How long is the Science in a Tree program? How many students can participate?
The standard lesson format is 3 hours long and covers one class of up to 24
students. The kids will work together in groups with 12 climbers ascending the
tree and 12 scientists on the ground running the experiments. Halfway through,
they switch activities so everyone gets to enjoy the full Science in a Tree
experience. We typically do 2 lessons or classes per day, broken into a morning
session and an afternoon session, with the full event extending over multiple
days. An example schedule for a 3-day program covering 6 class sessions is
OPTIONS: The Science in a Tree program is designed to be flexible. We can
easily work with small or large schools and multiple grade levels; we can also
cover a different science topic for each class. For example, a 3-day climbing
event at a typical high school could include one Physics class studying air
resistance & computer modeling, two Biology classes measuring the carbon
content of the tree, and three Physical Science classes experimenting with
pendulums & oscillations. Whereas at a large elementary school, a similar event
might be three 5th grade classes studying falling objects and three 3rd grade
classes learning about seed dispersal.
How much does the program cost? Does this include the cost to setup the tree?
The Science in a Tree program is a nonprofit educational initiative. We try to
keep the costs as low as possible while still maintaining the sustainability of
the program. Our mission is to get as many kids climbing trees and learning
science as we can regardless of their circumstances.
If the fee schedule shown below is beyond your school's current budget, please
contact us anyway and let us know you are interested in Science in a Tree. We
will do our best to find a solution that works for everyone, for example, by
focusing on a more limited climbing program or working together to raise the
We also encourage schools to think big and consider doing a larger program.
Whether it is a collaboration with multiple grade levels or a joint program with
another school in your district, it is more efficient for everyone and we are
happy to share these savings with you.
TREE PREP: For the on-campus program, we travel to your school in advance to
prepare the tree for climbing activities. This typically takes a day or more of
work and includes an overall assessment of the tree's health, the removal of
any dead or damaged limbs, and preparing safe anchor points for attaching the
All of the tree-prep work is done under the direct supervision of our certified
arborist, Guy Mott. He will also do a thorough series of safety inspections
before every program to certify the tree as "safe for climbing".
The tree prep and safety inspections are a tremendous value included with all of
our programs at no additional charge. So along with 50 or more smart & happy
kids, your school gets a beautiful & safe tree maintained by top-of-the-line
Can you do Science in a Tree at our school? What if our campus doesn't have a
good climbing tree?
If there are one or more suitable climbing trees on your campus, we can do
Science in a Tree at your school. The pictures below show examples of trees
used in previous events. One of the really neat things about doing the program
on-site is that the kids get to name the tree and tell stories to their family
& friends about their climbing experience each time they see it again. It is
not uncommon for students to become literal tree-huggers after an event as they
begin to appreciate the many wonderful things that trees do for us and the
For schools that lack an appropriate climbing tree, there are several
alternative options available. First, we would be happy to host a field trip at
one of our local sites. For example, we currently have climbing trees setup
with our friends at EarthDance Farms and The Grove House in Ferguson and at
Camp Wyman in Eureka. Second, most districts have good trees on at least one of
their affiliated campuses and sharing a climbing experience with multiple
education levels is an attractive option. Finally, we are always looking for
additional sites to setup climbing trees and we're open to suggestions such as
local parks, national forests, and nearby schools & churches.