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Educational Outreach

School Programs

Fun, hands-on experiences for students

Hey, teachers! Ready to get out of the classroom and explore our exciting natural world? At SFA Gardens, we offer a variety of interactive programs that will help your students build critical STEM skills, such as observation, critical thinking and scientific inquiry. 

Check out our lineup of fun, plant-centered activities below. 

Learning Excursions (Grades K-8)

Join your students as they explore the natural wonders of the Texas Forest Country. Our Learning Excursion programs include plenty of hands-on, age-appropriate activities designed for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Garden Exploration (Grade: K)

This hour-long program includes your choice of two of the following activities: 

  • Bees Are Beautiful. Explore an observation beehive and learn about honeybee anatomy. 
  • Seeds Are Special. Get up-close and personal with a variety of seeds, and learn what seeds need in order to grow into strong, healthy plants.
  • What Do You See? Enjoy a scavenger hunt in our Shade Garden, and learn about plants along the way.
  • Creating Compost. Learn the basics of composting, and meet some of the heavyweights of the decomposition world.  

Cost for the event is $3.50 per student (limit four classes per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.

Arboretum Adventures (Grades: 1-2)

This two-hour program includes the following activities: 

  • What’s the Buzz About Bees? Explore an observation beehive and learn the basics of bee biology. This activity ends with a “nectar collector” relay race that lets students experience a bee’s life firsthand. 
  • Seeds Are Special. Get up-close and personal with a variety of seeds, and learn what seeds need to grow into strong, healthy plants.
  • Soil Is Super. Learn what soil is made of, and why it’s the most important component of the arboretum.
  • Fun With Flowers. Explore the wide variety of flowers growing in the arboretum, and learn the basics of plant biology along the way.

Cost for the event is $3.50 per student (limit four classes per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.

Go Wild! (Grade: 3)

During this two-hour adventure, your students will take a guided hike through the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Along the way, they’ll collect and analyze water samples, create rope from plant material, and learn about the benefits and uses of native plants. They’ll also learn about rare and endangered plants.

Cost for the event is $3.50 per student (limit four classes per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.

Wild About Science (Grade: 4)

Students will spend two hours learning about soils, trees and food webs through a series of fun, hands-on activities. Cost for the event is $4.00 per student (limit four classes per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.  Wild About Science is available the second week of November.

Earth Science Exploration (Grade: 5)

Science rocks. And in this two-hour adventure, your students will complete a series of activities focused on geologic processes, ancient rocks and real-life examples of constructive and destructive forces. Activities include a scavenger hunt, games and hands-on investigations.  

Cost for the event is $3.50 per student (limit four classes per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.

Wild about Wetlands (Grades: 4-8)

Join your students as they learn about hydric soils, characteristic wetland plants, the importance of watersheds and the water cycle. They’ll also collect and analyze macro-invertebrates to determine the health of a wetland at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. 

Cost for the event is $4 per student (limit 25 students per session) and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet.

Annual Events

April: Bugs, Bees, Butterflies & Blossoms Festival (Grades: K-3)

It’s literally a field day. During this popular event, your students will explore forest habitats, learn about native plants and animals and participate in fun, hands-on learning activities. 

Cost for the event is $5 per student and includes a pre- and post-visit teacher resource packet. 

October: Lumberjack Pumpkin Patch (Grades: K-4)

The Lumberjack Pumpkin Patch, held at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center, is the perfect way to celebrate fall. Join your students as they participate in a variety of hands-on learning activities focused on pumpkins. The fun includes a tractor-drawn hayride and a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. 

Cost for the event is $5 per student, with complimentary admission for two teachers per class. Admission is $10 for additional siblings or adults.

Schedule your student program today

To register for a school program, call 936.468.1832 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu. Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance for all programs and will be confirmed when payment is received. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, the ratio of one adult to every 10 students is required.

Contact

SFA Gardens
936.468.4129
sfagardens@sfasu.edu

Office Address: 2900 Raguet Street 

Mailing Address:
PO Box 13000, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Request Information for Future Students

Please fill out the form below to receive information from SFA. If you’re not a future student and want to reach out to us, use our contact form.

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