Nature Explorers
Homeschool Natural Science Classes
Wednesdays 2:30-4:00 pm

The Nature Explorer program is a series of natural science classes designed to supplement homeschooling curriculums. We explore various topics through interactive lectures as well as hands-on activities both inside and outside. We also provide a Parent Page, an outline of the day’s presentation for review and/or portfolio use.

Families can choose to sign up for all the classes or choose only those that best fit their needs; most of the classes are not sequential. Registration is ongoing throughout the year. Fees for each class vary depending upon the type of materials needed for that class. We prefer class fees to be paid in advance to allow for the purchase of materials; however, other arrangements can be made, if necessary.

Families may register through the mail (2300 Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, MI 49022), in person at the nature center (Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by phone during business hours (269-927-4832).

We request the parents of our six- to nine-year-old students stay to assist their children unless they also have younger children who require supervision (outside the classrooms, please). Parents of our older students (10 years and up) are welcome to stay and share the discoveries, but their presence is not necessary.

For any further information, contact Eileen at Sarett Nature Center:

(269) 927-4832 or eileenc@sarett.com
Nature Explorers
2014-2015 Class Schedule

Sept. 17, 2014


CARNIVOROUS PLANTS What’s a plant to do if it can’t get nutrients from the soil? Why eat insects, of course! Learn about Michigan’s carnivorous plants and examine some specimens.

Oct. 1, 2014

MUDPIE MADNESS Studying soil science will help your child concoct the perfect mudpie. We’ll learn how soil types, percolation rates and compaction of soils affect the plant and forest community.

Oct. 15, 2014



SOIL SURPRISES The animal kingdom extends beneath the leaf litter of the forest. After we discuss these creatures we’ll head out for a closer inspection of these tiniest animals.

Oct. 29, 2014



DIGGING THE EARTHWORM They’re slimy…they’re wiggly…they’re bristly. We’ll conduct worm experiments and observations before hunting for them outside.

Nov. 5, 2014



WORMS ATE MY LUNCH The decomposers of the animal world have an important job. We’ll look at the results of worm decomposition then explore the forest looking for nature’s compost.

Nov. 19, 2014



EROSION Erosion is a powerful force that can change mountains into grains of sand. After examining stream erosion models, we’ll look for examples around the nature center.

Dec. 3, 2014



CLOUD WATCHING : Cirrus, stratus, cumulus and other clouds will be easy to identify after we constuct our cloud watching charts and use them outside. Extra fee covers chart expenses.

Dec. 17, 2014



WHICH WAY SHOULD I GO? Learn how to decipher a topographic map and visualize the landforms it represents. Practice interpreting and following a trail map.

Jan. 14, 2015

$3 + rental


A DAY ON SKIS We’ll spend the afternoon learning and practicing the basics of cross-country skiing. NOTE: This is a weather-dependent class. Please do not pay ahead in case of cancellation.

Jan. 28, 2015


FUN WITH SNOW Our inside and outside study will encompass the formation of snow crystals, Inuit words for types of snow and animals’ use of snow.

Feb. 11, 2015



TREEMENDOUS TREES Dendrology, the study of trees, is the topic for today. Learning about adaptations, tree rings and tree measurements will help us appreciate these silent sentinels.

Feb. 25, 2015



COUNT ON THE CONIFERS We will continue our study of trees by learning about evergreens and, more specifically, the pines growing here at Sarett Nature Center.

Mar. 11, 2015



MAPLE SUGARING For six weeks each spring the sap from a maple tree can be transformed into syrup and sugar. Learn why this is possible, the techniques of sugaring and the history of the “sugarmakers.”

Mar. 25, 2015


HABITAT What do animals need to survive? Learn what makes good habitats, how different factors can affect animal populations and search for examples of various habitats.

Apr. 8, 2015

ORIENTEERING A compass is the fail-safe tool for navigation in the wilderness. Learn how to use the compass and follow a pre-determined course.

Apr. 22, 2015

GEOCACHING Learn how to take part in this outdoor treasure-hunting game using the Global Positioning System (GPS).














EMERGENCY CONTACT (other than parent):








Sep 17

Carnivorous Plants




Oct 8

Mudpie Madness




Oct 15

Soil Surprises




Oct 29

Digging the Earthworm




Nov 5

Worms Ate My Lunch




Nov 19





Dec 3

Cloud Watching




Dec 17

Which Way Should I Go?




Jan 14

A Day on Skis


$3 + rental


Jan 28

Fun with Snow




Feb 11

Treemendous Trees




Feb 25

Count on the Conifers




Mar 11

Maple Sugaring




Mar 25





Apr 8





Apr 22














SARETT HOURS:  Building Open
                                  Tuesday-Friday   9:00 AM-5:00 PM
                                  Saturday   10:00 AM-5:00 PM
                                  Sunday   1:00-5:00 PM
Our trails are open dawn to dusk every day.

Sarett Nature Center
2300 Benton Center Rd.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022                                  

Phone: (269)927-4832

e-mail us