3rd - 5th


More information coming soon! For more program details, please email sierra.kuisle@dmymca.org



Come visit Y Camp in the Des Moines River Valley to discover the main types of soil (loam, clay, sandy, humus, etc.) and find out how soil is made! Student groups will get their hands dirty as they discover how to make their own soil using a variety of components


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Animal Tracks



Stream Ecology

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Nets and buckets are used to collect the various insects, crustaceans and other small creatures that inhabit our stream or river.  We will investigate what adaptations are needed to survive in a stream and also focus on the pond ecosystem and the plants and animals that live within.  Dichotomous keys will be used to identify the lake’s inhabitants. Try not to get your feet wet!

Changes in Properties

What is matter? How can it change? These questions & more will be answered as we investigate the properties of solids, liquids, and gases. We’ll figure out what Gak really is and experience liquids turning into solids by making (and eating) ice cream.  Some changes are oh, so sweet!

Forces and Motion

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 Explore Newton’s Laws of Motion and discover the power of gravity, friction & air resistance. Notice the transfer of energy as you propel marshmallows with a catapult you’ve created. 


Animal Adaptations

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Adaptations are physical features that improve an animal’s (or a plant’s) chances for survival. Students will be introduced to reptiles, mammals, and amphibians to observe and discover each animal’s adaptations. 


Many fascinating geologic features await you in this study of landforms. In this program students will learn specifically about local landforms. They will also investigate and explore Y Camp as they discover the role water, wind, and time play in forming many features found here

Marvelous Minerals

In this program we will examine and identify several minerals by testing their physical properties such as hardness, luster, color and magnetism. We will learn how we interact with minerals everyday and examine rocks to identify what minerals they are contain.

Predator vs. Prey

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The predator and prey relationship encompasses concepts such as survival of the fittest, adaptations, the fundamental differences between animals and relationships within an ecosystem. We’ll meet different predator and prey animals then learn firsthand about the different reactions of prey as they are being hunted, and the variables that can change the outcome of a hunt as we become predators and prey and play a game.

Whatever the Weather


Discovery Hike


Links in a Food Chain

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