Looking for ways to help your students to connect with nature and explore their own home or neighborhood?  These short investigations, originally part of our Virtual Project Crystal educational program, will do just that!  Materials are provided in English and Spanish.

Are you using one of these activities in your classroom?  Please fill out this survey to let us know so we can track who’s using them!  If you have any questions or need any help getting started, feel free to contact Georges Edouard, Crystal Cove Conservancy Education Coordinator, by emailing georges@crystalcove.org

Nature Observations

Just like you, scientists ask questions and make observations about the world around them. During this investigation, students set up a science journal and use it to record observations about a nature object.

Exploring with Seek

Just like you, scientists sometimes encounter plant or animal species that they aren’t familiar with. During this short activity, students use a smartphone app called Seek by iNaturalist to identify plants and animals in and around their home.  They also begin building a field guide in their science journal.

Community Interview

Science is only one way of learning about the world!  During this short activity, students use their science journal to plan and conduct an interview with a plant expert in their community, such as a gardener, cook, woodworker, or someone else.  By interviewing someone in their immediate family or community, students gain an appreciation for community knowledge and learn about the important role that plants play in our lives.

Gardening Strategies Scavenger Hunt

How can we help plants grow?  During this investigation, students go on a scavenger hunt around their home or neighborhood looking for gardening strategies that can help plants grow, such as mulch, watering systems, or fencing. They keep track of what they find in their science journal.

Making Observations

Students build on what they’ve done so far as they use their science journal to plan an investigation!  They decide on a place to make observations, develop a question, plan their investigation, and then collect data.  Optionally, they can share their findings with their classmates or family afterwards.

Designing an Experiment at Your School

In this extension module of Project Crystal, students apply what they’ve learned throughout Project Crystal to design their own related experiment about how birds interact with the plants and insects at their school site. 

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