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Public & Private Schools

Public & Private Schools

Outdoor Education Programs at THE ARK - Please Contact Andrew at THE ARK for Costs @ 765-395-3638 or

Each themed, hands-on experience listed below was developed by Andrew, who taught science and art for 25 years and has a Master’s Degree in Education in Natural Science and Environmental Education. He completed the Indiana Master Naturalist course offered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

  • Each program can be catered to fit the needs of your students as we partner to foster this growth. 

  • Each program is led by trained ARK staff and will be joined by representatives from your school. 

  • Each program has an outdoor experience and asks all participants to be dressed appropriately.

  • Each program is designed to include classroom discussion, outdoor experience, and a meaningful time of debriefing and reflection.

Macroinvertebrate Pond Study: 90 minutes. Grades 6-8
An entire ecosystem exists underwater in ponds, swamps, and creeks. During this experience, the students will use nets and other equipment to capture tiny invertebrates from different bodies of water, analyze the types of critters captured, and use this information to learn a bit about the quality of the water in that habitat. Standards targeted:  6.LS.4 / 6-8.LST.2.3 / SEPS.1,2,3,4,6

Trees of Indiana: 90 minutes. Grades 6-8
Trees are a critical, functional, and beautiful part of life on earth for humans and other wildlife. Identify and carry out investigations around trees of the forest. Use a dichotomous key for ID, estimate the age of the tree, and learn about photosynthesis and other processes that trees go through in this hands-on experience. Standards targeted:  6.LS.2 / 6-8.LST.2.3 / SEPS.2,4,5

Birds of Indiana: 90 minutes. Grades 5-8
Look to the skies and discover those feathered friends that are often overlooked or unseen. Learn about special design of birds, including beaks, feet, and feathers. Compare the designs of different bird species and even uncover a mystery of an owl’s last meal through the dissection of an owl pellet.
Standards targeted:  5.LS.2 / 6.LS.3 / 8.LS.9 / SEPS.2,4

Ecology and Interactions: 90 minutes. Grades 6-8
Living things that share an ecosystem are intertwined more than we often see. Learn terms and concepts of these relationships through an interactive “escape room.” Students will use clues and solve puzzles to unlock the next stages as they learn the ins and outs of an ecosystem. Standards targeted:  6.LS.3 / 8.LS.9 / SEPS.3,4,8

Walk-in-Awe: 60 minutes. Grades 5-6
The complexities and details of things that surround us daily will create awe and wonder when discovered and examined. Walk around three different habitats and slow down to see what you can see. Students will be led through activities that will enhance their observation skills and attention to detail. Standards targeted:  5.LS.2,3 / SEPS.2,3,8

STEM Lessons: 90 minutes. Grades 5-8
Uncover the inner engineer in your students. Contact us for a custom STEM program to enhance your classroom.

Forces and Motion: 90 minutes. Grades 6-8
Experience the force of gravity while riding down a cable swing and feel the wind blow through your hair. After researching some factors that impact the speed and other aspects of your ride, hypothesize and design an experiment to test your hypothesis on a model zipline that you build.
Standards targeted:  6.PS.1,2,3 / 7.PS.4-7 / 6-8.LST.2.3 / SEPS.1,2,3,4,5,8

Team Initiatives and Group Games: 120 minutes. Grades 5-8
Want your students to work together? So do we! This program has ARK staff leading your group through challenges and games. In order to succeed, the team must work together. The cheers and encouragement of a team after a challenge full of frustration and obstacles is a wonderful thing for all involved. (a prerequisite to Team Building Challenge)

Team Building Challenges: 120 minutes. Grades 7-8
After your team experiences Team Initiatives and Group Game Program, put them to the mental and creative test through a team building challenge course. Your students will enter the woods and walk a trail to our team-building elements and build their leadership, teamwork, and creative thinking skills. Exit the woods a more cohesive group with confidence that carries over into the classroom and all areas of life.

Wilderness Survival Skills: 90 minutes. Grades 5-8
Sharpen your outdoor survival skills in the wilderness of Converse, Indiana. After taking this course, you will have the knowledge necessary to build a fire, make shelter, find direction, and fish for food, all in a safe and fun environment around friends and staff. See if you have what it takes to survive in the wild, or if you need to take this course a second time.

Recreational Programming: Times vary. Grades 5-8
Choose to put traditional learning aside for a more adventurous activity during your visit. These fun activities will foster individual growth, peer encouragement, and group strategy. (Age restrictions apply) 
Choose from:

  • High Ropes Course
  • 45-foot outdoor climbing tower
  • Indoor climbing wall
  • Archery / Hatchet / Slingshot range
  • Canoeing our pond
  • Archery tag