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School and Group Programs

Registration is now open for the 2016-17 school year. Programs scheduled for September, December, January, and February receive a 10% discount!
View School & Group Programs

Pricing and Registration.

YSI maintains three Science and Nature Centers where we deliver our inquiry-based science programs: Alum Rock Park, San Jose; Sanborn County Park, Saratoga; and Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos. Each YSI Science and Nature Center has specialized and unique artifacts, collections, and resources that connect children with nature while teaching science.

If you cannot bring your class/group to us, we can bring our programs to you (please see below for programs that can be brought to your site). All YSI programs are aligned to the latest curriculum standards.

Limited scholarships (including the cost of bus transportation) may be available for Title I schools on a first-come, first-served basis. Questions? Contact our School Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12

Registration and Payment.

YSI recommends registering for programs as far in advance as possible to guarantee availability.
The following conditions apply:

 A credit card is required to guarantee your program date.
 Payment is due 30 days from the date invoice is sent.
 There is a $25 fee for any changes once a booking is confirmed.
 There is a $100 fee applied to reservations cancelled within 45 days of program date. Day of program no shows are charged full fee.
 We conduct programs rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. Layers are recommended.
 Prices listed as of 2016-17 school year. Fees and program content are subject to change.

At-School Programs can be brought to your site. There is a 1½-hour program minimum and a travel fee per visit. Multiple session, same-day bookings are planned with minimal reset breaks between sessions. School-requested extended breaks may result in additional fees.

Group Sizes. (programs are designed to be hands-on)

Pre-K through 2nd-grade programs work best for groups of 25 students or less. 
3rd- through 6th-grade programs work best for groups of 35 students or less. 

Limited adjustments to group size can be made; please contact us to discuss delivery options.

Animal-Based

Animals and Their Adaptations. (hands-on with live animals)

Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 6 (1 hour) $225
Touch and examine live animals from a variety of taxonomic groups. Learn about diet, habitat, ecological role, structure, and function. Observe and discuss differences among animals.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Insects, Spiders, and Other Arthropods. (hands-on with live animals)

Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 4 (1 hour) $225
Learn about arthropod structure, function, and life cycles; emphasis is on insects and differences between arthropod groups.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Life in a Pond. (hands-on with live animals)

Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 5 (1 hour) $225
What's special about animals that live where it's wet and wild? Learn about aquatic adaptations, food chains, and life cycles. Touch and examine YSI's live aquatic animals.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

All About Owls.

Grades 3 - 5 (1 hour) $250
Observe live owls and learn about the physical adaptations that make them successful nocturnal hunters. Dissect owl pellets and be introduced to skeletal anatomy and the owl's diet. Discuss the nature of food chains and the role of owls in the ecosystem.

Locations: Alum Rock only

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Ohlone Indians. (long version includes nature walk)

Grades 3 - 6 (1½ hours) $300; with walk (3 hours) $550
Investigate the Native American relationship with the environment as you pound acorns, make rope, play Ohlone games, and search the forest for food and medicine. Small group instruction.

1 ½ hours – Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school
3 hours – (Includes nature walk) Locations: Alum Rock and Sanborn

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Physics of Sound and Motion

Grades 1 - 4 (1½ hours) $250
Learn about the motion of objects through a series of lively, hands-on activities. Investigate sound as it travels through different states of matter. Learn about the physics behind motion; deepen your understanding as you design and test paper airplanes and stomp rockets.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Physics of Sight and Sound

Grades 1 - 4 (1½ hours) $250
Learn about the structure of the eye and the tricks of the brain. Take a look at how light works through hands-on investigations and experiments for the whole class. Learn about sound waves through a series of lively, hands-on activities. Investigate sound as it travels through different states of matter.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Nature and Earth Science

Aquatic Habitat Exploration. (hands-on with live animals & nature walk)

Grades 1 - 6 (1½ hours) $250
Grab a net and explore a freshwater habitat. Touch and examine the diverse animals that live there and learn how they adapt to their watery environment. 

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, and Vasona

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Five Senses Nature Walk. (includes nature walk)

Pre-K (½ hour) $150; K - 6 (1 hour) $200
Explore the outdoors and learn general concepts of ecology, botany, and biology. Learn about local plants and animals by seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting your way down the trail.

Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, and Vasona

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!

Moving, Exploding Earth. (long version includes geology walk)

Grade 2 (1 hour) $250; with walk (1½ hours) $300
Grades 3 - 6 (1½ hours) $300; with walk (2 hours) $350
Explore Earth's layers, plate tectonics, and the rock cycle. Examine and identify rocks and minerals. Geology walks offered at Alum Rock and Sanborn locations only.

1 hour – Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school
1½ hours (Grades 3 - 6) – Locations: Alum Rock, Sanborn, Vasona, and at your school
1½ hours (Grade 2) or 2 hours – (Includes geology walk) Locations: Alum Rock and Sanborn

To register, contact our School & Group Program Administrator, Christy King at christy@ysi-ca.org or (408) 356-4945 ext.12
YSI is closed the week of Labor Day. We will re-open on Monday, September 12, 2016. Please contact us then.
Contact Us to Register!