Each year, Thorne connects more than 5,000 youth ages 3-15 to nature through its joyful, hands-on, place-based In-School Programs and Field Trips.
“The instructor engaged the students in every way. Students learned vocabulary and concepts by being actively involved. Students incorporated the learning into their play at recess- that is how exciting the instructor made learning!”
- Karen Carter, Resource Room Administrator
Since 2005, Thorne’s In-School Program has been expanding students’ knowledge in the areas of science and literacy through a three-class series of lessons that involve interactive explorations, inquiry-based experiments, scientific instruments and specimens, and writing a picture book. Emphasis is placed on working with schools neighboring Thorne’s environmental education centers and low-income, low-scoring, and culturally diverse schools throughout the Denver and Boulder Metro Area. At select schools, Thorne offers an additional twelve week After School Program for students who are interested in expanding their knowledge of science and connection to nature.
Since 1999 Thorne has partnered with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department and the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to offer a day-long Field Trip Program to BVSD fourth graders at the 45-acre Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center. While on the Field Trip, students experience the Marsh through aquatic investigations, bird watching, and hands-on, educational activities as they rotate through the following four stations: Birds, Plants, Wetlands, and Water Pollution. The Marsh is also home to a 30 ft. wind turbine, organic gardens, and a photovoltaic solar system which are used as educational tools to demonstrate the concept of conserving natural resources as a means of protecting the environment. In addition to serving 4th grade BVSD students at Sombrero Marsh, Thorne also offers customizable Nature Experience Field Trips to other BVSD grade levels and non-BVSD schools and youth-serving organizations at both its Boulder and Littleton locations.