Our Educational Programs

Our programs include live education animals and collections of study skins, nests, and other natural materials useful as aids in learning about nature. Ohio Nature Education has special permits from the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service which allow us to provide these materials and include live animals in our programs.

Our creed is that learning must be fun and entertaining. Therefore,our programs are all activity based and are interactive. In addition all of our school programs are aligned with the Academic Content Standards in Science as well as other academic areas.

Each of our programs has been carefully constructed to meet several of the Ohio Department of Education's Academic Content Standards. If you are an educator looking for an exciting and engaging way to meet these standards, please refer to our Academic Content Standards chart to see where an Ohio Nature Education program can fit into your classroom! If you have any questions regarding these standards, please contact Mrs. Van via e-mail or at (740) 967-8320.

If you are interested in booking a program, have any questions, or would like any additional information regarding our programs or the Ohio Academic Content Standards, please contact Mrs. Van via phone or e-mail.

CHILD/FAMILY PROGRAMS

Animals We Love to Hate -- This program features the animals that are most often feared and disliked: bats, spiders, snakes, and possums. We will dispell myths and include natural history facts which show how beneficial these animals are. Includes live animals. 

Astronomy -- With programs available for classrooms, scouts and after-school enrichment, Astronomy can be conducted both indoors and out, at day or night. We have a new telescope and binoculars for celestial viewing should weather allow. 

Bats, "Shadows of Night" -- Activity-based program that dispels myths about bats. Includes interesting facts and tells why bats are beneficial. Includes "Test your Bat IQ," live bats and study skins. 

Birding by Ear -- Teaches how to identify birds through song. Can include live birds and study skins and outdoor activities. 

Birds in Folklore & Native American Life -- This program discusses how Native Americans used bird feathers in every day life and how colors were a representation of different attributes. We'll discuss the significance of "coup" feathers, rewarded for acts of bravery and what these symbols represented. A matching game with various bird study skins will demonstrate the roll that birds have played in many cultures.Live animals included. 

Birds of Prey -- Activity-based program which teaches about Ohio's hawks and owls. Includes live birds and study skins. 

Birds - Our Flying Jewels -- Teaches about the diversity of birds. Includes live birds, study skins, and nests. 

Birdwatching -- Offers a brief introduction to birds before going outdoors (on school property or other site) for birdwatching. Can include live birds and study skins. Binoculars provided. 

Damsels & Dragons -- Discover the world of the Odonata - the Damselflies and Dragonflies! We'll introduce you to these fast flying jewels of pond and field by turning a member of our audience into a dragonfly! Specimens and live predators will be available for viewing. 

Elementary Insects -- Designed for children in primary grades as an introduction or review for the insect unit of your curriculum, we'll turn a member of the audience into an insect to study the physical characteristics of this amazing group of animals. Many visuals which include live predators included. 

Flutter By Butterfly -- Activity-based program which teaches about lifecycles and physiology of butterflies and moths. 

Habitats and Seasons -- Children learn about different Ohio habitats and their value by participating in a game show like activity. We also discuss how wildlife adapts to the changing seasons. Study skins and live animals included. 

Insect Jeopardy -- An elementary school program that teaches insect basics while using a game show format. Also includes a brief study of butterflies and moths. 

Nature Detectives -- This program is designed for the classroom. Children look at a display of nine wildlife "clues" and write their observations. We then discuss the clues and view some live animals which leave us these nature signs. Pelts, skulls, tracks, scat , pellets also included. 

Nocturnal Animals -- Activity-based program which teaches the physical characteristics that distinguish nocturnal animals from diurnal (daytime) animals and enable nocturnal animals to survive. Includes live animals. 

Wildlife 200 Years Ago -- Join a real pioneer woman as she takes you back to Ohio 200 years ago when Ohio was more than 90% forested. Discover what animals wandered in the woods and prairies. Live animals, study skins, pelts, and skulls. 

Owls -- Activity-based program which teaches about Ohio's eight owl species. Includes live bird and study skins. Can include an owl prowl. 

Project Wild -- Activity-based program which includes games that teach children about all aspects of nature. 

Reptiles and Amphibians -- Activity-based program that teaches the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians. Can include live animals. 

They're Nothing to be Afraid of! -- This is a unique puppet show program for younger children that follows seven year old Sunny through an enchanted night in the woods, where she encounters some wild friends who teach her how helpful wild animals can be. Following the puppet show, we'll reinforce what we've just learned by allowing children to touch some pelts and study skins, and to view some live animals. 

Those Bee-Utiful Bees -- An interactive program that takes you into the life of the honey bee and discover why they are so beneficial. Find out how Mrs. Van became a beekeeper (sort of!) not by her choice, but because the bees showed up on her porch one day -- all 2-3 pounds of them! Study skins and live animals. 

Trees -- Activity-based program that makes learning about trees fun. Includes tree identification, including identifying the different parts of a tree. Can include live tree-dwelling animals. 

Weird, Wonderful, Wacky Wildlife -- Sure to be a hit with kids! Join us as we explore the stranger side of wildlife, from animals that eat their mates to those who use vomit as a defense mechanism. We'll take a look at the darker side of nature and, of course, give you a close up view of some live animals. This program is recommended for ages 7 and up. 

