SCHOOL SCIENCE TOURS AND LABS, AND TEACHING MATERIAL LOANS
TOURS AND “BIRD HUNTS”
We give school tours on a by-appointment basis for students from 4th grade through college. Tours at the WFVZ are of our vast collection of avian (bird) materials that are primarily from the 1850s through 1950s. We hold the largest collections of birds’ eggs and nests in the world (more than a million specimens), and a very large collection of bird study skins and mounts (nearly 70,000). Tours are led or facilitated by biologists and scientists who work at the museum.
Each school tour (for up to 30 students as of 12/31/2022) is 1 hour 15 minutes long, and each tour addresses the following information:
(1) The history of the collections and the scientific uses for them, and how the materials are curated;
(2) The diversity of birds of the world;
(3) And, the relationship of birds to NGSS topics including natural selection and adaptation, habitat, and the impacts that humans have on wildlife.
Each tour also gives time for students to wander through the materials of the collections on their own! 2023 Cost: $10/student.
The “Bird Hunt” option is a form of “scavenger hunt” that asks questions to find answers scattered throughout the collection exhibits to worksheet questions. Students can “hunt” on their own or in small groups. This is a more self-guided experience, although it includes opening and closing information about the 3 topics above for all students. 2023 Cost: $8/student (maximum of 30 students per class trip).
LABS (45 minutes each)
Labs are tailored to specific grade levels, and different topics are available, including :
(1) “Are All Eggs and Nests the Same?”
(2) “How Do Different Hawk Species Get Their Food?”
(3) “How Does DDT Affect Birds?”
(4) “Identifying the Birds, Bird Families, and Habitats They Use in Ventura County”
Additional labs are available, depending on the grades and needs of the students, and the availability of materials. 2023 Cost: $10/student (maximum of 30 students per lab). Tours/Hunts and Labs can be combined for a total of $18-20/student.
**Please contact Education@wfvz.org or phone our Main Number (805-388-9944) to arrange school visits at least 1 month in advance.*
The Foundation makes teaching material loans of bird study skins, eggs, and nests, available to local educators (4th grade and up). The price is free for <10 specimens, or $50 for 11-25.
The WFVZ houses more than 4,500 “no-data” teaching specimens (skins, wings, egg sets, and nests) that we loan temporarily to local educators for use in the classroom. Our live-mounts of birds are used primarily during our public tours and tours for school and civic groups.
We also have a “teaching kit” available that includes background information on 5 different avian science topics (for middle and high school students), a checklist of the birds of Ventura County, and nest, egg, and study skin specimens. All teaching material loans have a small curation fee. Contact Education@wfvz.org for more information.