Curriculum Extension Activities

Can’t get enough Earth Science?  Below are some links with ideas to extend your knowledge of the curriculum outside of the classroom.  Let me know if you wind up going to any of them!

General Earth Science

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (through Columbia University) OPEN HOUSE

This is by far the BEST resource available for Earth Science demonstrations.  Located only about 10-15 minutes away, it is an invaluable experience for anyone interested in Earth Science.

Hiking I LOVE to hike! It's such a phenomenal way to be outside and enjoy nature while getting in a great workout. Some of my favorite places to hike are... (Google them to learn more information!) Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Tallman State Park, Ramapo Valley Reservation, Sam's Point Preserve, Minnewaska State Park, and Mohonk Preserve. If you go to you can get recommendations for hiking trails near you that rank them in terms of difficulty and also other tips for tackling that trail. It's a tremendous free resource. Howe Cavern

The Howe Caverns is a cave in Howes CaveSchoharie County, New York. Howe Caverns is a popular tourist attraction, providing cave-goers with a sense of caving or spelunking, without needing the advanced equipment and training usually associated with such adventures.  Howe Caverns is the second most visited natural attraction in New York State, after Niagara Falls.  This is a great opportunity for lots of connections to our Earth Science curriculum.  The caves include rocks weathered away by millions of years of erosion, leaving beautiful formations of stalagmites and stalagtites.  This is roughly a 3 hour drive from Old Tappan. More info at:


Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center ( is a 300,000-square- foot learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty.  Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses nine museum exhibition halls, a 3D theater, the nation's largest IMAX Dome Theater, live simulcast surgeries, tornado and hurricane-force wind simulators, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. 600,000 students, teachers, and parents visit the science center each year, and tens of thousands more benefit from the center's offsite and online programs.  More info here:


Dreyfuss Planetarium

The Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium is an interactive theater where your camp group can learn about astronomy, space, and planetary science. A Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3 star projector offers an out-of- this-world experience that is enhanced by digital audio and video computers. During their visit, campers can explore the constellations, travel through the solar system, visit distant galaxies, and fly to the ends of the universe. Planetarium shows run approximately 1 hour from Tuesday to Friday at 10AM, 11AM, and 12PM. Examples of shows include Secret of the “Cardboard Rocket,” “Oceans in Space,” “Origins of Life,” “Stars of the Pharaohs,” and much more. More info here:

The Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space

Classes can visit the Hayden Planetarium, located in the American Museum of Natural History, to experience a breathtaking view of space. Students will get to see a hyperrealistic rendering of planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. The 429-seat theater uses a scientifically accurate 3D map of the observable universe. Additionally, various space shows are presented regularly at the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater. A special “Field Trip to the Moon” program is also available for groups, and will take students on a virtual journey into space with a live presenter.  More info here:


Plate Tectonics

American Museum of Natural History

At the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, they have a fantastic exhibit displaying evidence and simulations of Plate Tectonics in action.  Here is a link to a guided exploration: 

Rock Cycle

Sterling Hill Mining Museum

Visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.  Get a tour through a 1,300-ft underground mine.  Visit the Rock and Fossil Discovery Centers.  Check out the Museum and the Exhibit Hall!  Visit for more info.

American Museum of Natural History

At the American Museum of Natural History, check out three awesome rock related permanent exhibits, including: Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals, Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems, and Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites. for more info.


Franklin Mineral Museum

Franklin Mineral Museum, educational and hands-on fun! Great for students and scouts of all ages! Discover all about fluorescent rocks and minerals found in New Jersey’s “Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World,” view thousands of worldwide minerals and put your hand into a dinosaur’s footprint. On your day trip, tour through a two-story mine replica and travel back in history to experience mining as it once was. Do your own rock collecting on a mine tailings dump dating back to the 1800’s then view your collected rocks under a special mineral light to see them in all of their magnificent brilliance. You may also take home the rocks you collect! Groups require an appointment.


Demarest Farms

Demarest Farms is a proud family farm tradition celebrating our 129th anniversary. It’s a bumper crop this year, so bring your group in the fall to pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. In the summer pick-your-own peaches. Hayrides are available to the orchard! Educational farm tours are available for students to get a real feel of farm life. At the Halloween corn maze, children learn to work together to reach their goal. Don't forget to stop by our country store for Fall and Halloween decorations for the classroom. At lunchtime, enjoy delicious baked goods, salad bar, deli, fruits and ¬≠vegetables, and ice cream. Picnics allowed. And check out our farm animals! 18 miles from the GWB.

Battery Urban Farm

The Battery Urban Farm, a project of The Battery Conservancy, is an education farm aiming to inspire and educate about growing and eating healthy food. Groups can get their hands in soil and learn about sustainable organic farming—from seed to plant to plate, and back to soil. Field trip programs will introduce groups to the basics of urban agriculture. Each 60-minute visit for up to 32 participants includes an age-appropriate hands-on farm experience, a hands-on lesson, and tastings whenever available. Farm activities are seasonal and dictated by the needs of this working farm. Please register for field trips on The Battery Conservancy website.

Fresh Water/Oceans

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

The Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities, and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. With a focus on marine and environmental science, the consortium offers educational programs for  groups that combine hands-on activities, crafts, and fieldwork. The 2-hour seashell science program introduces groups to local seashells and teaches them how to make a seashell collection they can take home with them. Campers who participate in the Happiness Is a Horseshoe Crab program will learn about the care and habits of this ancient animal and, if they’re younger, get to hear a horseshoe crab story.

New York Aquarium

Just off the boardwalk of Brooklyn’s famous Coney Island, dive into the incredible diversity of the world’s oceans!


Tenafly Nature Center

Tenafly Nature Center is a sanctuary for both wildlife and human visitors- an island of green where nature can be renewed, explored, and learned about. Students, campers, and scouts can visit for hike along more than seven miles of trails, a walk around Pfister’s Pond, or to take part in one of the seasonal program the center has to offer. Study pond ecology in the summer, tap trees for maple sugar or hang out around a campfire in the winter, or make apple cider and get scared in the spooky haunted forest. Learn about birds, animal adaptations, or challenge your group to a group challenge to cultivate cooperative and team-building skills. More info here:

Lakota Wolf Preserve

After enjoying a scenic 1/2 mile nature walk to the preserve, students are invited to the observation area where they will see Tundra, Timber, and Arctic wolves in their natural setting. Students will learn about the social structure of wolf packs, their eating habits and interaction with man. Owner Jim Stein will educate students on the true behavior of the wolf and will be glad to answer any questions. While in the observation area, students will be able to watch the wolves play, interact with each other and maybe even hear them howl! Bobcats and foxes are also known to make an appearance, as they live on the preserve as well.  More info here: