our police force, and we want you! Participants will use field guides, group knowledge, and problem solving skills to discover who's been stealing chickens from the Rock Springs farm. Clues may include the perpetrators habits, diet, tracks, and more. This game provides hands-on learning regarding Kansas predators in a fun setting.