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Bringing Students to National Parks & National Parks to Classrooms

It’s back to school time! At the National Park Foundation (NPF), back to school can mean a traditional classroom or a field trip to a nearby national park. Whether you’re at home or boarding a bus, there are so many ways to engage with national parks and do a deep dive on history, geology, geography, and so much more. With resources for parents, teachers, and kids, find your spot in America’s biggest classrooms.

NPF's Work in This Space

NPF helps connect people of all ages, including students, to our national parks through programs and specialized projects.

  • A group of kids walk along a path with their arms outstretched
    Area of Work
    Youth Engagement & Education
    With curricula and experiences that bring to life what students learn in the classroom, NPF's Youth Engagement & Education programs give kids the chance to connect with nature and our parks in new ways.
  • Four kids smile for a photo
    Area of Work
    Outdoor Exploration
    NPF's Outdoor Exploration programs help ensure everyone can enjoy and create life-long relationships with our magnificent national parks.
  • A group of kids and adults walk along a trail into a sparse forest
    Program
    Open OutDoors for Kids
    NPF and our partners have connected more than 1 million students to parks through Open OutDoors for Kids program, supporting field trips, classroom activities, and more.
  • Two people cast a line into a river
    Program
    Junior Ranger Angler
    Junior Ranger Angler programs, supported by NPF in parks across the country, encourage young people to earn their Jr. Ranger patch and certificate by participating in a series of fishing activities.
  • A student examines a bug in a container
    Program
    Field Science
    Field Science, formerly Citizen Science 2.0, helps teachers gain a greater confidence in using parks as science classrooms and enhances students' understanding of scientific concepts.

NPF Resources

Explore guides and resources from NPF, our partners, and NPS that help connect classroom activities and lessons to our national parks.

  • Young visitor leafing through a junior ranger booklet
    Earn Your Badge
    Become a Junior Ranger Online
    Complete a series of activities online to join the NPS family, and take your oath to protect the land, resources, and history of national parks.
  • Family inside a tent pitched indoors, looking up towards strings of light
    Theme
    Parks at Home
    With virtual tours, webcams, educational opportunities, and more, explore NPF's guide to enjoying parks at home.

NPS Resources

  • A large bridge stretches between mountains
    Oral Histories
    Interview an Elder
    With this activity from Cuyahoga Valley National Park, students can learn about how historians collect and use oral histories.
  • From below, a large geological form
    Hands-On Science
    Backyard Geology
    This activity from Devils Tower National Monument helps guide students in making notes about rocks around you, including how to identify types of rocks.
  • Past blooming wisteria, a two-story Colonial-style home with pale yellow paneling
    Cultural Resources
    Decode a Coded Message
    Students use their decoding skills to determine what Dr. Benjamin Church wrote to the British army in 1775 with this activity from Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site.
  • Recycling bins in place at Yosemite. Falls in the background
    Environmental Science
    Recycling Vs. Upcycling
    This activity from First State National Historical Park guides students through the basics of recycling and upcycling, including how long things take to decompose and what we can do to help our environment.
  • Historic remnants of Mechanics Corral Machine Shop Door
    Hands-On Heritage
    Build Your Own Parfleche
    Students can get crafty and construct their own parfleche, a folded carrying bag made by the Plains Indians, with this activity from Fort Union National Monument.
  • The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument house’s entryway with stunning gold frames
    Women's History
    Design Your Own Ratification Star
    With this activity from Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument students can design their own ratification star to express themselves, their town, and more.