Natural Sciences Curricula

At the W.E. Skelton 4-H Center, we offer students of all ages a unique opportunity to experience some of the greatest wonders of nature. We welcome all types of field trips into our year-round outdoor classroom, and can tailor each class that we offer to fit the needs of any grade. Boost your student's comprehension of an SOL or give them the hands-on experience of a lifetime with the following classes, or get in touch to let us know how we can meet your students' needs!



Aquatic Ecology  

Skelton is host to a variety of freshwater ecosystems including streams, a vernal pool, a lacustrine wetland and its star attraction—Smith Mountain Lake. Students will gather and observe life from these ecosystems and participate in activities and discussions that will help them understand the interdependence of life in an aquatic community.

Everchanging Earth

Through activities and discussion, students will learn that while it appears that we are standing on solid rock, the surface of the Earth is always changing. Stand on the edge of Smith Mountain Lake and see in geology in action in the form of weathering and erosion. Students will explore the area and discover a variety of rocks and minerals that help form the Appalachian Mountains that we know today. Investigate how everything people do on earth and in space has an environmental impact.

Every Day Matters

Through activities and discussion, students will focus on the wise use of natural resources and making choices every day that will positive impact the Earth. While exploring nature, students will consider their own attitudes, values and environmental ethics.

Forest Ecology

An exploration of the various plants, animals and their interdependence in a southwestern Virginia forest. Several different focuses can be emphasized, including the role of wildlife, sensory awareness and expressions through nature, the human factor and conservation.

Growing Together: A Garden Study

Gardens are magical settings filled with aromas, colors and patterns that excite and awaken the imagination. Through activities and discussion, students will explore the importance of gardens in nurturing, caring, sharing and building within their communities.

Watershed Wonders

Water is the most powerful force on the earth. Water connects all things and touches all. Life would not exist without the presence of water. In Watersheds, students gain an understanding of the importance of water, the paths it takes, the cycles it works within, how the natural environment can aid in water improvement and human impact.

Weather Wise

Weather affects our lives everyday. It determines which clothes we choose to wear in the morning, it affect crops, wildlife, even our behavior.  The world’s most popular topic of conversation is brought to life in a series of activity stations, discussion and outdoor exploration.

For more information, feel free to contact our Outdoor Education Coordinator:
or (540) 721-2759 ext. 253