Field Study Trips

The Deering Estate Education department offers a variety of On-Site Field Study Trips where students can learn, through engaging hands-on minds-on activities, about South Florida’s rich cultural and natural resources.


These Field Study Trips place a focus on topics such as scientific method, archaeology, ecology, biology, marine science, and earth science. All of our Field Study Trips include web-based pre and post activity guides, interactive tours, and on-site projects.


Field Study Trips are connected with Florida State Standards and can be modified to fit you and your students’ particular needs and interests.

Activity Options

Archaeology Demonstration

Subject: Social Studies
Recommended Grade: K-5
Recommended Pairing: Natural Areas Hike

Highlighting the scientific method through an investigation and identification of fossils and artifacts, participants will conduct a survey to uncover artifacts, including bones and pottery, and learn about their historic uses by the people and cultures that existed in South Florida before modern development.

Build Your Own Terrarium

Subject: Ecology, Environmental Science
Recommended Grade: 1-8
Recommended Pairing: Natural Areas Hike

Highlighting the importance and function of the water cycle and of nutrient cycling in an ecosystem, participants will build their own terrarium which mimics those natural cycles in a self-sustaining enclosed environment. Participants will hike around the park collecting specific materials to add to their terrarium, such as a seedling, soil, sand, and gravel.

*Each child must bring a 2-liter bottle to make their own terrarium


Fish/Squid Dissection

Subject: Ecology, Biology, Scientific Method
Recommended Grade: 3-12
Recommended Pairing: Mangrove Clean-Up Hike

With a focus on adaptations and physiology, participants will be able to explore the many internal and external anatomy of fish or squid, including the many characteristics that allow them to thrive and survive. With step-by-step instructions, participants and their group members will work together to uncover what lies inside these important marine animals.

Owl Pellet Dissection

Subject: Biology
Recommended Grade: K-5
Recommended Pairing: Scat & Track Hike

Participants will learn about food chains in ecosystems, and the role that owls play in South Florida’s ecology. During an exciting dissection of an owl pellet, participants will be able to apply the Scientific Method by using a dichotomous key to identify the bone fragments found inside their owl pellet.

Tour/Hike Options

House Tour

Our House Tour includes an in-depth exploration of the two historic homes on the Deering Estate property: the Stone House and the Richmond Cottage. Participants will be lead through the houses to discover each home’s unique past and historical contents, tying together the stories of Charles Deering and the early settlement of South Florida.

Scat & Track

The Deering Estate’s natural areas is home to many native animals, including otters, foxes, opossums, and more. While sightings during the day are rather difficult, scat and tracks left behind give us evidence of their presence. Participants will hike through the natural areas looking for animal scat and tracks, and will try to analyze which animal it belongs to by considering location, size, shape, and contents.

Natural Areas Hike

Deering Estate holds over 440 acres of Protected Natural Areas, with a diverse plant and animal population. On a Natural Areas Hike, participants will learn about native plants and animals as they make their way to the Cutler Burial Mound, a centuries-old significant Tequesta site and important archaeological site.

Mangrove Off-Trail Clean-Up/Hike

Participants will hike through the muddy mangrove trails, learning about the importance of mangrove forests while making their contribution to conservation efforts by collecting trash and reporting what was found.

** Participants will get muddy; please wear old sneakers and remember to bring bug spray.

Sea Grass Touch-Tank Survey

Subject: Marine Science, Ecology
Recommended Grade: K-12
Recommended Pairing: Mangrove Clean-Up Hike

Participants will get an up-close encounter with the critters found in our Biscayne Bay and explore the aquatic life of our seagrass communities. Our touch-tank experience will give participants a living introduction to the wonders of Marine Science. Staff will identify the different species that are found, and give participants the chance to touch any animals that are safe to handle.

Scientific Method

Subject: Ecology, Biology, Scientific Method
Recommended Grade: 3-12
Recommended Pairing: Scat and Track Hike

A variety of scientific method activities are offered to enforce participants understanding and application of the scientific process. While the experiments differ, each activity will highlight the many stages of the scientific method allowing participants to apply and strengthen their process skills. Experiments to be chosen from include Egg Drop, Rockets, Wing Design, and Beak Design.

Plan Your Field Study Visit