Who Are the Critters in Your Neighborhood -- Think you know the common backyard mammals? Think again. We'll share with you some little known facts about common Ohio mammals and TEST your knowledge. Live animals and study skins included. 

Wildlife as Meteorologists -- Activity-based program which looks at weather lore as fact or fiction while exploring how wild animals deal with the changing seasons. Includes your choice of live animals. 

All of these programs meet requirements for the Ohio Academic Content Standards.  Please contact Mrs. Van for more information.

Adult Programs

All My Garden Guests Are Wild! -- Join us on a visual adventure of nine years of creating a wildlife habitat in Mrs. Van's yard. We'll discuss the different flowers, trees and shrubs, water features, and shelter which you can incorporate into your landscape to make your yard "wildlife friendly." Specimens and live animals included. 

Animals We Love to Hate -- This program features the animals that are most often feared and disliked: bats, spiders, snakes, and possums. We will dispell myths and include natural history facts which show how beneficial these animals are. Includes live animals. 

Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds -- Teaches the "ingredients" you'll need in order to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. 

Attracting the Four B's While Keeping Bambi Out! -- The four B's are Butterflies, Bats, Birds, and Beneficial Bugs. This is an all inclusive nature education and gardening program. 

Bats, "Shadows of Night" -- Activity-based program that dispels myths about bats. Includes interesting facts and tells why bats are beneficial. Includes "Test your Bat IQ," live bats and study skins. 

Birding by Ear -- Teaches how to identify birds through song. Can include live birds and study skins and outdoor activities. 

Birds in Folklore & Native American Life -- This program discusses how Native Americans used bird feathers in every day life and how colors were a representation of different attributes. We'll discuss the significance of "coup" feathers, rewarded for acts of bravery and what these symbols represented. A matching game with various bird study skins will demonstrate the roll that birds have played in many cultures.Live animals included. 

Birds of Prey -- Activity-based program which teaches about Ohio's hawks and owls. Includes live birds and study skins. 

Birds - Our Flying Jewels -- Teaches about the diversity of birds. Includes live birds, study skins, and nests. 

Birdwatching -- Offers a brief introduction to birds before going outdoors (on school property or other site) for birdwatching. Can include live birds and study skins. Binoculars provided. 

Landscaping for Wildlife -- Teaches you how to turn your yard into a wildlife heaven, no matter how small your yard is! 

Nocturnal Animals -- Activity-based program which teaches the physical characteristics that distinguish nocturnal animals from diurnal (daytime) animals and enable nocturnal animals to survive. Includes live animals. 

Wildlife 200 Years Ago -- Join a real pioneer woman as she takes you back to Ohio 200 years ago when Ohio was more than 90% forested. Discover what animals wandered in the woods and prairies. Live animals, study skins, pelts, and skulls. 

Owls -- Activity-based program which teaches about Ohio's eight owl species. Includes live bird and study skins. Can include an owl prowl. 

Those Bee-Utiful Bees -- An interactive program that takes you into the life of the honey bee and discover why they are so beneficial. Find out how Mrs. Van became a beekeeper (sort of!) not by her choice, but because the bees showed up on her porch one day -- all 2-3 pounds of them! Study skins and live animals. 

Who Are the Critters in Your Neighborhood -- Think you know the common backyard mammals? Think again. We'll share with you some little known facts about common Ohio mammals and TEST your knowledge. Live animals and study skins included. 

Wildlife as Meteorologists -- Activity-based program which looks at weather lore as fact or fiction while exploring how wild animals deal with the changing seasons. Includes your choice of live animals. 


Photography Workshops


If you are an aspiring amateur or professional photographer, this is for you.  Several times each year, Ohio Nature Education offers photography workshops where we bring our animals out to be photographed.

Occasionally we will also have a special guest photographer on hand to help you best capture the beauty of wildlife.  

Registration is typically capped at 25 participants and we've sold out every time we've offered this unique opportunity. Keep an eye on our web site for information on our next scheduled workshop!

Service Area


Ohio Nature Education primarily services the central Ohio area, but we have traveled as far as Cleveland and southern Ohio. We will gladly accommodate customers outside of the immediate area for an additional travel fee. Please contact Mrs. Van for more details.

WILD Birthday Parties

Are you looking to mix in the educational value of our programs in a more informal, relaxed setting? Consider throwing a WILD birthday party, where we come out with some critters to make it a special day for all. Please contact Mrs. Van for more details.

What Others Are Saying...

Ohio Nature Education . . . brings both interest and a plethora of knowledge to the classroom in a unique and fascinating approach.
— 2nd Grade Teacher, Bexley City Schools
In all the years we’ve worked with ONE, we have never had an unsatisfactory experience.
— Director of Outdoor Programs, Seal of Ohio Council, Girl Scouts
Not only was your program interesting, it was fun, entertaining and completely captivating.
— Coordinator, Ohio State Master Gardener Program
Our students and teachers have benefited tremendously from the experience ONE provides.
— Second Grade Team Leader, New Albany Elementary School