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School & Group Programs

School & Group Programs  |  Summer Science Camps  |  Science Safaris

Pricing & Registration

To schedule a program, call (408) 356–4945, x12
or email programs@ysi-ca.org

YSI maintains three Science and Nature Centers where we deliver our inquiry-based science programs: Alum Rock Park, San Jose; Sanborn County Park, Saratoga; and Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos. Each YSI Science and Nature Center has specialized and unique artifacts, collections, and resources that connect children with nature while teaching science. If you cannot bring your class/group to us, we can bring our programs to you (please see below for programs that can be brought to your site). All YSI programs are aligned to the latest curriculum standards.

Registration & Payment

YSI recommends registering for programs as far in advance as possible to guarantee availability. The following conditions apply:

  • A credit card is required to guarantee your program date.
  • Payment is due 30 days from the date invoice is sent.
  • There is a $25 fee for any changes once a booking is confirmed.
  • There is a $100 fee applied to reservations cancelled within 45 days of program date. Day-of program no-shows are charged full fee.
  • We conduct programs rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. Layers are recommended.
  • Prices listed as of 2014-15 school year. Fees and program content are subject to change.

At-School Programs can be brought to your site. There is a 1½-hour program minimum and a travel fee per visit. Multiple session, same-day bookings are planned with minimal reset breaks between sessions. School-requested extended breaks may result in additional fees.

Group Sizes

Programs are designed to be hands on.
Pre-K through 2nd-grade programs work best for groups of 25 or less.
3rd- through 6th-grade programs work best for groups of 35 or less.
Limited adjustments to group size can be made; please call to discuss delivery options.

Animal-Based Programs

Animals and Their Adaptations
Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 6 (1 hour) $200

Touch and examine live animals from a variety of taxonomic groups. Learn about diet, habitat, ecological role, structure, and function. Observe and discuss differences among animals. Hands on with live animals.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, At school


Insects, Spiders, & Other Arthropods
Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 4 (1 hour) $200

Learn about arthropod structure, function, and life cycles; emphasis is on insects and differences between arthropod groups. Hands on with live animals.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, At school


Life in a Pond
Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 5 (1 hour) $200

What's special about animals that live where it's wet and wild? Learn about aquatic adaptations, food chains, and life cycles. Touch and examine YSI's live aquatic animals. Hands on with live animals.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, At school


All About Owls
Grades 3 - 5 (1 hour) $250 + $3/student for owl pellets

Observe live owls and learn about the physical adaptations that make them successful nocturnal hunters. Dissect owl pellets and be introduced to skeletal anatomy and the owl's diet. Discuss the nature of food chains and the role of owls in the ecosystem.

Locations: Alum Rock, At school

Social Science and Physics Programs

Ohlone Indians
Grades 3 - 6 (1½ hours) $300; with hike (3 hours) $550

Investigate the Native American relationship with the environment as you pound acorns, make rope, play Ohlone games, and search the forest for food and medicine. Small group instruction; long program includes nature walk.

1½ hours:

Locations: Alum Rock,
Sanborn, Vasona, At school

3 hours: (Includes nature walk)
Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn



Physics of Sound and Motion
Grades 1 - 4 (1½ hours) $250

Learn about sound waves and the motion of objects through a series of lively, hands-on activities. Investigate sound as it travels through different states of matter. Make and experiment with your own noisemakers. Learn about the physics behind motion; deepen your understanding as you design and test paper airplanes and stomp rockets.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, At school

Nature and Earth Science Programs

Aquatic Habitat Exploration
Grades 1 - 6 (1½ hours) $250

Grab a net and explore a freshwater habitat. Touch and examine the diverse animals that live there and learn how they adapt to their watery environment. Hands on with live animals. Includes nature walk.

Location: Vasona, Alum Rock


Five Senses Nature Walk
Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 6 (1 hour) $200

Explore the outdoors and learn general concepts of ecology, botany, and biology. Learn about local plants and animals by seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting your way down the trail. Includes nature walk.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona


Moving, Exploding Earth
Grades 2 - 6 (1½ hours) $300; with hike (2 hours) $350

Explore Earth's layers, plate tectonics, and the rock cycle. Examine and identify rocks and minerals. Long program includes geology walk.

1½ hours:

Locations: Vasona, At school

2 hours: (Includes nature walk)
Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn


School & Group Programs  |  Summer Science Camps  |  Science Safaris

Last Update:
February 21, 2015


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