programS for elementary students
Designed to promote understanding and stewardship of the natural resources in the Potomac River watershed, our programs bring science to life for young learners. Students get to explore the world around them through more than a dozen different kinds of age-appropriate hands-on activities based on the National Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Join us online or in person for a learning adventure.
Innovative hands-on activities and field investigations
Day & Overnight Programs
Grades Pre-K to 6
Students will engage in hands-on and minds-on science and learning activities in an outdoor, natural environment located on the shore of the Potomac River. Located at a historic farm, our education campus connects students to engaging and innovative ways to learn and investigate the world around them with programs designed to engage all learning styles and help students explore issues of human impact in age appropriate ways.
Overnight Programs Return beginning March 2023!
Location: Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Education Campus
Students get to take their learning outside the classroom with this day program at Hard Bargain Farm. Students will participate in engaging and innovative hands-on activities and field investigations that bring science and learning to life in the real world. During their programs at our historic farm and environmental campus, students will be able to explore scientific and other academic concepts through authentic experiences and critical thinking.
Designed for: Pre-K through 6th grade.
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Students have the option of eating lunch at the farm.
Extended Day Program
Students get to take their learning outside the classroom and continue the fun as they enjoy a night time bonfire with this extended day program at Hard Bargain Farm. Students will engage in engaging and innovative hands-on activities and field investigations that bring science and learning to life in the real world. During their programs at our historic farm and environmental campus, students will be able to explore scientific and other academic concepts through authentic experiences and critical thinking. As the sun goes down, students have the opportunity for an evening activity.
Designed for: Students grades 4 to 8.
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Students eat lunch and dinner at the farm.
Overnight Programs Return beginning March 2023!
Even decades later, program alumni talk with great fondness and excitement about their memories of coming to Hard Bargain Farm for an overnight program. From milking a cow to exploring the marshes and wetlands, to finally winding down by a campfire under the night sky, this transformative program connects students to nature, science, and each other.
Designed for: Students grades 4 to 6.
Time: An overnight program consists of two days programs and activities, which typically run from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, lights out (Day 1) and 8:00 AM breakfast to 12:00 PM departure (Day 2).
Science in Parks, Schools & Green Spaces
Each year, our team of experienced educators bring our exciting and hands-on science programs to hundreds of local schools in our community. We can bring the microscopes, critter tanks and science activities to your classroom, to a schoolyard or nearby green space, or to a park near your school for a live and interactive activity that sparks interest and excitement in learning in the minds and hearts of your students.
Location: In schools, green spaces, and more than 15 state and national parks in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.
The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s team of experienced educators can come to your classroom to run interactive science activities and teach hands-on environmental science. Our programs can engage students on real-world relevant topics such as the impact of waste and trash, how the water cycle works and the habits and life-cycles of the animals around us. Our educators can also visit your classroom before and after a day or overnight field trip to engage students in pre- and post- field trip activities that tie the field trip into the students overall science learning in the classroom.
Designed for: Students 3rd to 6th grade.
Time: 1-2 hours during the school day.
Science in the Parks
We bring science to life in parks across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. Our Bridging The Watershed program, in partnership with the National Park Service, engages students in meaningful watershed educational experiences through hands-on, curriculum-based outdoor studies in national parks and public lands. Students investigate subjects related to watersheds, ecosystems, and human impacts on the environment.
Designed for: Students in 6th grade.
Time: 3-5 hours during the school day.
Grades Pre-K to 6
We are excited to bring you more than 15 robust online programs that battle screen fatigue with a mixture of team building, engaging activities, and live field experiences.
With the guidance of our experienced team of educators, students will:
- learn about animal adaptations
- investigate water quality through the identification of pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates
- understand and identifying invasive plant species
- find out how runoff and pollution impact their communities
- and more.
Our team of experienced educators help students draw vital connections between the science they are learning and real-world all around them.
What our students are saying:
“It’s really fun; you milk cows, learn about other animals and the environment and learn how to reduce the amount of pollution in the Potomac River.”
Student from Capital Hill Montessori2018
“It’s worth the mosquito bites and it’s educational in a fun way!”
Student from Woodridge Elementary School2016
“I worried about being away from home, but when we did the activities I realized it was a lot of fun.”
Student from Stoddert Elementary School2018
“I had the best time and I 100% recommend coming here. If you don’t like it, we can’t be friends anymore.”
Student from Truesdell Public Charter School2019
““My trip was awesome; I got to do and see things I’d never done before. I would like to come back.” – Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School, 2018
Student from Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School2018
“Don’t be scared! I was scared of touching bugs and now I’m not. I love nature now.”
Student from Inspired Teaching Public Charter School2017
Going Beyond the Textbook
Students discover the magic of science in the world around them through our award-winning environmental education and team-building programs.
Explore Our Programs
Middle school Students
Click below to explore our program offerings for students 6th grade through 8th grade.
High School Students
Click below to explore our program offerings for students 9th grade through 12th grade.