The Austin Nature & Science Center offers nature-based educational programs for a variety of school groups, including public, private, preschool, and homeschool.

2021-2022

Registration Policies

"In-Person Programs"

The Austin Nature and Science Center offers various nature- and science-based educational programs* for a variety of school groups including public, private, preschool, and homeschool. All monthly curriculum themes correlate to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. Take a look at our options below!

*As of 8/12/2021 face masks are required indoors and outdoors at all City of Austin facilities for individuals ages 2 and up.

Self-Guided Tours

Uncover all our site has to offer at your own pace. Explore hands-on exhibits including the Dino Pit and a variety of ambassador animals. No tour guides provided; two-hour time slot per group. Registration will be available starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021, for the 2021-2022 school year. As of 8/12/2021, face masks are required indoors and outdoors.

Fees and scheduling request   | A confirmation will be emailed from anscprograms@austintexas.gov with an invoice and details for your visit.

ANSC Self-Guided Tours

  • We recommend that you have a plan in place before you arrive to ensure there are enough chaperones to keep groups socially distanced across the site.  Additionally, we recommend 10 students per area, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Parking: 2389 Stratford Drive

Splash! Exhibit Self-Guided Tours

  • In order to remain socially distant, only 10 students can move through the Splash! Exhibit at a time. 
  • Parking: 2201 William Barton Drive
ANSC at Schools

Registration available on  RecTrac, Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 5

  • Deposit: $50.00 
  • Up to 25 students: $125.00
  • 26-50 students: $250.00
  • 51-75 students: $375.00

Title I Schools receive a 50% discount off of the total program fee

Let us come to your classroom, library, or gym!  We can travel up to 30 road miles from the Austin Nature & Science Center.

  • Once reserved, we will contact you to determine class rotation and program length.
  • Up to two hours at your school.
  • ANSC staff needs access to the presentation space before the program to set up. 

2021-2022 programs: Arthropods, Astronomy, Birds, and Food Chains/Webs.  All school programs correlate to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Arthropods

Inside the classroom, touch a cockroach's exoskeleton and compare it to your own bones. Review the distinct life cycles of arthropods. Upper elementary students will sort arthropods using a dichotomous key. If space and time allow, explore the school grounds for evidence of insects using tools provided by ANSC. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 4A, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 2A, 2B, 4A, 9A, 10A, 10C, 10D
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2C, 4A, 10C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 4, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 4, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 4, 10B

Astronomy

Students experience the solar system and Milky Way galaxy using digital astronomy software.  Outdoors or indoors, students learn about the distances between planets as they create a scale model of the solar system.  Upper-elementary students will explore planetary movement and phases of the moon. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 5B, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C, 8D
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3B, 8A, 8C, 8D

Birds

Discover birds’ unique adaptations and life cycles by observing live birds up close and by examining feathers. Using binoculars, make observations about life-size bird pictures while listening to bird calls.  

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 9B, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 9C, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 9C, 10A
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 9A, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 10A, 10B
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 9A, 10A, 10B

Food Chains and Webs

Students meet our ambassador animals and learn how animals depend on each other through food chains and webs. Students will investigate herbivore and carnivore body adaptations.  Grades 2 and up will predict what would happen if one animal is removed from the ecosystem.   If space and time allow, hike the school grounds in search of ecosystems. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 9C, 10A
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2A, 9A, 9C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3A, 9A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 9C, 10A
Schools at ANSC

As of 8/12/21 face masks are required indoors and outdoors while on our site.  In order to remain socially distant, a maximum of 30 students will be allowed for one section of in-person programs at ANSC.  

All school programs correlate to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 2021-2022 programs: Arthropods, Astronomy, Birds, and Food Chains/Webs

Deposit: $20.00

Title I Schools receive a 50% discount off of the total program fee

  • Pre-K to Grade 1 
    • Program length is 1 hour
    • Up to 30 students: $100.00 
    • Registration available on RecTrac
  • Grade 2 to Grade 3 
    • Program length is 1.5 hours
    • Up to 30 students: $125.00 
    • Registration available on RecTrac
  • Grade 4 to Grade 5
    • Please email a completed Registration Form to anscprograms@austintexas.gov.  Registration is not secure until you receive a confirmation email.
    • Program length is 2 hours
    • Up to 30 students: $125.00

Groups will be split into 10 students per 1 ANSC instructor.  If you would like a group larger than 30 students accommodated at one time, we offer ANSC at Schools programs!

