Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, Inc.

Allison's Woods Drive, Statesville, NC


  Reconnecting Children with Nature

Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center

Reconnecting Children With Nature!








Would you like to have your students get an up-close and personal experience with the natural world? For only $8 per student, you can have them experience a variety of up to 4 "mini-field trips" during their day at Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center in Statesville, North Carolina.

It's up to you and your fellow teachers to choose which of our programs best suit your curriculum...whether it is ecosystems, geology, forces and motion, animal adaptations....we have something for everyone! No age limits...we have programs to fit Kindergarten through College.

The great part about it is we are not your normal field trip provider. We don't expect you to conform to our "canned programs", since we want to be an extension of your classroom! Tell us what your targeted needs are and we will work with you to expose your students to those areas while onsite.

Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center (AWOLC) programs feature grade-specific, hands-on/minds on experiences in natural, physical and earth sciences. All of AWOLC programs are designed to further students understanding of the Nature of Science.

Our most POPULAR programs...

     OLC Turtle Dogs (as seen on Animal Planet/Dogs 101 

     Lake Portal

     Eco Walk

     Earth, Rocks & Fossils

     Birds of Prey (seasonal)

     Scavenger Hunt - Bugs on the Bank  and Fur, Feathers & Fungi

And NEW this year...coming in September!

     Counting Cookies

     Calculating Cosmos

     CSI Punnet Planets

     CSI Stickyfinger

     Berry Biology


     Groovy Genes

     Math with Mortimer

     Unpredictable Impressions

     What's That Type?




Strawberries, bananas, and onions have genes and all these genes are made of DNA. How do scientists take DNA out of a living thing? It's not that hard- there are lots of ways! In this activity, students construct DNA models and then extract DNA from strawberries, bananas, onions and more!


Students must determine the correct answer after hearing the question and then find that answer on their playing card. Students may work independently or in teams, depending upon class size.


     Ecology - Explore ecology and how humans have impacted the environment. Also addresses the effects of pollution and human actions on the world. Questions explore five categories: Energy Sources, Climate Changes, Ecosystems, Endangered & Extinct Species, and GO Green!  


     Motion, Forces & Energy - A great tool for helping students demonstrate an understanding of physical science. Covers five categories: Work & Machines, Motion, Forces, Energy, and Thermal Energy & Heat.

     Geology - Guide students through the properties and classifications of common rocks and minerals. Categories include: Rock Cycle and Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Water Cycles and Erosion and Landforms 

     Predator/Prey/Food Chains - Students have fun exploring the predator/prey relationships occurring within the natural food webs of the ecosystem in our biosphere. Five categories include : Birds of Prey, Food Chain, Land Predators, Ecosystems, and What's for Lunch?


(During the months of September through November students will be able to view a live bird of prey). Hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls collectively form the group of predatory birds know as raptors, more commonly known as birds of prey. They are typically identified for special traits that allow them to capture and feed on prey animals. Students will be able to see and handle replicas of claws and wings from raptors. This hands on experience will allow students the opportunity to learn a few of their amazing adaptations (physics in flight, human/bird relationships, predator/prey relationships, and the habits and habitats of these amazing birds. Led by a member of the NC Falconers Guild, the program is packed with surprising facts, interesting stories, and intriguing questions. (Fill the Bill, Motion, Forces & Energy BINGO are good programs to pair with this as an extension).


Explore our universe through a fun, physical way to learn about the solar system and the relative distances of the planets to the sun. Teach size and distance relationships of planets, the moon, and the sun. Learn rotation, revolution, and orbit through activities and/or demonstrations.


Explore life cycles of trees. Students will be able to see the variations in tree species, estimate the age of the tree, and learn about the different factors that affect tree growth. Read the rings to discover the life history of the tree. Similar internal tree structures will be compared while the variation between species will also be identified.


In this fun and engaging program, students will rotate between 2 stations! At these stations students will analyze DNA, extract DNA, and make conclusions about how biologist do t in real life. Students will also see how selective breeding occurs in crops to get the desired traits farmers want. Students will use punnet squares to predict phenotypes from one generation to the next. The program consists of the Groovy Genes and Berry Biology Programs.


Let your students become a real life CSI Agent. In this 2-part program students will first explore the different types of finger prints to solve the mystery. In the second part of the investigation, students will observe, test, and determine about the ABO/Rh blood types of four different simulated blood types. This program consists of Unpredictable Impressions and What's that Type?


In this engaging program, students will become amateur geologist and investigate, learn to identify and classify several different types of rocks and soils, the earth, and the rocks and minerals that it is composed of in detail. Students will learn about trace fossils, petrified wood, the types of rocks (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) and what they are made of, how they are formed, plate tectonics, and more. Examples will include gemstones, shark's teeth, composite fossils, as well as other fossilized skeletal structures. (Can be combined with Geology BINGO)


Explore the various components of the three geographic regions of North Carolina during this 1-mile round-trip walk to the South Yadkin River. A STEM-based systems approach to learning about the environment. Students will explore various components of the watershed, water, soil, plants, and animals - and their interactions. Programs are tailored to age and curriculum needs, and may include focus of special components, depending on time allowed.


What do chopsticks, tweezers, eyedroppers, and nutcrackers all have in common? Participants learn about bird feeding adaptations by using tools to simulate eating different foods.


