Forestry Institute for Teachers


The Forestry Institute for Teachers is high-quality professional development that provides cross-curriculum (Math, Language Arts, Science, History, etc.) training that emphasizes and models Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards while examining current forestry issues.

This FREE institute (except for $25 application fee and your travel to the site) is available to all California teachers. Institute content is focused on Project Learning Tree and Project WILD.

Teachers can choose from one of four times in different Northern California counties. See FIT Web site for details.


Student Discovers Fossil Leaf at Outdoor Science School

 Julia Salazar, Foster Elementary School Baldwin Park Unified School District

Julia Salazar, Foster Elementary School
Baldwin Park Unified School District

This is Julia Salazar of Foster Elementary School. She made an unexpected discovery as she was exploring weathering and erosion at the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School at Malibu. Students sometimes use rock hammers to break open a rock to compare internal features with their external appearance. Julia broke open a rock to reveal a fossilized leaf! 

As far as is known, this is a first in the almost 60 year history of the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School!

Her discovery leads to other questions ... What kind of rock is this? How is it similar to other rocks found in the area? How is it different? Are there other fossil-bearing rocks nearby? Where did this rock come from? How did it get here?

There is always something exciting to discover and learn at the Outdoor Science School, but this was a truly unique opportunity. The specimen will become part of the permanent collection at Malibu OSS with notation of Julia's name and school.

 Fossil leaf found by Julia Salazar at the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School at Malibu.

Fossil leaf found by Julia Salazar at the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School at Malibu.

Every Kid In A Park


Marvel at the St. Louis Arch, the Florida Keys, and the Frederick Douglass house. Listen to wolves howl. Walk in dinosaur tracks. Look up into the inky night sky, and reach for the stars! These sites belong to all of us — including you.

Every Kid in a Park was created so fourth graders and their families could discover our wildlife, resources, and history … for free.

Get your pass

Teachers can download classroom activities and apply for passes for all fourth-graders. As a fourth-grade educator, you can download an activity and print paper passes for each of your students.

This program only provides passes for fourth graders. Each student receives a paper pass with a unique code. That pass gives them free access to all national parks, lands, and waters through August 31, 2018.

Printed copies (not electronic copies) are required when you visit. A pass has a unique code so it can’t be copied and shared. All fourth-grader can get their own passes.

Plan a trip

It’s a good ideas to involve parents/guardian in the planning

Hit the road!

Enjoy national parks, lands and waters for a full year.

More Help

Here is a helpful Web site for planning your trip: Every Kid in a Park

Questions are a Natural Part of Science at the Outdoor Science School


Life finds a way! Recent rains have increased the flow of water in the seasonal stream at the Malibu Outdoor Science School, replacing occasional pools of water with a beautiful flowing stream.

These conditions have been perfect for a population of newts that live in the area. In a recent week students encountered more than 40 newts.

What conditions are needed before it is likely students will find newts in the riparian area? Where do newts live when the seasonal stream is not flowing? Why are newts only found in damp environments?

Questions like this are a natural part of inquiry at the Outdoor Science School. We love the emerging Next Generation Science Standards – it turns out they are exactly what we do best!

Next Generation Science Standards at the Outdoor Science School

Students at the Outdoor Science School in Malibu observe and compare spring wildflowers on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A fundamental conceptual shift of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is the emphasis on using phenomena to engage in question-posing and inquiry. This is exactly what we do best at the Outdoor Science School.

How are the parts of a flower arranged to attract pollinators, collect pollen, and produce seeds? What diversity can we observe in the plants nearby in the same ecosystem? How do the components of an ecosystem interact and connect with each other?

These are essential science content questions, emphasized in NGSS, that students are able to explore at the Outdoor Science School.