The FUN program introduces 3rd and 4th grade students to the nature in their schoolyard habitat, and examines how each organism depends on others to survive. Volunteers lead small groups of four to six students through a series of outdoor investigations, which teach kids to use their senses and scientific practices to discover the importance of urban biodiversity firsthand. Four lessons in the fall and four more in the spring give students the opportunity to build knowledge and observe seasonal changes in their schoolyard habitats.
Want FUN at your school?
Are you a Seattle Public School? The FUN program is free for Seattle Public Schools. Space is limited and we are generally at capacity by early September, so please inquire early. We also offer abbreviated lessons in an easy-to-use rental kit. Click here for more details.
Are you a private or out of district school? The FUN program is offered to private and non-Seattle Public Schools, too. The cost of the program is $450 for the year. This includes two volunteer trainings, and all curriculum and materials needed for the eight-lessson program.
"I never knew that I could be good at science." -3rd grade student
"The program is amazing. The kids love it. The methodology really enables the children who are tactile and visual learners to comprehend their science studies in a more CONNECTED and concerted manner. It is a whole comprehensive lesson that is so well crafted. I just realize how powerful the lessons really are." - FUN Program Volunteer
Find out how you can volunteer for FUN
A sneak peek at a few lessons:
- Neighborhood Birds - With hand lenses and measuring tapes, students compare a variety of Seattle-area bird specimens and discover adaptive patterns between beaks, feet, body sizes, colors and habitats.
- Worm Worlds - Students predict the number, density, and maturity of earthworms living in a site on the school grounds based upon their prior worm knowledge and the environmental factors present in their study sites. Using mustard and water to conjure worms out of the soil, students analyze their worm evidence and determine why some spots are better suited for worms than others.
- Web It - Students investigate spiders and spiderwebs, and why spiders are important predators in the schoolyard. Groups discuss spider behavior and learn why spiders don't stick to their own webs.
Since FUN happens at school, students have the chance to see that nature exists where they live and is not a far-away place reserved for a priveledged few. Using science and outdoor exploration, students learn that nature is everywhere and is available for everyone.
Volunteer with FUN
The FUN program relies on 120 volunteers each school year. Volunteers devote about two hours a week for four weeks in the spring and/or fall to leading a group of 4-6 students through each lesson, with the support of the school's FUN Team Leader and classroom teachers. No previous teaching or science background is necessary - and volunteers often report that they have as much fun and learn just as much as the students do! Seattle Audubon provides all training, supplies, and support necessary to make you a successful leader. If you are interested in learning how you can make a difference and introduce a child to urban nature, please complete a FUN volunteer application.
The FUN program is free to Seattle Public School classrooms and relies on grants and private donations. If you would like more information about how you can support these programs, please contact our development staff at 206-523-8243 ext 105.