An inquiry-based investigation of a familiar product. Take a close look at soda pop using an integrated science approach! Your students will test the physical properties and investigate the chemical composition of carbonated sodas. Then they'll form hypotheses, checking their predictions with experiments.


Assist in building students' understanding of selective breeding for desired traits in crops. Investigate the outcomes of crosses of hybrid and dihybrid corn plants for two unlinked genetic traits-color and sweetness. Apply Mendelian genetics using Punnet squares to predict the ratio of phenotypes and analyze the actual ration of phonotypes of the second generation.


Students become junior scientists as they perform on-shore water sampling using microscopes and photographic keys to identify creatures in the water, relate organisms vital to the health of the ecosystem, and record the results. Students will also take a tour of the lake habitat on our research vessel as they discuss the impacts of human activities on water quality and resources found on Allison Lake that was established over 80 years ago. Students will be able to see what lies beneath the water's surface using Mr. Limpet, our underwater camera. Students are required to wear life vests while onboard and the boat portion of this program is not available to 3rd grade students and below. Program will be adjusted however to those age groups by offering On the Bank program only.


Counted as two program slots - this interesting activity students will be able to watch a live mortar being shot, then discuss how math is involved! From a safe distance, students will make inferences on how far each mortar ball will go, then graph the distance of each, and make final conclusions about what they saw. Information is shared back into the classroom for further discussion. (ALL safety measures are strictly enforced with this program)


Bugs on the Bank - In this fun adventure, students get their hands dirty! Instructors will pull dirt, algae, and bugs from the lake bottom. Students will use their hands and "dig" through the dirt and see what they can find! Students often find various macro-invertebrates, which they can identify, look at under a microscope and make inferences on the habitat in which they live!

Fur, Feathers or Fungi - In this interactive adventure, nature becomes a playground of discovery. Students will determine whether they are seeing clues of animals, birds, insects, trees, fungi, rocks, eroded soil, etc. This activity teaches students to work as a team to collect as many clues as they can before time runs out!


Turtle Dogs? What is a Turtle Dog? This is a very common question!

In this interactive program students will become citizen scientist as they learn about the NC State Reptile, the Eastern Box Turtle. They will learn about habitat, food chains, predator/prey relationships, identity determination, and how they affect or determine a healthy ecosystem. Students will also learn about a program that used the Turtle Dogs to establish turtle location and other vital information used for the preservation and conservation of turtles. They will have an opportunity to see one or two of the turtle dogs in action when locating either simulated or live box turtles (depending upon the time of year) and how the system works. (Turtle Dogs are specially bred to aid in research and field studies of turtles- endangered and threatened species) These dogs are recognized nationwide by conservationists and preservationists alike. Seen on Dogs 101/Animal Planet, PBS, UNC-TV and featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, they are a one-of-a-kind copyrighted program that students and adults love!


In this interactive activity, students become "box turtles" to look for one or more components of box turtle habitats. Students will learn about limiting factors and describe how the limiting factors affect the population of turtles. This activity ties into the Turtle Dog program curriculum.


Students learn to identify fingerprint types, and a method of analyzing fingerprints.


Students will observe, test, and determine the ABO/Rh blood types of four different simulated blood samples.

"Visiting You" Programs

These programs can be brought into your classroom or facility anytime that transportation may be an for your group. This is a great option especially

during the WINTER months when the students and teachers may need a

little break from the normal "STUCK INSIDE" syndrome.

Please see complete descriptions detailed above:


(Ecology, Motion/Forces/Energy, Geology, Predators/Prey/Food Chains)

Calculating Cosmos

Counting Cookies

CSI Punnet Plants

CSI Stickyfinger

Earth, Rocks & Fossils (can be combined with Geology BINGO)

Fizz, Bubble, Foam

Push, Pull or Move

Too Many Turtles (can be combined with Turtle Dogs)

Turtle Dogs!


RAIN - In the event of rain, we usually will continue as long as it is just a drizzle. If you prefer, we can continue the field trip ONLY at your site using the "Visiting You" Programs.

CANCELLATION POLICY - If you find that you are unable to continue to your requested field trip date to our facility for a reason OTHER THAN INCLEMENT WEATHER, please contact us 72 hours prior to the scheduled date. Our team starts preparing the site for your visit three days prior to arrival. IF you do not cancel your field trip in time for our team to schedule something else in its place, you will be billed for 1/2 of the visit. This will help us cover some of the materials and supplies that may have been preordered for your visit. We do encourage rescheduling IF at all possible or allowing us to come to you!

PAYMENT - All payments are due in full when your group arrives at AW Outdoor Learning Center (or when our staff arrives to deliver a program to your group) unless prior arrangements have been made for invoicing.

SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS - We want to be an extension of your classroom....let us know what you are studying and allow us to design a program to fit your needs...or it you would rather provide a "TEACHER LED PROGRAM" and use our site to teach your own program at our site...please feel free to email our team or give us a call!

COMBINATION PROGRAMS - These are available to accommodate entire grade levels as well as single programs for smaller groups of 50 and under.

SINGLE PROGRAM-FIELD RESEARCH - An option for smaller groups of grades 7 through college,  clubs and organizations that would like a more intensive field research and data collection experience. (water quality, turtle conservation programs in conjunction with Lake Portal/Eco Walk/Turtle Dogs)