Immerse yourself in Armand Bayou Nature Center's three ecosystems! This is a hands-on, TEKS correlated, field science class that makes the textbook come alive.  Hike through the forest and roll a log.  Visit the prairie and sweep net for insects.  Dip net at the pond and discover what lives beneath the surface.  As you visit each , you'll learn what makes it unique.  The underlying theme is stewardship, it encourages participants to appreciate and care for the world around them.

Grades 4th - 12th  ~  Time 9:30 am - 1:00 pm  ~  Group Limit Minimum 10  ~  Fee $12.00/participant (children and adults)

One chaperone or teacher per 10 participants is free of charge. A 10-to-1 ratio of students to adults is required.

Prairie Grasslands

Prairie Grasslands


Students will:

  1. Examine properties of soil: color, texture, capacity to retain water, and explain sources of soil.

  2. Explore how adaptations enable organisms to survive in their environment.

  3. Compare life cycles in living organisms, such as butterflies and dragonflies.

  4. Observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and non-living elements.

  5. Describe some components/elements/factor of pond, prairie, and forest ecosystems.


  • Ecosystem - An ecosystem is a complex, dynamic system that functions as a whole. An ecosystem is a natural unit and its size can be as small as a drop of water or as large as the Earth. Ecosystems consist of the interactions between organisms and between organisms and physical components, in which materials are exchanged following closed paths.

  • Abiotic - non-living or physical components such as light, temperature, water, rocks, etc.

  • Biotic - living things

  • Producers - plants, algae, phytoplankton or bacteria the make their own food from the sun or chemical sources (vents ocean floor where there is no light)

  • Consumers - Organisms that eat other organisms or organic matter

  • Decomposers - Organisms that convert dead organic material into inorganic material, nature's recyclers

  • Diversity - variety of species in a given area

  • Life cycle - life history of an organism, including growth, development, aging, and death

  • Metamorphosis - The way that insects develop, grow and change

  • Complete metamorphosis: consists of 4 stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, adult; e.g. wasps, bees, beetles, moths, flies, and butterflies

  • Incomplete metamorphosis: 3 stages of development: egg, nymph, adult; e.g. dragonflies

  • Soil permeability - Rate at which a liquid can pass through soil

  • Niche - An organism's role in an ecosystem

  • Competition - Two or more organisms simultaneously demanding for limited resources, e.g. nutrients, water, light, space, etc.

Walk through the Forest

Walk through the Forest


TEKS (2012-2013 Science)

  • 4.2B, 4.4A, 4.7A, 4.10A&C (Pre and post-trip activities may also address 4.2C&D.)

  • 5.2B, 5.4A, 5.9A&C (Pre and post-trip activities may also address 5.2C&D and 5.10A&C.)

  • 6.2C, 6.4A, 6.12E (Pre and post-trip activities may also address 6.2D&E.)

Pre and Post Trip Materials  (PDF Format)

Please see the group field trips for more information about scheduling a field trip