PHONE: 201-750-2778 



The Closter Nature Center has been offering environmental education programs for Closter and our neighboring schools for over thirty years. In an effort to enhance the education of our children and to expose them to the wonders of nature and science, we have not only expanded the curriculum we offer but now bring this opportunity to a greater number of local schools. Our classes are fun, memorable, and engaging in unique ways. All are based on the most current State Science Standards and designed to accent your science curriculum. The programs are one hour in length, but can be shortened to match your school's schedule. Topics are flexible, and we easily accommodate requests for special or specific subjects not on the list below. We regularly integrate the latest scientific findings and current science-related events into our existing programs (i.e.: Hurricane Sandy and its effects, global climate changes, volcanic eruptions) and take advantage of those immediate teaching opportunities. Seasonal nature walks of the students' own school grounds are a wonderful and enlightening option for all grade levels, and are a great way to unite children with their own habitat, bringing home the point that nature is everywhere. Field trips to the center can always be arranged, but these programs were designed to be brought to your school and they make use of the natural world your school yard provides. We are aware of the upcoming NextGen Science Standards and are prepared to modify our class list to insure we continue to offer our community the most informative, exciting, and relevant programs.

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Pond time (inside) - A fast-paced, interactive musical "puppet show" where kids learn about aquatic animals and habitats.

Sensory Walk (inside and outside) - An exploration of the natural world in your schoolyard where children discover nature by using and honing their senses.

Live Animal Show (inside) - A visit from a trio of the Nature Center's education animals mixed with music and fun.

1st Grade

Animal Life Cycles (inside) - Live animals accent this program which examines the fascinating process living things go through as they grow and reproduce.

Roots and stems (inside or outside) - An introduction to the field of botany with an outdoor investigation of the plant life in your schoolyard.

2nd Grade

Habitats (inside or outside) - A combination of live education animals and outdoor activities that focus on who lives where and why.

Rocks and Minerals (inside) - A chance to learn about basic geology by experiencing and handling an amazing rock and mineral collection.

3rd Grade

Ecology (outside) - An investigation into the interconnectedness of life on earth with a walk that highlights the natural wonders of your schoolyard.

Simple Machines (inside) - A hands-on program about simple machines using common tools and household items as kid-friendly examples.

Pond Ecology /Forest Ecology Field trip (Closter Nature Center) - A bus trip to the Closter Nature Center that examines the aquatic life of Ruckman Pond and our unique forested wetland.

4th Grade

Rocks and Minerals (inside) - A more in-depth geology program that examines the elements, fossils, and soil.

Primitive Technology /Native Americans (inside) - A hands-on archaeological investigation into the history of humans and how we developed technology.

Save Our World (inside) - A discussion concerning our use of natural resources and what we can do to insure a sustainable future for humans, and for all of Earth's inhabitants.

5th Grade

Human Impact on the Environment (inside or outside) - A detailed look at our historical and modern way of life and how we affect the natural world.

Invasive Species (inside or outside) - An examination of what happens when organisms expand their boundaries and how their dominance influences their new homes.

6th Grade

Fossils (inside) - A journey through time highlighting the history of life on Earth, the process of fossil formation, and a hands-on examination of the Closter Nature Center's fossil collection.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes (inside) - A look at the structure of the Earth and how its surface can radically and explosively change.

7th Grade

Diversity in Nature (inside and outside) - A discussion and walk examining nature's need for variety that touches on the topics of endangered species and sustainability.

Life is Change (inside and outside) - An inquiry into nature's constant theme of change in the Earth's surface, climates, and life forms.

8th Grade

The Physics and History of Catapults (inside) - A unique look at the principals of physics behind the trebuchet and human-kind's use of ancient throwing devices.

Solar Energy and Life on Earth (inside) - How the Sun's energy causes many of the Earth's physical phenomena (such as winds, waves, and photosynthesis) and how it makes life on Earth possible.