Home School

Group Homeschool Programs

Minimum of 25 students (6 years old and up)  required to reserve program.  Maximum of 50 students.

Fee:  $25 per group/No per person fee

To Make a Reservation

  • Click on the "Reserve Your Date" tab on the website.
  • Click on the "Reservations" tab on the website.
  • Click on any open date.
  • Choose your arrival and departure times, and the educational program.
  • You will receive a confirmation email.

 

General Information

  • No food is allowed in our lab
  • There is no self-guided exploration on the preserve. Parents must stay with the group.
  • Everyone, students and parents, should wear close toes shoes that can get muddy, and possibly wet.
  • Dress for the weather. Bring a poncho, just in case. A hat is a good idea on sunny days. Bug spray is also a good idea.
  • When you arrive, pull up to the gate and we will open it for you. Once in the gate, pull all the way back to the Nature Center and park.

 

Programs

Tech Trek

Grades: 3-12
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Challenge your students with our high adventure wilderness course! Explore Florida's rivers and streams using both orienteering compasses and hand held GPS units. Walk over the karst rock topography of the woods and river. Students will work together in teams to map their course and learn about native plants and animals along the way.

Hanging out in the Habitat

Grades: K-5
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Learn about habitats, niches, ecosystems and food webs. Explore the Preserve's wilderness areas and check out the native and non native species of plants and animals. Hunt for the clues that animals have left behind. Trek back into the woods with one of CSP's educators. Identify plants along the river. Look at the karst rock topography of the woods and river. Spot wildlife of all sizes. Also, join us in our learning lab to visit with our animal ambassadors. Get an up close look at some of Florida's native reptiles and amphibians. Learn how these often misunderstood animals help our habitats everyday!

Awesome Aquifers

Grades: K-5
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Where does all your water go? In this simulation program, students will create a watershed that represents their community. Once constructed, students will determine what happens to all the run-off and watch as pollution from one part of the watershed effects the entire watershed. This is a great lesson in water conservation and pollution. Learn the history of the springs, from the time of the prehistoric animals to the present. Gaze into our window on the aquifer.

What's In Your Water?

Grades: 6-8
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: This program is an in-depth hands-on experience. The students will collect and analyze water samples from around the preserve. Using both chemical and electronic testing devices, they will determine dissolved oxygen, pH, and other basic chemical levels. Students will be guided throuh a discussion of their results and explore how these levels effect the overall health of the waters on the Preserve. Learn the history of the springs, from the time of the prehistoric animals to the present. Be amazed to discover how Florida's wetlands clean our water. Brainstorm what role the aquifer plays in our everyday life. Use critical thinking skills to figure out the differences between life in the river and life in the pond.

River Critter Roundup

Grades: 6-8
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: One of our most popular programs! Take a tour of Crystal Springs Preserve and learn how the water in the spring gets to and from the aquifer. Students will do a biodiversity survey of the invertebrates and vertebrates that live in the river. Observe them under a microscope. Use your critical thinking skills to explore diversity and ecosystem health. Note: Student should wear closed toed shoes that can get muddy and dirty.

Survival

Grades: 3-8
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Get lost!! Learn what it takes to survive if you ever get lost in the wilderness. Identify poisonous plants and animals you may encounter in Florida. Collect drinking water using only what you have in your lunch box. Build a shelter using only what you brought with you and the things that nature has to provide.

Florida Chemistry

Grades: 9-12
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: This program is an in-depth hands on class. While exploring the various habitats at Crystal Springs Preserve, students will collect water samples from each. They will bring the samples back to the lab and using both chemical and electronic tests, students will compare dissolved oxygen, nitrate, and pH levels of their samples. Our educators will lead the students in a brainstorm session using their results to determine the health of our habitats.

Rolling IN the River

Grades: 9-12
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Prepare to get wet!! Your students will perform an indepth Benthic Investigation of the Hillsborough River. Groups of students will be given a 10ft transect of the river where they will be responsible for completing several tests and experiments. These tests include turbidity, dissolved oxygen, a biodiversity survey, and stream flow. Our Benthic logs are molded after those used by the USGS. Students and chaperones should come in clothing and closed toed shoes that can get wet. NO FLIP FLOPS!!!!!!

Skull Biology

Grades: 3-12
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Use forensic biology to determine if a skull is from a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore. Utilize inductive and deductive reasoning to separate predators from prey. Take a close look at teeth and bite impressions to determine animal characteristics. Brainstorm about different adaptations that these animals have that help them to survive.

The Microscopic World of Microbes

Grades: 3-12
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Investigate the parts of the microscope and understand the science of how it works.  Take a water sample and learn how to prepare it on a microscope slide.  Explore the different types of microscopic organisms that live in river.

River Rats Water Adventure

Grades: 3-5
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Take a tour of Crystal Springs Preserve's habitats and explore Florida's magnificent aquifer system. Explore the Hillsborough River and its spring runs. Grab a dip net and perform a biodiversity survey. Catch and identify the invertebrates and vertebrates that live in the waters of the Preserve. Note: **Students should wear closed toed shoes that can get muddy and dirty**

Getting Buggy

Grades: K-5
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Explore the fascinating world of insects! Students will investigate the characteristics of insects and collect living specimens to observe using bug viewers. Take a nature hike to explore the amazing diversity of life at the Preserve.

Come Meet a Tree With Me!

Grades: K-5
Capacity: 30 students
Length: 2 hrs
Description: Has your class read "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss? Hike the Preserve and meet our trees, plant one of your own if you please. Find out the things that make them grow, discover everything you need to know!