Alviso Marina School Programs

Alviso interpreter on boat with students

-IN-PERSON- Exploring our Changing Bay – wetlands and climate change at Alviso Slough

LocationAlviso Marina County Park in Alviso
Grade Level(s): 6th and up
Maximum Number of Students: 30
Program Duration: 1.5 hours (time slots and available days vary due to tides)
Program Fee: FREE 

Overview: Students will explore the carbon cycle and our changing climate while traveling through the tidal marsh environment of Alviso Slough aboard Santa Clara County’s “floating classroom.” This boat-based field trip supports Next Generation Science Standards and Environmental Literacy Standards.

This is a four-part program that includes in-class activities and discussions before and after the on-boat experience.

  • Part 1 (In-class, 45-60 mins): One to two weeks before your boat tour, a park interpreter will visit your students in-class to introduce the field trip, establish rapport, and facilitate a discussion that explores what students know and how they feel about the topic of climate change.
  • Part 2 (In-class, c. 60 mins): In-class, prior to students’ park visit, the teacher will facilitate two activities that establish or reinforce baseline knowledge about the carbon cycle.
  • Part 3 (Alviso Marina County Park, 90 mins): Students will explore Alviso’s wetlands aboard our boat and discover how the wetlands help protect our community from sea level rise.
  • Part 4 (In-class): The teacher will facilitate a post-trip discussion and activity to help students process what they learned and explore how it relates to their lives. While park staff will offer activity recommendations, we welcome your and your students’ creativity in responding.

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-VIRTUAL- "Realizing Hope in Alviso’s Wetlands" Virtual School Program – wetlands and climate change at Alviso Slough
Location: Virtual
Grade Level(s): 6th and up
Maximum Number of Students: 40
Program Duration: 1 hour
Program Fee: FREE

Overview: During this 60-minute interactive virtual program, middle school students will learn how south San Francisco Bay wetlands protect our community from the effects of a changing climate. They will observe the Bay's wildlife and plants through a pre-recorded boat ride on Alviso Slough, reflect on and discuss their own connections to nature, and learn the basic mechanisms of climate change.

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Exploring Our Changing Bay and Realizing Hope programs support NGSS and Environmental Literacy Standards:

NGSS standards supported:

  • Disciplinary Core Idea:  
    • ESS3.D: Global Climate Change. Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)
  • Crosscutting Concept:
    • Cause and Effect: Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. Deciphering causal relationships, and the mechanisms by which they are mediated, is a major activity of science and engineering.
  • Science and Engineering Practices:
    • Asking Questions and Defining Problems: A practice of science is to ask and refine questions that lead to descriptions and explanations of how the natural and designed world works and which can be empirically tested.

Environmental Literacy Standards:  Principle IV, Concept A: The effects of human activities on natural systems are directly related to the quantities of resources consumed and to the quantity and characteristics of the resulting byproducts.

Looking for more ways to get your students involved in climate change work? Check out this student contest from the California Coastal Commission.

Climate Video Challenge: Open to California middle and high schoolers. Students submit a 3-minute video responding to the question: How is your community responding to the climate crisis? Submission are open now through May 30th, 2024.

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