Space and Equipment Needs

To carry out the activities suggested for this project, you will need a dedicated space and some basic equipment. One of the main goals of the project is to get youth outdoors observing the natural environment. Youth should then continue their long-term observations indoors using things collected from these outdoor excursions. For instance, youth can plant seeds from trees and other plants to see if they will germinate and grow, and they can collect organisms from a pond and place them in containers for closer viewing. Ideally, plant and pond containers would be placed in a dedicated space—one that is large enough to hold the containers yet out of the way, such that they are not disturbed by others in the center. If you think you will need to move the containers at times, you might consider putting them on movable carts. If possible, the containers should be kept near windows, so they get ample natural light. Grow-light stands should be used when containers can't be placed in natural light. Materials listed below can make youth’s observations more thorough. Most or all materials can be purchased through a catalog or online from science supply businesses. Try to gather as many materials options for youth as your budget can handle.

Selected Science Supply Companies:

Materials (O = outdoors only; I = indoors only)*

  • binoculars (O)
  • microscopes and stereoscopes (I)
  • magnifying glasses
  • light meter, water meter, and/or pH meter (see for a 3-in-1 meter—light, water, and pH; WW47447M00)
  • large jars or small fish tanks (for holding pond creatures) (I)
  • grow lights (if no natural light is available) (I)
  • digital cameras and computers (laptop or desktop)
  • portable photo printers (I) (small devices dedicated to printing photos from digital cameras, allowing you to print photos immediately after a field trip)

*Specific materials used in each activity are listed with that activity.