School & Youth Groups

School and Group Program Guide

Thank you for your interest in our school and youth programs.  We offer a wide variety of options, and we are constantly striving to ensure our high-quality inquiry-based programs meet the needs of your students and group members.  When you give your students a field experience at the Plains Conservation Center, you give them an opportunity for learning to come alive.     

Our various programs are outlined below, and please do not hesitate to call us at 303-693-3621 for more information.


Prairie Perspectives

As our premier prairie investigation program, your students will have an experience like no other in our overnight immersive program.  Over your 30 hours on site, your students will be challenged to adopt the perspective of a child growing up in the 1800s as a Cheyenne Indian and a homesteader.  They will explore the unique facets of the prairie ecosystem, cook their own meals, and sleep in a 20-foot tipi surrounded by the rolling hills of the prairie.  This program will enrich classroom lessons and will leave a lasting impact on your students.  We have visitors today who remember attending this program 10 years ago, and recall their experiences and lessons as if they attended the program yesterday.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to connect your students to their local natural and cultural history.  Dates are limited, and fill quickly.  Please call us at 303-693-3621 for more information or to book your once in a lifetime experience.

Sample Schedule of a Prairie Perspectives Program


Grassland Expeditions

In our six-hour Grassland Expeditions, you and your students will have the opportunity to bring classroom lessons to life through hands-on immersive experiences that challenge your students to think beyond the four walls of the classroom.  Each Expedition will introduce your students to their local grasslands and create lasting memories that are sure to be the highlight of the school year.

Please call us at 303-693-3621 for more information and to learn how to book your unique inquiry-based Expedition.

Grasslands Expedition Program Options:

The Science of the Prairie: hands-on field studies to understand the mysteries of the prairie

Cultures at a Crossroads: an in-depth exploration of Cheyenne and Homesteader culture

The Luck of the Homesteaders: an investigation of the risk homesteading the prairie

The Innovation of the Cheyenne: a study of the ingenious lifestyle of the Cheyenne Indians 


Day Programs

Our 3.5 hour day programs are a great way to begin your journey on the prairie.  We offer a wide variety of programs within three program areas, and we hope these programs inspire you and your students to connect to your local grasslands.  

Day Program Options:  

Prairie Ecology: 

Habitat (grade 1) - Explore the activities of a prairie dog colony to find food, water, shelter, and space for a perfect habitat for a burrowing owl, bullsnake, and prairie dog.
Goal: To understand habitat and the things that animals need to survive.

Plants (2nd grade) - Discover the amazing life of plants and their survival secrets above and below the soil.

Earth Materials (2nd grade) - Search for the prairie's important non-living treasures like rocks, soil, and water; materials that provide vital resources for plants, animals, and people.

Adaptations (3rd grade) - Meet the awesome variety of prairie animals to discover how claws, fur, beaks, feathers, and ears are adaptations that help them survive.

Natural Cycles (4th-5th grade) - Explore the short-grass prairie to discover natural cycles like water, rock, energy, and atmosphere that bring the prairie to life.
Goal: To understand the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem.

Field Experience (6th-8th grade) - Delve deep into the secrets of the prairie and try your hand at field science.  Create an experiment and test it out on the prairie.  

Cheyenne Indian Culture (circa 1837):

Cheyenne Family Roles (1st-3rd grade) - Think about the roles within your family.  What do the individuals in your family do to survive?  Just like us, the Cheyenne sought ways to support each other.  Through playing hoops and spears, making soap, exploring a Cheyenne home, and setting up a tipi, we will learn how the roles of males and females within Cheyenne culture complimented each other, and lead to society that not only survived, but thrived.  

Exploring the Cheyenne Way of Life (3rd-5th grade) - What does it take to survive on the prairie?  For the Cheyenne, adapting wasn’t easy, it was a challenge, but a challenge they surmounted.  You and your students will move a Cheyenne camp, hunt for bison, learn how the Cheyenne depended on the bison, and make cordage from the plants of the prairie as we explore how the Cheyenne thrived on the prairie.  Do you have what it takes to live on the prairie?

Life in a Soddie & Homesteading (circa 1887):

The Homestead Community (1st-3rd grade) - For the countless individuals who braved the journey via wagon or train to live on the prairie, many found life upon arrival as difficult as the journey.  Searching for prosperity, wealth, and freedom, the homesteaders of the eastern plains quickly realized it took a whole community to survive the heat, droughts, and winds of the prairie.  We will explore our sod homestead to uncover how the people in the community supported each other, and how life was a constant struggle for survival.

The Survival of the Homesteaders (3rd-5th grade) - Life on the prairie is hard as anyone who attempted to homestead can tell you.  Drought, floods, locusts, and wind were just a few of the challenges on the prairie.  Participate in chores, a community meeting in a one-room school house, pump water, and explore a sod home to try your hand at homesteading and see if you have what it takes to survive on the prairie.

Culture at a Crossroads:

Life on the High Plains (3rd-5th grade) - How did the Cheyenne and the homesteaders adapt to life on the high plains? Did they survive, thrive or fail? What parts of their lives and customs did they have to change because of the new environment?  In this comparative program, we explore the choices the Cheyenne and homesteaders made in order to survive on the prairie.


Preschool and Kindergarten Groups

Bring your youngest learners to explore the unique aspects of a short-grass prairie in our 1.5-hour early-childhood programs.  Each program features hands-on developmentally appropriate experiences and encourages curiosity and inspires a love of the natural world.

Early Childhood Program Options:  

Preschoolers, Prairie Dogs, and Pronghorn - Learn about the animals and plants that call the prairie home in this program designed to provide hands-on sensory experiences through an outside nature experience and indoor learning centers. 

Indians, Tipis, and Bison - Use your imagination as we pretend to go back in time to learn how the Cheyenne Indians survived on the prairie.  Learn how the Cheyenne erected a tipi, hunted bison, and found food on the prairie in this hands-on and interactive program.   

Farmers on the Prairie - Transform into a farmer as we explore how farmers grow crops, raise animals, and live on the prairie in this program designed to give your young learners a firsthand view of what it means to live off the land.  

Program Registration Information

Programs are offered year-round and adapted to seasonal weather conditions.  Make your reservations early!  Most dates are booked more than 6 months in advance.  For more information or to make your reservation, call 303-693-3621.

Programs vary in price.  Please call to inquire about prices, and please note each program requires a deposit to be paid one month prior to the program date, and the final invoice must be paid within one month after your program date.  Title One schools qualify for a discount.

Our programs can accommodate various groups sizes, and it varies by program.  When making a reservation, we will work with you to determine what program will best suit your needs.   

When making a reservation, please be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What program are you registering for?
  • What dates do you want to book your program for?  Please have multiple dates ready.
  • How does this program connect to current or future studies?
  • How many children and adults will be attendance?
  • Is there a goal you are hoping to achieve with this program?
  • How will you be arriving on site? 

 If you have questions about transportation for your program, we have information regarding buses that you may be able to reserve for your program.  

Admission Tax
The PCC is required to collect City of Aurora Admission Tax in the amount of 3.75% for anyone paying with cash, personal credit cards and personal checks. Groups may be exempt from paying the tax if:
1) Payment to the PCC is made with an organization check imprinted with the tax exempt organization name, AND
2) A copy of the certificate showing tax exemption number is provided.


Thank you for your interest in our school and youth programs.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 303-693-3621 with questions, ideas, and special programming requests.  



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