Deering Estate Virtual Field Trips

While Miami-Dade County Public Schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Deering Estate’s Learning Programs remain eager to continue our mission of delivering informal learning opportunities for students to learn, through engaging hands-on/minds-on activities, about South Florida’s rich cultural and natural resources.  This collection of virtual tours & trips would usually be offered to visiting field trip groups, and have been modified to provide an at-home experience for teachers and students.

Build a Terrarium (Episode 1)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will make their own terrarium while learning about how a self-sustaining enclosed environment mimics many functions of our own ecosystem. They will learn about the water cycle as well as about nutrient cycling as they collect specific materials to add to their terrarium, such as a seedling, soil, sand, and gravel.

Rocket Launch (Episode 2)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the scientific method. Utilizing film canisters and Alka-Seltzer tablets, students will develop their very own rocket. With the scientific method they will come up with their own hypothesis on which design for their rocket will launch the highest. They will then launch their rockets to see if their hypothesis are correct.

Squid Dissection (Episode 3)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will become professional ichthyologists. The will learn about the unique characteristics of various marine animals as well as their anatomy and physiology. After an introduction, they will be led through a step-by-step dissection of a squid  allowing them to get an understanding of both the external and internal anatomy of these important marine animals.

Archaeology (Episode 4)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the people and cultures that existed in South Florida before modern development. They will be learning methods to uncover real artifacts and determine their historic uses. This simulated archaeological survey will strive to discover bones, pottery, and artifacts from a culture that once thrived thousands of years ago.

Egg Drop (Episode 5)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the scientific method. Using household materials, students will develop their very own case to protect a falling egg from breaking. With the scientific method they will come up with their own hypothesis on which design for their egg case will protect the egg best. They will then drop their eggs to see if their hypothesis is correct.

Wing Design Challenge (Episode 6)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the different wing designs of birds and how these designs give them a competitive advantage. Utilizing this knowledge and the scientific method the students will design their own set of wings and test to see how far they can make them fly.

Oil Spill (Episode 7)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will be challenged to clean-up a simulated oil spill. Before the activity they will learn about oil spills and their impacts on the marine environment. Then they will see how to simulate their own oil spill and see the impacts on the marine life. They will be challenged to see how much oil they can clean from the water and marine life. Our instructor will design and test her own device, and challenge watchers to design one that is more successful at removing oil.

Water Filtration (Episode 8)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the natural filtration process of water as it goes from surface water to ground water. They will explore how water is filtered naturally in nature to become clean. Through a hands on experiment the students will design their own natural water filtration made out of nature to determine what creates the cleanest water.

Wind Turbine (Episode 9)  

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about renewable energy as they design and build a wind turbine. Using household items, children will develop their own blade design to lift a cup of marbles off the ground using only wind energy. Following the scientific method, students will test their designs to lift as many marbles as possible.

Fish Dissection (Episode 10) 

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will become professional ichthyologists, learning about the unique characteristics of various marine animals as well as their anatomy and physiology. After an introduction, they will be led through a step-by-step dissection of a fish allowing them to get an understanding of both the external and internal anatomy of these important marine animals.

Beak Design (Episode 11)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about Darwin’s Finches and the different beak adaptations they have. They will then be challenged to create their own beak designs that are best suited for gathering the chosen food sources. Using household materials they will modify the beaks to create the most efficient design for food collection.

Edible Scat (Episode 12)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about food chains in ecosystems and the different animals that inhabit South Florida’s different ecosystems. They will get to learn about how an animal’s diet impacts their scat. They will then learn how to recreate scat that is edible, using common foods like marshmallows, chocolate chips, tootsie rolls, cookies, and fruit cereal.

Plankton (Episode 13)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will become an ocean engineer and marine biologist for the day as they design and build their own plankton s. They then will test their designs by floating thieir design in water to see if it has the correct density. Participants will also learn how important plankton are to the health of the ocean. In this video, they will watch an educator test their design.

Ethnobotany (Episode 14)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the relationships that exist between people and plants. By exploring our natural areas, the participants will make their own field guide to show how plants found within our local community have been used by past and present civilizations. Participants will make their own homemade field guide that describes these relationships between plants and people.

Owl Pellet (Episode 15)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants will learn about the food chains in ecosystems and the role that owls play in South Florida. During this activity, students will follow along we discover what’s inside an owl pellet to better understand what our owls have been eating.

Catching Critters (Episode 16)

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, participants learn how to wade out into the seagrass beds of Biscayne Bay to explore the aquatic life of our seagrass communities, using nets to catch fish, shrimp and crabs, along with anything else that shows up! Staff will identify the different species that are caught, and give participants the chance to see these animals up close.

Animal Encounter: Albino Rat Snake 

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to one of our learning classroom pets, Popcorn the albino Rat Snake. In this animal encounter, our educator will teach participants about the life and habits of Rat Snakes, and will explore why Popcorn has an unusual color pattern as well as the challenges Popcorn would face in the wild.

Animal Encounter: Leopard Gecko

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to one of our Classroom pets, Lyla the Leopard Gecko. In this animal encounter, our educator will teach participants about the life and habits of Leopard Geckos, and will explore where the leopard name comes from as well as the reasoning for their very distinctive tail.

 Animal Encounter: Red-Tailed Boa

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to one of our Classroom pets, our Deering Red-Tailed Boas. In this animal encounter our educator will teach us about this invasive animal’s life and habits, and how these arboreal snakes are damaging our natural areas.

Animal Encounter: Kingsnake

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to of of our Classroom pets, our Kingsnakes. In this animal encounter our educator will teach us about these animal’s life and habits, and why they have the “king” name.

Animal Encounter: Rose Haired Tarantula 

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to one our classroom pets, our Rose Haired Tarantula. In this animal encounter our educator will teach us about this non-native animal’s life and habits, and explore some of the characteristics that make this arachnid unique.

Animal Encounter: Ball Python

In this episode of Deering Estate’s Virtual Field Trips, viewers will be introduced to one of our Classroom pets, our Ball Pythons. In this animal encounter our educator will teach us about this exotic animal’s life and habits, and discover how its name tells us about one of its defense methods.

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