The field trip is hands-on, interactive, and provides lots of
opportunities for the students to share their vernal pool
knowledge with each other, the Splash field guides, and the
parent chaperones. This integration of classroom and experiential
learning is a unique and exciting aspect of the Splash Elementary
Each class is broken into three groups of 8 to 12 students and
each group is led by a trained vernal pool guide. Half the field
trip is spent rotating through the learning centers inside the
Splash Center: the watershed station, the microscope station, and
Critterville. The other half of their field trip is spent
exploring the spectacular vernal pools scattered throughout the
grasslands at Mather Field. For more information about the timing
and content of the field trip, please click on the links below.
When students enter the Splash Education Center, they enter a
world of fun, hands-on science investigation that builds on the
knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom through the
curriculum materials and activities. After a brief
introduction, the students split into three groups. Each group
follows its guide through the three learning stations in the
The outdoor portion of the field trip is where all of the lessons
and activities in the elementary curriculum are brought together
for the students. It’s like multiple pieces of an
ecological puzzle being put together by the students to create a
big picture of what they’ve been studying.
For 2 billion years, bacteria were the only creatures on Earth.
Long before the dinosaurs, a special type of bacteria slowly
increased the level of oxygen in the Earth’s air to 20 percent.
Without this oxygen other plants and animals could not have
evolved, including us.