School Yard Science Program
The Deering Estate at Cutler is an assured destination for a wealth of experiential and recreation-based educational programs that are aligned with local and state standards of learning. The Living Classroom at the Deering Estate at Cutler serves as an environmental education center for all of Miami-Dade County, providing a hands-on curriculum to community youth and the general public in the field of ecology, geology, marine biology, archeology, history and art. With some of the highest quality and most diverse natural resources remaining in Miami-Dade County, and a host of biologists, marine biologists and naturalists to share their knowledge, our Living Classroom also educates our community about preserving our biodiversity through environmental stewardship, environmental sustainability, and overall resource management. All programs are correlated to the Sunshine State Standards and are FCAT compatible. They are structured to engage participants in interactive, positive and balanced activities that help foster an understanding and appreciation as they think critically about the world around them.
Through the School Yard Science (SYS) program, The Estate offers in-school programming opportunities that are designed to bring our Living Classroom directly to your students - during traditional school hours or as part of an after-school care program. Equipped with fossils, artifacts and tools, live or preserved specimens, photographs and simple laboratory experiments, our Eco-Brigade - the Deering Estate at Cutler’s Education and Interpretive Staff - bring curriculum to community youth in the fields of ecology, geology, marine biology, archaeology, history and art. These hands-on lessons and experiments are used to engage the minds and hands of students eager to learn through activities that illustrate and apply the key points of the specific topics covered. Educators will have several options as to how to incorporate the School Yard Science program into their classrooms:
SYS Mobile Programs (Multi-week program)
The School Yard Science Mobile Program consists of 2 traveling mobile units: the MarineMobile (mobile touch tank and marine science unit) and the GeoMobile (mobile archaeology unit). These programs allow the Estate’s unique on-site programming to be brought directly to the schools.
This student-friendly mobile unit will provide tons of learning enjoyment. It is not only easy to maintain, but also allows the opportunity for students to learn about coastal and marine ecosystems through a unique, hands-on experience.
This unit allows students to travel through time as they learn everything about archaeology. Through the study of artifacts and other hands-on activities, students dig into the world of archaeology to discover past cultures, such as the Tekesta.
Each of these mobile units provide the perfect opportunity for teachers to do in-depth marine science or archaeology activities in their own classes, with the tools, artifacts, specimens, and lesson plans provided by the Estate. And because the mobile will be on site for an extended period of time, any teacher within the school will have access to it.
Fee: $300 (Programs located outside Miami-Dade County are charged an additional $25 travel fee)
Mobile units can be reserved by month. During the first week, a member of the Estate’s Eco-Brigade will train a lead teacher on how to care for the mobiles, as well as how to incorporate the mobiles into their classroom activities. The Eco-Brigade will also visit that teacher’s class the next day to lead a hands-on activity with the students. Additionally, we welcome that class, of up to 30 students, back to the Estate for one, free On-Site Field Study Visit.
SYS Classroom in a Box
Our SYS Classroom in a Box program provides an activity for students in the field of ecology, geology, marine biology, archaeology, history or art. The program’s main goal is to complement formal education and provide students with a chance to apply classroom material to real life situations. Teachers are encouraged to visit our website to utilize the pre- and post-activities and lesson plans to expand the learning experiences.
This is a 2 hour program and the materials are designed to accommodate up to 30 students. The curriculum is offered for K-2, 3-5, 6-9, and 9-12 grades. There are more than 18 environmental stewardship topics to choose from.
Fee: $7 per student (cost of materials is included in the fee)
Possible Topics Include:
Bird Adaptations (All)
Flower Anatomy (K-2, 3-5)
Sea Turtles (K-2, 3-5)
Sharks (K-2, 3-5, 6-8)
Aquifers (3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Rocks and Minerals (All)
Power of Symbols (All)
Soil Sampling (6-8, 9-12)
South Florida Forests (3-5, 6-8)
Reptiles and Amphibians (All)
Ocean Currents (6-8, 9-12)
Water Pollution (3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
Mangroves & Seagrass (All)
Painting with Nature (K-2, 3-5, 6-8)
Adventures in Ethnobotany (All)
Design a Historic House (K-2, 3-5, 6-8)
3-D Topographic Models (6-8, 9-12)
SYS Eco-Academy (30 week program)
Our 30-week SYS Eco-Academy provides a hands-on interdisciplinary curriculum to community youth. The goal of this program is to complement formal education within an after-school program setting. Each curriculum unit is covered during a 5-week session.
During this program, participants are engaged in interactive activities during a two-hour class offered once a week that help them understand the world around them, all while developing critical thinking skills. The Estate’s Eco-Brigade visits your private or public school with all the tools, specimens, artifacts, photographs, and other supplies necessary to teach the lesson and complete the activities.
This program will accommodate up to 30 students per instructor (multiple classes can be taught at a site). Classes are offered once a week for 2-hours each session. Schools can choose one 5-week session or all 6 sessions for the full 30-week program. The curriculum is offered for K-2 and 3-5 grades.
Fee: $7 dollars per student per week (cost of materials is included in the fees)
For more information on the Deering Estate at Cutler’s SYS program, please contact Stefanie Alvarez at 305-235-1668 ext. 238.