School Programs at Powder Valley

Reservation Information

All Field Trips are free!

Programs available Wednesday–Friday

  • Sept 30–Dec 11, 2020
  • Feb 10–May 14, 2021

To reserve a school program, complete the Program Request Form or call 314-301-1500 and request a copy of the form.

All requests received by Saturday, August 15, 2020 will be in the program lottery. Requests received after that date will be considered depending on program availability.

You will be notified of the status of your request by Friday, August 21, 2020.

Application Instructions

Follow these steps to enter the school program lottery.

  1. Download and save the application form.
  2. Complete and save the form.
  3. Email the completed form to:
    ProgramRequests@mdc.mo.gov
    OR
    Mail the completed form to:
    School Program Request
    Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
    11715 Cragwold Rd.
    Kirkwood, MO 63122
    OR
    FAX to: 314-301-1501 (attention: naturalist team)

Group Options

Pre K–2nd grade single and double programs are 1 ½ hours and include indoor and outdoor components. We recommend one adult chaperone per four students.

3rd–12th grade single and double programs are 2 hours and include both indoor and outdoor components. We recommend one adult chaperone per six students (3rd–5th grade) or eight students (6th–12th grade).

A self-led interpretive guide is also available if a naturalist-led program is not possible. This guide is designed to enhance an on-your-own field trip; guide is sent upon request. Please send request to ProgramRequests@mdc.mo.gov

Please Note:

  • School programs require a minimum of 10 students.
  • Single and double group options do not include time for exploring the exhibits. If you wish to explore the exhibits, please allow extra time after your program.

Double Group Size

  • Pre K–K: 21–40 students
  • 1st–12th: 26–50 students

Minimum time scheduled:

  • 1½ hours– PreK-2nd
  • 2 hours– 3rd-12th

Triple Group Size

  • Pre K–K: 41–60 students
  • 1st–12th: 51–75 students

Minimum time scheduled:

  • 2½ hours or 3 hours with lunch break
  • Includes one teacher-led rotation

Quadruple Group Size

  • Pre K–K: 61–80 students
  • 1st–12th: 76–100 students

Minimum time scheduled:

  • 3 hours or 3½ hours with lunch break
  • Includes two teacher-led rotations

A rotational schedule of activities will be sent a month in advance for Triple and Quad Groups.

Inclement weather may limit some outdoor activities. If possible, the program will be moved indoors. If you decide to cancel due to weather or for any other reason, please contact the nature center as soon as possible.

School Programs

Sept 30–Oct 16, 2020
March 24–May 14, 2021

Pre K–K

Amazing Amphibians!

How do amphibians grow? How are they different from other animals? Discover the answers to these questions through activities, guided hikes, and live animals.

Pre K–2nd Grade

Budding Biologists 1-Hour Hike

What do biologists study? Explore outdoors and learn to distinguish between living and non-living things. Work as field scientists to examine the forest floor.

Insect Inspectors

Did that critter have six legs or eight? Was it a spider or an insect? Catch and observe all kinds of insects living right under your nose.

Seeds on the Move

Flowers can’t walk, swim, or fly, so how do they spread to different places? Learn about pollination, seed dispersal, parts of flowers, and types of seeds through games and hands-on exploration. Outside, we will see what is happening in the garden and try to observe some pollinators in action.

Get a Life Cycle!

(Recommended for Grades 1 and 2)
How do life cycles differ within the animal world? Explore metamorphosis and growth through the fascinating lives of insects, amphibians, and birds. Outdoors, search for animals in different life stages.

3rd–12th Grade

Who Will Survive?

(This program is for Single and Double groups only)

Become an endangered species from Missouri and learn about the hardships you must go through to survive every day. This program turns Powder Valley into a giant game board as you move from station to station learning about the needs of your species as well as about threats from humans in this interactive program.

School Programs

Sept 30–Dec 11, 2020
Feb 10–May 14, 2021

Pre K–K

Bird Buddies

Explore the characteristics of birds through hands-on activities. Go on a bird hike and make a pair of binoculars to take home.

I Like to Move It, Move It!

Take a close look at animal movement and behavior. Learn how animals use different parts of their bodies to function and survive in the wild. Dramatic play, live animals, and a hike will be a part of this “moving” experience!

Pre K–2nd Grade

Furry, Feathered, Scaly, or Smooth?

Want to learn what animals feel like and how their outer layers keep them protected? We’ve got you covered! Warm up to the world of animal coverings and the special adaptations that help them survive in their environments.

Mammalogy for Minis

What makes a mammal, a mammal? How do different mammals move? Explore the characteristics of mammals through hands on activities including seeing and feeling pelts of mammals of Missouri, making mammal tracks, and a guided hike to find some furry residents of Powder Valley.

3rd–5th Grade

Creatures of Habitat

A habitat provides food, water, shelter, and space for the animals living there. It sounds nice and easy, but life in the wild is tough. Learn how animals use their diverse adaptations to survive in their habitats. Be prepared to explore the habitats of Powder Valley.

MAD Wildlife

Seasonal changes affect the behavior of plants and animals. Winter is one of the most stressful times of the year for most organisms. Students will participate in activities to learn how different species use Migration, Adaptation, Dormancy, or other strategies to survive during these seasonal changes.

3rd–12th Grade

Web of Life

"Nature weaves an intricate web, and every species is accounted for, from the smallest microbe to the largest predator. Become familiar with consumers, producers, and decomposers as you classify organisms by their roles in the food chain. As part of the program, you will be able to put your new food web knowledge to use when you dissect an owl pellet in the classroom."

Nature Journaling

Art, science, and language arts all come together in this study of the natural world. Students will learn to use poetry, writing, mapmaking, and sketching to record the observations they make as they sit quietly in the forest. Tools and a take-home journal will be provided.

4th–12th Grade

CSI: Conservation Scene Investigation

(This program is for Single and Double groups only)

A conservation crime has been committed! Uncover the mystery by engaging in scientific investigations to determine what really happened. Discover how conservation agents and biologists use evidence to solve crimes against nature with hands-on investigations and lab tests.