Arthropods

Explore the Nature Center grounds for evidence of arthropods. Inside the classroom, touch a cockroach's exoskeleton and compare it to your own bones. Review the distinct life cycles of arthropods and collect insect specimens to observe up close. Upper elementary students will sort arthropods using a dichotomous key. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 5A, 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 2A, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A, 10C, 10D
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2A, 9A, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 9A, 9C, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 4, 9A, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 4, 9A, 9B, 10A

Astronomy

Students travel through our solar system and Milky Way galaxy using digital astronomy software.  Outdoors and indoors, they’ll learn about the distances between planets while creating a scale model of the solar system. Students compare planet sizes and use movement to understand orbits, rotations, and seasons.  Older students will explore moon phases and create their own star wheel to identify nighttime constellations. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 5B, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C, 8D
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3B, 8A, 8C, 8D

Birds

Students learn about birds’ unique adaptations and life cycles by observing live birds up close and by examining feathers. Outside, using binoculars, students are guided through the enclosures containing live birds of prey that cannot be released back into the wild.  Upper elementary students will present their bird findings to their peers.  

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 9B, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 2A, 9C, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 9C, 10A
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 2D, 2F, 9A, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 2D, 2F, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 2D, 2F, 9A, 10A, 10B

Food Chains and Webs

Meet our ambassador animals and learn how animals depend on each other through food chains and webs. Students will investigate herbivore and carnivore body adaptations and explore Zilker Nature Preserve for ecosystems. Grades 2 and up will predict what would happen if one animal is removed from the ecosystem.  

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 3B, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 9C, 10A
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2A, 9A, 9C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3A, 9A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 9C, 10A
Homeschool Monthly-Meet up

Registration is available on RecTrac. Ages 4-12 years

  • STEAM-focused programs will instill an appreciation of the natural world while offering an opportunity to collaborate and socialize with peers. Each month, participants will investigate and make discoveries involving a new topic.

Register for a day of the week for the entire season.

Monthly Themes
October: Paleontology
November: Patterns in Nature
December: Animal Relationships
January: Chemistry
February: Nature Skills

Homeschool Educator In Training

Registration is available on RecTrac. Ages 13-15 years

  • Develop leadership as a nature-based educator for homeschool teenagers. The Homeschool Educator in Training Program (EIT) is a unique opportunity for your teen to try their hand at being an environmental educator! Each regular session begins thirty minutes before scheduled Homeschool programming.
Homeschool Science Club

Registration is available on RecTrac. Grades 1-4

  • Students explore, make observations, and answer testable questions using the scientific method. 1st and 2nd grade students will complete a group experiment while students in the 3rd and 4th grade will work on individual projects eligible to enter the Austin Energy Science Fair.

"Virtual Programs"

School Programs

Registration is available on RecTrac.  Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 5

  • All school programs correlate to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  • 2021-2022 programs: Arthropods, Astronomy, Birds, and Food Chains/Webs
  • These programs are designed for groups of 15 to 35 students.  If you are interested in registering one student, please see homeschool classes under the in-person programs tab.

Let us virtually visit your classroom screen or students from individual computers!  The scheduled time is 45 minutes. The program is approximately 30 minutes with time allotted for student interaction and any unforeseen technology challenges. 

Deposit: None     |     Up to 35 students: $10.00

Arthropods 

Examine a cockroach's exoskeleton and compare it to your own bones. Discover the distinct life cycles of arthropods.  Meet some other arthropods and learn what they all have in common. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 4A, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 2A, 2B, 4A, 9A, 10A, 10C, 10D
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2C, 4A, 10C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 4, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 4, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 4, 10B

Astronomy

Students will see the movement of the stars, moon, and planets through the daytime and nighttime sky.  Discover how predictable patterns in the sky guide scientists and citizens. Upper elementary students will differentiate between orbit and rotation using interactive activities. 

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 5A, 5B, 8B, 8C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C, 8D
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3B, 3C, 8C
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3B, 8A, 8C, 8D

Birds

Students will explore general bird characteristics and special features of different live birds. Students will examine feathers and play a bird call quiz game.  

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 9B, 10A, 10B
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 9C, 10A, 10C
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 9C, 10A
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 9A, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 10A, 10B
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 9A, 10A, 10B

Food Chains and Webs

Students observe ambassador animals.  Explore how animals depend on each other through food chains and webs. Students will investigate herbivore and carnivore body adaptions.  Grades 2 and up will predict what would happen if one animal is removed from the ecosystem.   

  • Kindergarten Science TEKS 2A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 1 Science TEKS 3B, 9C, 10A
  • Grade 2 Science TEKS 2A, 9A, 9C
  • Grade 3 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 4 Science TEKS 3A, 9A, 9B, 10A
  • Grade 5 Science TEKS 3A, 9B, 9C, 10A

"Photos and Testimonials"

Photos

Check out our Flickr page.

Testimonials

Coming soon.  

"Videos"

Investigate the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) with Elizabeth, Emily, and Mary on TEKS Tuesdays for grades K-5.

TEKS Tuesday