Educational Opportunities

Animal Winter Survival

Nov 23, 10:30 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
How do animals survive the winter? Learn the different strategies animals use to survive a long cold Iowa winter.

#OptOutside Hike

Nov 29, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Choose to #OptOutside on Black Friday with your friends and family. We’ll reconnect you with nature on a hike through Jester Park.

Build a Birdhouse

Dec 7, 9:00 am
Location:
Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
$20
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Attract some of our beautiful feathered friends to your yard by building a birdhouse. We will also take some time to artistically decorate them, turning them into a great gift to give during the holiday season. All materials, tools, and art supplies provided.

Hike and Hot Cocoa

Dec 13, 4:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
A cold December day is the perfect time to make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy National Cocoa Day. We’ll start the program with a brisk walk around Discovery Pond and end by enjoying a mug of hot cocoa around a fire.

$5 Family Night @ Science Center

Dec 13, 5:00 pm
Location:
401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309
Event For:
All ages
Cost:
$5.00/person
Organization:
Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
Contact:
Hannah Little
Email:
hannah.little@sciowa.org
Phone:
(515) 274-6868
The second Friday of each month from 5:00–8:00 pm, explore SCI with your family. Admission is just $5 per person! No need to grab dinner first... our Food Chain Cafe is open until 7:30 pm. (NOTE: This is not a Des Moines Public Schools activity. The district shares this information as a courtesy to create awareness of community opportunities available to our students and their families.)

Decorate a Tree for Wildlife

Dec 14, 10:30 am
Location:
Outdoor Recreation & Wellness Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
$5
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Decorating a tree for our feathered friends and other wildlife is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Join us for this hands-on event. Each registered participant will take home a variety of treats to decorate their backyard.

Light the Night

Dec 21, 5:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
$5
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Celebrate winter’s official arrival and the longest night of the year! We will take a short hike along the Discovery Trail lit with luminaries, enjoy a fire under the stars and share a cup of cocoa. Three sessions: 5:00, 6:30 & 8:00 PM.

Tracks and Scat

Dec 26, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Tracks and scat give us lots of clues about the animals that live around us. Even if we don’t see them, we can learn a lot about them by what they leave behind.

Rock Me

Dec 27, 10:30 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Come learn the basics of geology. We will discuss what rocks are made of, how they form and three basic rock categories. A large rock and mineral collection will be on display as well and other interesting geological items.

Winter Hike

Dec 29, 1:30 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Join the Naturalist for a hike in the winter wonderland looking for animal signs. Dress for the weather.

Critter Club

Dec 30, 10:00 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Come visit Jester Park Nature Center’s resident turtles, snakes, and salamanders to learn about these misunderstood animals. You may even get to touch a turtle or snake. This is an open house program, so come anytime between 10-11:30.

Owl Pellet Dissection

Dec 30, 1:00 pm
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
$5
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Come learn about owls of Iowa and their adaptations as predators and their role in the food web. The presentation will be followed by a pellet dissection and analysis.

TutorHeroes: Homework Help

Dec 31 (all day)
Location:
Evelyn K. Davis Center, 1171 7th Street
Event For:
7th - 12th
Audience Location:
Metrowide
Organization:
Evelyn K. Davis Center
Contact:
Joy Esposito
Email:
jnesposito@dmacc.edu
Phone:
(515) 697-7736
TutorHeroes is comprised of volunteer college students who provide academic assistance in areas such as Math, English, Social Studies, Science, and Spanish. (NOTE: This is not a Des Moines Public Schools activity. The district shares this information as a courtesy to create awareness of community opportunities available to our students and their families.)

Secrets of the Sun

Dec 31, 10:30 am
Location:
Jester Park Nature Center
Event For:
Public
Cost:
Free
Organization:
Polk County Conservation
Contact:
Patrice Petersen-Keys
Email:
patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov
Phone:
(515) 323-5359
Through interactive activities and games, we’ll learn about the characteristics of our Sun and how it compares to other stars in the universe. We’ll also take a look at the Sun through a telescope with a special solar viewing filter.

Lifeguard Certification Courses

Apr 1 (all day)
Location:
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Event For:
High School
Cost:
$200.00
Organization:
YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Contact:
Ann Peterson
Email:
ann.peterson@dmymca.org
Phone:
(515) 471-8509
Lifeguard certification course to prepare students for employment at a pool. Classes 5 New Certification classes and 4 Review classes January-March 2020.

Build My Future

Apr 15, 8:00 am
Location:
Iowa State Fairgrounds Varied Industry Building
Event For:
13-18
Audience Location:
All schools welcome
Cost:
FREE
Organization:
Iowa Skilled Trades
Contact:
Brandon Patterson
Email:
brandon@dsmhba.com
Phone:
(515) 270-8500
Build My Future is an immersive hands on event that allows participants to see multiple career paths available in Iowa. Participants will be able to get their hands on many careers in urgent need of a skilled workforce. Find more information at www.iowaskilledtrades.com .